by Ajay Rau
University Force 24 Fleet Racing Championship 2012 two day event was dominated by James Burman along with crew Rob Crawford, Hugh Tait and Chris Rohr and Macquarie University was crowned University Fleet racing champion.
Winners of the 2012 University F24 Fleet Racing Championship James Burman (Skipper) , Robert Crawford (Macquarie University) Hugh Tait (University of Technology, Sydney) and Chris Rohr (University of Cambridge) along with RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis - 2012 University Force 24 Fleet Racing Championships
Competition was held over 1-2 September at the home for university sailing, The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Newport. The weather Gods put on a good mix of wind conditions (0-35 knots) to test all sailing abilities. All eight races were completed without any problems thanks to the very well maintained RPAYC custom built Force 24 keelboats and professional race management on show. Six teams with world-class sailors from Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Austria, Singapore and India represented several universities in the two-day event.
Racing on day one got started in a gradually building southerly, UNSW team one steered by Ajay Rau got the regatta off to a flying start with a bullet. As the wind built gradually, the technical skills of James Burman and his crew, who share several world Championship podium finishes between each other, gained momentum and won three races on the trot. Scott Cotton from UTS ended James winning run and won the last race of the day.
Racing on day two did not start on time due to extreme light and shifty wind conditions. When racing finally got underway, James Buman stamped his authority and won the final three races of the series. He had already assured victory after securing the bullet in race six.
2nd place winners of the 2012 University F24 Fleet Racing Championship Scott Sydney (Skipper). Jean Rutledge , Lovelle D'souza (Sydney University) , Patrick Smith and Anela Mrkaljevic (University of New South Wales) - 2012 University Force 24 Fleet Racing Championships
Sydney University’s, Scott Sydney was very consistent throughout the regatta despite tricky conditions and managed to finish in second place comfortably in the end.
3rd place - Ajay Rau (Skipper), Cameron Edwards, Michael Vincent (University of New South Wales) and Grace Lucas (Sydney University) with RPAYC Commodore Rob Curtis - 2012 University Force 24 Fleet Racing Championships
Ajay Rau and Scott Cotton were locked in their own battle with many close finishes. The University of New South Wales team just managed to finish third by the closest of margins. The calibre of racing throughout the whole event was very high, and despite the dominance in the results, the finishes were close and exciting.
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club hosted a fantastic regatta. RPAYC Commodore, Rob Curtis, father of Nina Curtis (Olympic silver medallist Women’s Match racing), was present to do the presentation along with Club Director Jill Connell. Event supporters and sponsors Harken, Quantum, Australian University Sport and University of New South Wales also made the presentation ceremony very special.
University Sailing has seen a resurgence in recent years and has had lots of success. The sport being introduced in the Australian University Games structure, University sailors winning world titles in both university based and sailing world championships and recent success at the Olympic Games has helped Australian University sailing grow as a popular university sport. Currently Australia has four teams in France for the sixth World University Match Racing Championships. In the last edition in Greece, Australia won silver and bronze medals.
Other university sailing events coming up include teams racing at the Australian University Games in Adelaide. The RPAYC has demonstrated its commitment to continue their support of university sailing and will be hosting two more University sailing regattas this semester, 2012 RPAYC University Match Racing regatta and 2012 RPAYC University introduction to offshore Racing event.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club website