29er World Championship 2012 is being held at Travemunde, Germany from 22nd to 28th July.
Andrew and Jessica - 29er World Championship 2012
18ft Skiff skipper/sail maker Andrew Chapman (Fisher and Paykel) is never one to ‘rest on his laurels’ with anything sailing so it’s not surprising to see him take on another project during the Australian off-season.
Although he will be building new sails for Smeg and Kenwood-Rabbitohs, as well as his own Fisher and Paykel skiff, he is competing with Jessica Hansen in the 29er World Championship.
Andrew is Youth Sailing Team coach for Yachting NSW and 19-year-old Jessica, of Southport YC, Queensland, an experienced up-and-coming young sailor.
Chapman is a former Australian champion in both the F11 and Cherub classes as well as 12ft Skiff Junior champion in 2006.
Hansen is an Australian Womens Match Racing champion with extensive competition in the 29ers and offshore racing (as helm and bow) over the past three years.
Jessica has packed many other classes into her 19 years. These include Sabots, B14, Optimist, 420, 470, Sailboard, Hobie 16, Nacra 5.8, 29erXX, Moth, Etchel, and more.
She was also 2011-2012 team coach for NSW at the Sabot nationals.
Andrew said: 'We haven’t done much sailing together, but we are both looking forward to the challenge of competing against around 200 boats in the event'.
For Jess: 'It’s a rare opportunity and I am super excited for the experience'.
During the recent 2011-2012 Australian season, Jessica got a taste of sailing an 18ft Skiff when she joined Andrew and the crew of Fisher and Paykel in the annual Queen of the Harbour race on Sydney Harbour.
After competing as crew throughout the race, Andrew handed over the helm to Jessica after crossing the finish line and Jessica showed her class by steering the skiff home to Double Bay under the big #1 rig.
Andrew’s next 18ft Skiff event will be on 14 October when he skippers Fisher and Paykel in race one of the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge at the Australian 18 Footers League.
Who knows, maybe we get to see Jessica back in an 18 at some time in the future, but in the meantime we wish them good luck at the 29er World later this month.
Jessica wins australian womens match racing - 29er World Championship 2012
Jessica at the helm of 18ft skiff - 29er World Championship 2012
Australian 18 Footers website
Flying 18s website