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420 Class Australian title to WA crew again

by Peter Campbell on 5 Jan 2013
Lachlan Gilmour, 420 Australian champion - 2012 International 420 Australian Championship Dane Lojek
For the second year in recent times, the International 420 class Australian championship has gone to a Western Australian crew; for the second time the winning skipper is a Gilmour, a son of America’s Cup helmsman and world match racing champion Peter Gilmour.

In 2008-2009 the champion crew from Perth’s Royal Freshwater Bay Sailing Club was David Gilmour and James Omay. Today, in Hobart David’s younger brother Lachlan won the 2012-2013 national title in a hard-fought and weather challenging series on the River Derwent.

Lachlan and his crew, Thomas Blaauw, exhibited all the sailing skills and tactician expertise that Lachlan’s father showed in America’s racing and in international match racing, from which he recently retired.

After a week of torturous sailing in, at times, gale force winds on the Derwent, Gilmour and Blaauw managed to hold off late challengers from other crews from WA, NSW and Tasmania.

With forecast heatwave conditions – it reached a record 41.3 degrees in Hobart today – and northerly winds again blasting down the river at gale force speeds, Derwent Sailing Squadron organisers decided on an early start for the final day.

They managed to complete the 12 race series with three final races before the wind kicked in at over 35 knots around midday, and Gilmour and Blaauw’s score of 1-5-2 gave them the title with a net 22 points.

Second place went to NSW crew, Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson, from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, on 34 points, followed closely by Carrie Smith and Ella Clark from Fremantle Sailing who had a final day score of 3-1-7 to finish with a net 37 points.

Tasmanians Alec Bailey and Doug Shephard from Sandy Bay Sailing Club looked a chance with a second in the first race of today, but crashed to a 26th place in the 29 boat fleet in the next race. They recovered to win the final race of the championships.

Fellow Tasmanians Jonathan Cooper and Aleksandrs Price finished 16th overall.
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