by Sean O'Brien
Racing on day one of the 2014 Downunder Pro – Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships kicked off today at the new venue of Georges River Sailing Club, at the southern end of Botany Bay, Sydney. With relatively light and gusty winds prevailing over the day, four races were completed with the results reflecting the tricky and tactical conditions.
Sean O'Brien (AUS-120) leads after the first day. - 2014 Downunder Pro
Six-time Australian Champion from Brisbane, Sean O’Brien (Starboard/Severne) had a great start to the event, with three wins in the four races. O'Brien narrowly missed a clean slate of victories after leading the first race until the last few hundred metres before some clever downwind tactics allowed the Danish former world number one, Jesper Vesterstrøm (Gaastra/Gaastra) to pass him and take the first race win. Vesterstrøm currently sits in second overall posting a first, fourth and two second’s after the first day of racing.
Luke Baillie (AUS-333) and Steve Floyd (AUS-2222) downwind. - 2014 Downunder Pro
The battle for the third spot on the podium is a close one with Nathan Hohnberg (Patrik/MauiSails) currently in the spot but just one point ahead of a three-way tie between Rick Murray (JP/North), Brett Morris (Gaastra/Gaastra) and Luke Baillie (Starboard/Severne).
Jesper Vesterstrøm (DEN-111) in strong contention for the title. - 2014 Downunder Pro
The tricky conditions today allowed for some mixed results as some sailors struggled to find the right gears in the fluky and shifty conditions. 72 year old Tibor Firenczy (Starboard/Severne) found the right gears in the final race of today, leading around the first mark before being run down by O’Brien and Vesterstrøm but still finishing a commendable third, keeping him in seventh overall.
The forecast for the next days of racing looks very promising with winds building over the week with strong winds forecast tomorrow for day two of racing.