by John Curnow
Kiteboard podium (L-R) Adam Vance (Can)3rd; Florian Gruber (GER) 1st; Torrin Bright (NZ) 2nd Oceania Leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2012
There was lots of racing for the invited classes and big winds to match the big day on Saturday for the final session of Sail Melbourne.
The Men’s Gold fleet of top ten Kiteboarders had a repecharge system to work through in the morning. Ultimately, Canada’s Adam Vance and Turkey’s Salih Cakir met the top pair of Florian Gruber and Torrin Bright in the final. Germany’s Gruber won the races, pretty much as he had done all week, to collect the Gold, with New Zealand’s Bright holding out for the Silver and Vance collecting the Bronze. This class have added colour and enthusiasm wherever they go around the venue, and equally, were thrilled to be so included.
Torrin said before the medal presentation, 'This feels good. My first real regatta and I enjoyed it immensely. The Committee have been super awesome and we’re all pretty stoked. I am genuinely happy with my second place.'
The Women’s event, whilst smaller in terms of participation, also included a dominant display by one individual, France’s Ariane Imbert. She has been gracious, enthusiastic and focussed all week, so for to collect the Gold was imminently suitable. Australia’s Lisa Hickman was second and Astrid Berz of Switzerland collected Bronze.
The Paralymic Skud 18 class pretty much stayed as it was after the regatta proper, as in the high winds there was gear damage and subsequent retirements. David Staley and Michael Lewenhagen collected Gold from Alan Merry and Robert Schahinger, then Russel Phillips and Justin Millsom for Bronze. In the Access Liberty dinghy, Greg Hyde won over Michael Cull and Barry Coates and there were certainly smiles to be had from all of the disabled sailors all week.
The OK Dinghy was also an all-Australian affair. Roger Blasse dominated and so stood atop the podium from Brent Williams and Bruce Ashton. The had completed three days of racing for six races in total and a fleet of 15 competed in this technical style of vessel.
The Optimists for young children had 42 entries and is always a crowd favourite. Annabelle Davies walked away the victor, with Thomas Cunich next and then Nick Sharman getting third. James Grogan was just outside by two points and Max Quirk will no doubt be lamenting an On Course Side (OCS) ruling in Race Three, which kind of sealed his fate with a 43 point hit to his overall tally. He finished just three points outside the medal calculations in the end, so certainly can feature on the scoreboard in the future, as a win, second and third place all testify to.
The 11-vessel International Cadet fleet had their last big event before their Nationals and World Championships in Hobart soon. Patrick Chipp and Jack Furey won comfortably. Equal second were Alice Endersbee with Eliza Davies and Jalina Thompson-Kambas with Starr Thompson. In third was Julian Sasson with Phillip George.
Standing atop the ten Australian crews who sailed the 420 are Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson. They won comfortably in the end from Klaus Lorenz and James Scott who had a good string of results, except for the 11 points they collected for OCS in the last race, which possibly cost them the big prize. In third were Jacqueline Stokes and Olivia Stephens.
The 29ers, which a proving ground for the Olympic 49er (M) and FX (W) was won by Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly, who had an exceptional regatta with six wins inside their 14 race series. In second were James McLennan and Thomas Trotman with Harry Price and Ashlen Rooklyn in third. Mention has to be made of Henry and Grant Makin who finished one point outside the calculations and are another crew who took a big hit with an OCS ruling, theirs from way back in Race 5.
The Viper catamaran showed all what the 2016 Olympic Nacra 17 will be like, with many a mixed crew taking part in this class. Leading the way were Husband and Wife team, Carolijn Brouwer and Darren Bundock, who lead all the way to finish 15 points clear of James Waterhouse with Lisa Darmanin. James is certainly set for big things, so will be worth watching. Brett Goodall took James Wierzbowski as his crew and finished in third, another seven points adrift.
Young Jack Felsenthal from host club, Sandringham, finished well and truly at the top of the Laser 4.7. We wish him well with the Youth and National titles fast approaching. Sam Hannah and Kye Evans took the minor places in the class.
In the Men’s Laser Radial (smaller sail than the normal Laser), Mark Spearman won comfortably from Rohan Langford and then Thomas Vincent, who just one point behind him.
Sail Melbourne, which includes the ISAF World Cup, was run at Sandringham Yacht Club from December 2 to 8, 2012. Well done to all competitors, volunteers and officials.
Full details can be found at www.sailmelbourne.com.au