by Niall Kinch
Heat 3 of the NSW Formula Windsurfing Tour was conducted at Ramsgate Beach, Botany Bay on November 10th and 11th.
Thirty starters for Heat 3.
Formula Windsurfing is the box rule of windsurfing. It is a development class that encourages different designs and ideas; however the majority of the products available are starting to look very similar. Boards can be up to 1005mm wide, carbon fins are 700mm’s deep and sails can be as large as 12.5M/2. These boards have a massive wind range that enables racing in very light winds from seven knots up to 35 knots and are capable of reaching speeds of over 30 knots.
Saturday’s racing was some of the closest I have witnessed in this exciting brand of windsurfing. Five races were held in quick succession on a course located about 200m from shore. Day one, Botany Bay provided South East winds of up to 25 knots with a short chop giving competitors challenging conditions and rewarding fast rides.
Steven Floyd - Heat 3
The majority of the thirty strong fleet started out with their 11M/2 sails however the few sailors who changed to smaller rigs after race two benefited as the breeze increased throughout the afternoon. Brett Morris was the most consistent on the day winning the first three races while the perennial bride’s maid, Remi Duoyer won the fourth heat.
The racing between Brett and Remi was so close that they were still fighting it out at the end of the day. Even then, Brett managed to clip Remi’s boom, causing a high speed and rather spectacular crash. Brett ended up winning this race as well.
Plenty of time on the water and tuning his new rig had paid off for Andrew Vacopoulos, who won four out of the five races in the Formula Experience class (a great class for newcomers). The pressure is now on for Andrew to step up and compete in the Open division in future events.
Sundays racing was at the other end of the spectrum with the race committee starting two races and quickly abandoning them when the majority of the fleet dropped off the plane. After lunch, two races were able to be held in the 10 knot breeze giving Steve Walsh and Nathan Hohnberg a win each, whilst Andrew Vacopoulos won both races in the Formula Experience class.
Brett and Remi collide - Heat 3
The next event is Heat 4 at Lake Macquarie on December 1st and second. Heat 5 is at Hawkes Nest on January 26th and 27th closely followed by the Down Under Pro which is already attracting many international entries. This year the Down Under Pro will also include Raceboard, RSX and Bic Techno classes.
Heat 3 results:
Open: 1st Brett Morris; 2nd Remi Duoyer; 3rd Steve Walsh
Formula Experience: 1st Andrew Vacopoulos; 2nd Barry Fawkes; 3rd Roger Lucus
Grand Master: 1st Wayne Bowness; 2nd Tibor Ferenczy ; 3rd Rick Murray
NSW Windsurfing website