The Australian F18 National Championships 2013 had the final day of racing scrapped off the schedule due to heavy flooding and a looming gale on Monday, allowing Jason Waterhouse and his crewman Brett Goodall to bag their second consecutive national title after five races at Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club, Lake Macquarie.
Jason Waterhouse and Brett Goodall won back-to-back national titles - 2013 Australian F18 National Championships
As flood waters rose around the State, it left the appropriately named Jason Waterhouse and his crewman Brett Goodall with their second consecutive national title, following an emphatic performance in the five races staged over the weekend.
Carrying a third placing as their drop they finished on just six points, comfortably ahead of the WA combination of Brett Burvill and Ryan Duffield (14 pts) and Adam Beattie/Jamie Leitner (15 pts).
‘This event was probably tougher than last year’s and the finishes were a lot more diverse, so we’re really happy to come away with the win,’ Waterhouse said. ‘It was a very quick boat – we want to pack it up and take it to the Worlds in Italy in July. I’m begging them not to sell it.’
Adam Beattie and Jamie Leitner won Nacra Infusion honours ahead of the Worlds - 2013 Australian F18 National Championships
Brett Goodall, whose father Greg designed the C2 they were sailing, was philosophical about not getting more racing in. ‘We would've liked to get on the water. We came here for three day’s racing and no matter what today gave us we were confident we could get some more good results,’ he said.
‘I’m absolutely looking forward to the Worlds now. Jason has a full schedule with the America’s Cup but we’ll look at doing some training and pre-events in Holland. It’s always an unknown as to how we’ll go until the European season starts and you see who’s going quick.’
Their boat was assembled for the first time on the Tuesday prior to the event, with Race 1 being its first competition. They won that race with no jib luff tension, after a shackle parted.
The trophy was presented by the event sponsor, former Australian rugby league legend John Cootes, who is a passionate catamaran sailor aged in his late 70s.
League legend John Cootes, the event sponsor, was on hand to present the trophies - 2013 Australian F18 National Championships
For Brett Burvill, builder of the Windrush Edge, the second placing justified a 40-hour haul across from Perth with five boats stashed inside a trailer … pausing only for refueling and a hamburger.
‘We were a bit unlucky with the weather but we all had the same conditions out there, so it was fair sailing,’ Burvill said. ‘I was disappointed that we didn't win any races but we only finished the boats last Sunday and had never seen the sails before.
‘It would be nice to have come here prepared and given Jason and Brett a better run for their money, but full credit to them – they sailed really well.’
While content with his third placing, Adam Beattie was left to rue a spectacular pitchpole while leading Race 3. ‘It proved costly when there are only five races, but it was one of those things that can happen when it’s windy,’ he said. ‘We were in survival mode and came around the mark – next thing we were flying through the air.
‘We were leading in Race 4 as well but didn't pick the right gusts going downwind and ended up letting quite a few boats through. Still, it was good to sail with Jamie again for the first time in a year … We’re off to the Nacra Worlds now, providing the roads are open, and we’ll see how we go there.’
Runners-up Brett Burvill and Ryan Duffield justified a 40-hour drive - 2013 Australian F18 National Championships
In the hotly contested State trophy, the three-boat Queensland team took the honours from Western Australia and Victoria, with NSW last.
'All in all it was good series, and the best sailors won the event,’ class president Kyle Amadio said. ‘The pleasing thing is that 38 boats competed – five years ago there were only 10 boats sailing, so we've built the fleet up really well.
‘We have lots of people with different skill levels, from the hotshot guys to beginners, but everyone gets in and helps. There’s great camaraderie and friendship.’
- Mark Rothfield