At the 2013 Australian Championships, outstanding sailing over two days rewarded Adelaide resident Scott Mitchell with the Gold medal for Radio Control Laser sailors.
The event was held over the long weekend, fifth and October sixth, at Patawalonga Lake, Adelaide in perfect sailing conditions and attracted the country’s top sailors with twenty-four competitors and all States represented.
Holding down top position after day one of the two day event, Mitchell’s lead was under constant threat from two-time National champion, Victoria’s Scott Fleming. Also snapping at his heels was incumbent champion Graham Brown from NSW and experienced Tasmanian George Fish, the latter sailing in his first National championship but with a long list of State trophies to his name.
In the final count after 15 hard fought races Mitchell won well with Fleming second. Fish missed the silver by one point but was thrilled to take the Bronze after finishing strongly.
As is always the case with fleet racing, consistency is paramount. Mitchell showed the way recording five wins out of the fourteen races and, more importantly holding down a top three spot in all but three races.
Adding to Mitchell’s achievement is that this was his first major championship in a RC Laser and it was done against the country’s best. He is keen to show he can win away from home when he defends his title on the Gold Coast in 2014.
‘It was a fantastic event, the sailing was tough and fair at all times’, said Mitchell. ‘I was impressed with the way the RC Laser handled, a great boat for novices and for experienced sailors. There was no easy sailing out there – the winds were often unpredictable and there is often a little luck involved in sail selection in these conditions. Local knowledge is always an advantage but I’m confident I’ll be able to defend my title next year’, he added.
The big interstate contingent enjoyed the conditions at ‘The Pat’ with its coastal breezes and occasional 747-induced turbulence to add challenge. South Australian hospitality was also at the forefront of conversation with most competitors venturing out to regional areas to toast their success or plot a better campaign for 2014‘.
‘The racing is exciting - it takes enormous concentration and has all the challenges of sailing a big boat’, Jurgen Luther who was instrumental in bringing the event to Adelaide explained. ‘It gets the adrenalin going when we are racing but the social part of it afterwards is just as important. We compete hard but never take it too seriously and have a lot of fun on and off the water.’
Scott Fleming, VIC (Silver); Jurgen Luther, SA (Event Organiser, 5th); Scott Mitchell, SA (Gold), George Fish, TAS (Bronze) - Cliff Bromiley
The Radio Control Laser is one of the most widely raced yachts in the world and is a quarter scale model of the iconic Olympic class Laser dinghy.
For information about sailing with your local club please contact Cliff Bromiley on 0417 469-675
by Cliff Bromiley
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2:53 PM Wed 9 Oct 2013GMT
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