Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen 2018 US A2030XHL 728x90

Contender World Championship coming to McCrae Yacht Club

by Di Pearson 6 Oct 2017 23:19 PDT 16-25 January 2018
Jason Beebe on the way to winning the 2017 Contender Worlds © VRsport.tv

McCrae Yacht Club in Melbourne, Victoria, is to host both the 2018 Australian and World Championships in the International Contender class on Port Phillip Bay in January when over 80 entries from Australia and worldwide are expected to attend.

Interest has already been indicated from Italy, the UK, Germany, Denmark, France, USA, Canada and of course Australia, for the Soho Lawyers Australian Championship to be held from 16-18 January, and the iSail Whitsundays World Championship from 19-25 January.

In July 2017, the Worlds in Denmark came down to the wire until the final race was abandoned, tipping the Championship in favour of Queensland's Jason Beebe from the outgoing two-time world champion, Mark Bulka, who happens to represent McCrae Yacht Club. There was clear daylight to third placed Jesper Nielsen from Denmark, 33 points behind the winner.

After taking victory from Bulka by eight points, an emotional Beebe said: "I am very relieved. Light winds are not my forte – so anything could have happened in that last race.

"Mark Bulka is such a competitor - to beat him is really quite an honour. To have won it with him here is amazing."

A resigned Bulka wryly responded: "Mark Bulka, outgoing world champion here. Finished second, not too bad – I had my chances. I actually feel happy for Jason, I don't think I'd feel that happy for too many people beating me, but in his case, I am."

However, the Victorian warned: "In six months' time we're going to go again, and I'll make it a bit harder for him hopefully..."

Come January, the slate will be clean and Beebe will have to prove himself again – on Bulka's home turf, which would rattle the best of them. But not Beebe, who says he is happy to win just the one time.

"Quite possibly it will play into Mark's hands, but what will be will be," concedes a now relaxed Beebe, who gave away sailing the Contender in 1998 when family and work took over. He also tried his hand in two other classes before returning to the fold in 2015.

"I had a crack at International 14's and then at a 49er Olympic campaign for 2004, just to sail against the best. I got to do that against Chris Nicholson. It was a great time, but put into perspective that it wasn't for me, because it became a job, not fun," Beebe says.

"I bought a Contender again for last Worlds that Mark won (2016, after missing out by one point in 2015), but injury and work kept me out."

Bulka won the Nationals this January, by two points to Beebe.

"For whatever reason, at the moment Mark and I have a jump on the rest of the world. The person Mark or I need to worry most about is the Brit, Simon Mussell. But he's a big bloke and needs consistent big breeze.

Apart from the Europeans, Matt Mulder has won a few things (he is a past four-time Junior Australian champion and lays claim to a couple of Australian titles), but he's a big guy too and needs a bit more breeze."

Port Phillip Bay is usually pleased to provide such conditions during the period the Soho Lawyers Australian and iSail Whitsundays World Championships will take place.

"Contenders are truly one of the most international classes, with huge numbers sailing. When they hit that sweet spot, it's wonderful," Beebe says of the boat designed by the famous Ben Lexcen, who was then known as Bob Miller.

"I sail it because it's fun - and I'll continue to do it while it's fun - life's too short."

Following the Championships

Event organisers have made arrangements for family, friends and fans to follow the events via real time race tracking provided by Sail Racer and CST Composites, while daily video action comes to you from VRSports.

Alternatively, come to McCrae Yacht Club near Mornington to watch. The bar will be open for refreshments throughout racing. Racing at both events will be held from 2:00pm daily, weather permitting.

For further information visit www.mccraeyc.com.au/index.php/regattas/upcoming-regattas/2018-contender-worlds

Related Articles

Contenders at Filey
Older boats still showing tremendous speed Due to Halifax SC being drained for repairs a new venue was urgently needed. Filey SC kindly accepted us to join in their regatta. With camping at the top of the cliff and the bar open, many boats arrived the night before to rig early. Posted on 5 Jul
Kiel Week day 4
Hunger quenches his thirst for a 22nd title The international classes concluded the first half of Kiel Week today, with a German legend winning the 505 title after a few years in the wilderness. It was searingly hot in Kiel-Schilksee today, with temperatures touching over 30 degrees. Posted on 25 Jun
Kiel Week day 3
Lining up for some tense showdowns Germany's world-famous regatta has been delivering some sensational sailing conditions this week, as the international classes complete their penultimate day of competition. Posted on 24 Jun
Kiel Week day 2
75 races in dream-like conditions Kiel Week probably needs to hold back, otherwise it might be running out of superlatives. After the perfect Saturday, a Sunday of champagne sailing did follow. And this trend is supposed to go on. Posted on 24 Jun
Contender Eastern Area Championships
TT series visits Thorpe Bay and sailors come from as far as Bristol Thorpe Bay Yacht Club saw the Contender fleet gather for the Eastern Area Champions and Round 6 of the Travellers Series sponsored by Essex Rigging on the 15th & 16th July. With competitors travelling from as far afield as Bristol. Posted on 22 Jun
Contender Southern Championship at Highcliffe
Sailor's bodies were telling them they'd had a good day After trapeze hooks not being called into duty at Poole, the 26 strong fleet was looking forward to atleast some good Highcliffe stuff at their Southern Championships over the first weekend in June. Posted on 5 Jun
Contenders at Poole
One day of industrial-scale sail measuring and boat tinkering Everything was in place for a Joint Osprey and Contender open meeting over the weekend of 18/19 May 2019 and then climate change or something equally blame-worthy resulted in a weekend of light winds. Posted on 21 May
Performance defining dinghies - the Top Dogs
David Henshall digs into the history of the 'performance' dinghy What IS a 'performance' dinghy, and would we known one when we see one? Looking back into the history of the racing dinghy, adding the term 'performance' in front of the normal title didn't really exist until the early 1950s. Posted on 16 May
Contenders at Castle Cove
Like a cool towel on a fevered brow After two rounds of tricky inland events, a return to Castle Cove for the Contenders came like a cool towel on a fevered brow. Posted on 12 May
Hartley Boats Contender Nationals preview
Taking place at Broadstairs SC in September The Hartley Boats Contender Nationals 2019 will take place from Sept 6th-9th at Broadstairs Sailing CLub in Kent, with the early entry discount ending on 30th April. Posted on 26 Apr
RS Sailing 2019 - FooterNaiad 660x82px_TouristVaikobi 2019 - Footer 3