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The Mobium Group 2015 Windsurfer One Design Australian Championships

by Robert Howard on 25 Jan 2015
Will Wright rail riding in the freestyle event. Robert Howard
Congratulations to all team New South Wales men & women sailors who took part in the Australian Championships last week at the Rye Yacht Club in Victoria. Other than in the freestyle event which Scott Buckingham from Victoria won, the New South Wales men and women placed first overall in the following disciplines: Course racing, Marathon and Slalom.

Karen Murden, Rob Howard, Will Wright and Stuart Gilbert all won their respective course racing divisions. Karen added another two firsts in the freestyle and marathon; Will added a further two more firsts in the marathon and slalom events.

All seven course races were contested in very testing strong wind and sea state conditions. The long two lap courses were completed in approximately 30 minutes with many experiencing nose dives and recoveries surfing the large waves on the downwind legs. Lots of fun had by all, I think?

The marathon race started with a short run to the boards at the water’s edge, out to a turning mark and a very long work to the top mark. From there the competitors sailed (some just surviving) over a two lap sausage style course which once again was run in strong wind and sea state conditions. Will Wright absolutely blitz the fleet in a time of approximately 90 minutes, always sailing exceptionally well on the three upwind legs. From my point of view on the water he appeared to be in cruise mode! Although the course appeared very straightforward in the briefing many sailors mistook a similar yellow mid upwind leg mark to incorrectly round and were disqualified, so did not finish. The correct yellow buoy was indeed about a further 200 metres to windward of the other, so a slightly controversial race for many, particularly those sailors in major place getting situations.

The three heat slalom final for the eight starters was again run in strong gusting winds, closer to the shoreline, although thankfully the water was relatively flat in comparison to that experienced in the course and marathon races. Gybing skills were really put to the test on the tight but fair m style course. Videos were taken from the shallow water and may appear on you tube at a later date. The buoy rounding crashes that took place in the last heat should make for some enjoyable viewing.

Following the freestyle event on the last day a great barbecue was held on the club's upper deck with the presentation of trophies by our now past president, David West.

Thanks to the Rye Yacht Club race committee, the Windsurfer One Design committee and others who helped run a great event with not one day without strong wind. Can't say that about most regattas run by this class or others!

PS : If there are any interested sailors from other board racing categories, particularly juniors who wish to learn further from very experienced world class one design sailors, please contact our website listed on the Australian Windsurfing Association page. The boards may be different, they may be sailed slightly differently, but the skill set you pick up from sailing windsurfer one designs, even just occasionally will make you a better all-round competitor on your own particular board.

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