Racing has been staged in 12 invited classes at the Sail Melbourne regatta, held in conjunction with the ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne 2013.
Sail Melbourne - Invited classes - Day 2 - Mens Laser Radial
The classes sailed are mostly international classes, which are common sailing pathways to the Olympic classes. The inclusion of these feeder classes in the event, provides a great opportunity for young sailors in particular, to rub shoulders with their Olympic heroes in the boat park, many of whom had during their earlier sailing careers had sailed this classes. Competitors hail from around Australia, with a number of international sailors also competing.
Six races have been sailed in the 29er, an ISAF Youth Worlds class intended as a trainer for the Olympic 49er and 49erFX. It is notable that both the London 2012 49er Gold Medallists, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, have been on the podium in world championships in the 29er class.
The class attracted a fleet of 22 boats, crewed by a mix of male and female crews, in the two-handed, single trapeze boat. Winners were the Australian crew of Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton, who won three of the six races sailed. They sailed a very consistent series, having a worst placing of third in the fleet. Also consistent were the second place getters Charlie Wyatt and Tom Signato (AUS), who counted a string of top three places in their final score.
William Boulden and Nicholas Gale in the 420 class - Australian Youth Championship 2013
A second ISAF Youth Worlds class, the 420 – also a single trapeze two hander, which is intended as a preliminary boat for the Olympic 470 class, was also raced 24 teams at the event. The World Sailor of the year and London Olympic 470 Gold Medallist Matt Belcher, is a former 420 World Champion.
In this year’s 420 series, the Australian crew of Will Boulden and Nic Gale were convincing winners. Sailing in a 24 boat fleet they scored a hat trick of wins, topped off with a second place, in the back end of the seven race series.
The second placed crew of Nia Jerwood and Lachlan Gilmour (AUS) won three races but a disqualification for a starting infringement meant the crew had to count a ninth place in their final score. Third overall was Klaus Lorenz and James Hodgson (AUS).
Sail Melbourne - Invited Classes - Optimists
With the Australia titles looming in Melbourne, a big fleet of 104 sailors competed in the Optimist class, the biggest junior single hander in the world.
At the London Olympics a survey was conducted finding that some 70% of the competing Olympic sailors had sailed Optimists early in their careers.
South Australian sailors won two of the top three places overall, competitors from six Australian states attended the event.
Overall winner, Alexander Higgins (SA) got off to an excellent start with a hat trick of wins followed by a pair of seconds in the tail of the series. But he could only manage a three point advantage over Jayden Dalton (WA), with Matt Meaney (SA) a further three points further back in third. Two competitors finished one point behind and had to have a tiebreaker applied to determine fourth place.
The Laser 4.7 attracted a fleet of 28 competitors all from Australia. With nine races sailed, Tyrone Gowans was a convincing winner by a margin of 20pts from Hamish Wiltshire (AUS), a further 12pts back.
Gowans won three races and turned in a very consistent card, with three wins, three seconds, a third and a fourth, and was a convincing winner of the series.
Sail Melbourne - Invited classes - Day 5 - Minnows
Men’s Laser Radial:
Four competitors from New Zealand competed in the Laser Radial, in a Men only fleet, with the female 4.7 sailors all competing in the ISAF World Sailing Cup Melbourne. The New Zealanders all finished in the top eight with best placed, Trent Rippey finishing third overall.
The event attracted a fleet of 29 boats and was won by Tristan Brown (AUS), the 2012 and 2013 Laser Radial Men’s World Champion won six of the nine races sailed, to take the Gold medal by a massive 20 point margin,,from Ben Franklin (AUS), with Rippey eight points behind in third.