Windsurfer One Design Australian Championships - As over 45 Windsurfer One Design (the original windsurfer, now over 40 years since inception and still being manufactured and comparatively cheaper than 30 years ago) rigged up on the shore of Soldiers Point on gorgeous Port Stephens there was a tense air of anticipation as things were about to get exciting as up and comers were out to try to prove themselves against some of the best sailboarders in the country past and present.
It’s a multi disciplined series with all points tallying to create a pentathlon champion in mens, youths, and women's.
First up is the freestyle routine where each performer pulls off as many tricks and maneouvers in a two minute performance which is scored by judges. There were plenty of gasps and applause as some amazing tricks ‘stuck’ and others weren’t quite ‘nailed’. However there weren’t any injuries so it was all good fun. Robbie Treharne out performed Mark Dibben and Rohan Cudmore. In the women the younger more flexible Nina Long was outscored by the more experienced Deb Apthorp and in the youths Sam Treharne (a name you definitely will hear more of on the world sailboarding circuit in the future) won the youths from Owen long and Angus Williams.
Next up the first heats of the Slalom were run. This is also very spectator friendly as it is held on a very short course which includes lot’s of changes in direction through a zig zag course. The usual skills of setting up for maximum speed, getting a good start, finding favourable wind shifts and pressure and using the racing rules are important but also paramount are board handling skills of fast efficient tacks and gybes.
Once again Robbie Treharne showed his class and won the lightweights division from evergreen Rob Howard who amazed with his third place using an ancient sail (which needed replacing after it disintegrated) to Will Wright’s second.
In the medium weights Equal third were Dave West and Roger Crawford, second Mark Dibben and a famous windsurfing name from the 80’s and 90‘s, Scotty O’Connor who had travelled from his home in Fiji, first.
In the heavyweights Michael Griffiths surprised himself with a third, Stu Gilbert second and Rohan Cudmore won.
In the women’s it was Deb Apthorp and in the youths Owen Long got the points from Sam Treharne and Harry Price. Sam then had to leave for another sailboarding regatta on Port Stephens to compete successfully on the Olympic Class RSX board.
In the main event course racing Robbie Treharne won the lightweights from Rob Howard, and Martin Stone. Medium weights: Paul Ivshenko first, Dave West second, Andrew 'Dolly' Divola third. In the heavies it was Greg Johns (who, it was noted, first won the windsurfing championships in 1977!) won from Stu Gilbert and Rohan Cudmore. In the women’s, Deb Apthorp, Nina Long, Claire Hozak, and the youths Angus Williams, Owen Long, Harry Price.
The final day’s competition saw the hilarious 'Le Mans' start to the epic marathon race around a large portion on 'God’s Paradise' (Port Stephens). Quite amazing really to see 40 or so colourful sails blasted off into the distance on an endurance test in perfect sunny 15- 20 knot winds.
Once again, Robbie Treharne lead from the the first mark followed by Rob Howard and Martin Stone in the lightweights, In the Mediums it was Paul Ivshenko and Danny Bainbridge to Scotty O’Conner and in the heavyweights the order was Stu Gilbert to Rohan Cudmore and Greg Johns.
So, once all the results were tallied the obvious winner was Robbie Treharne with a clean sweep of the four disciplines followed Rohan Cudmore amd Stuart Gilbert, Deb Apthorp was the women’s champion followed by Nina Long And Clare Hozak. The youths overall were won by Angus Williams to Owen Long and Nina Long.
Excellent fun. Hopefully see you next year.