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Excitement building ahead of Perth 2019 International WASZP Games

by Marc Ablett 23 Aug 2018 15:53 PDT 22-28 January 2019
Pierre Leboucher - International WASZP Games © Hartas Productions and Martina Orsini

Excitement is building with the International WASZP Games now only 5 months away. Starting on the 22nd of January and going through to the 28th of January this is and event that should not be missed.

The spectacle of 100+ WASZPs foiling around the Swan River in the middle of a Western Australian summer will be a sight to behold. With this budding class gaining huge popularity around the world with over 630 boats sold in the first 2 years of production, expectations are high for a large and quality fleet to hit Perth in January.

The WASZP is leading the way in breaking down the barriers often associated with sailing, as well as local and overseas travel. The fact the boats can be dismantled with relative ease, placed in a box and shipped from Europe to Australia return for around €400 is a significant bonus. Not only this but the cost of getting into the class is affordable as well, with a new boat ready to sail setting you back $USD10,500 the whole package has set a standard in high performance sailing.

The ease of rigging the WASZP lends itself to a fantastic event experience. The fact that you can rig up and be on the water in 10mins foiling at speeds of 25knots downwind is amazing. The WASZP has introduced innovative formats and racing schedules to allow the maximum amount of time racing in pristine conditions while maintaining a strong focus off the water, for families, friends and competitors to enjoy their holidays. At the Australian nationals the whole event was on-call, making a decision the night before to meet an hour before the best time to sail and go racing, it worked perfectly. No more sitting around yacht clubs all day twiddling thumbs. In the down time, social events are organised whether its meeting down the beach, going for a surf, a beach volleyball competition or going to the local pub for lunch. It also gives an opportunity for all competitors to pick the brains of the WASZP team or top sailors, with tuning and set-up clinics often run during these periods.

This International WASZP Games at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club we have worked exceptionally hard to find the ideal balance. On the registration day we will be holding the 1st ever stand alone International WASZP Slalom event that will be Live streamed around the world on social media. Then we roll into 4 days of Championship racing. We will be having a competitors party on the 25th of January and then there will be a boat cruise out to Rottnest Island for Australia Day to celebrate with families, friends and competitors which is what this class is about, it's a LIFESTYLE! The final 2 days will incorporate championship racing to decide the Championship.

With a lot of top sailors in WASZPs already the competition will be the fiercest it has been at the top end. Tom Trotman from Australia has come off a winter of hard work and training, culminating in winning the overall European Championship and will be one to beat. There is a lot of talent from other classes in Australia looking to get involved in the class for the WASZP Games and why wouldn't you when you can pick up a boat from our Perth base or Melbourne factory for $AUD16,200 ready to sail. Foiling has become such an integral part of a sailors armoury, that many sailors on professional or Olympic campaigns are jumping into the WASZP for some high level cross training.

From Europe/UK it looks like all the top guns are coming, led by Nicolai Jacobsen from Norway, former 470 Olympian Pierre Leboucher from France and up and coming superstar Rory Hunter from the UK. From NZ, Bruce Curson has been putting in the time and sailed beautifully to get 2nd place at the Euros, while Team NZ team member Elise Beavis has been doing a lot of training, Peter Soosalu also had a promising 2017/18 campaign. In the USA it will be Conner Blouin and Reed Baldridge leading the charge and what can be guaranteed is that this will be the most competitive fleet ever assembled in the WASZP's short history.

But for all WASZP sailors it is a chance to come along, have a ripper time with awesome people and learn a lot about foiling. The culture that has been created in this class has shown that it doesn't matter whether you are at the top of the fleet or the tail, everyone is on a level playing field, on and off the water. We have seen this in other countries, with Tom Trotman and Reed Baldridge running many clinics for lesser experienced sailors learning their craft in the USA and AUS, all while having many laughs along the way and keeping it the most fun sailing experience you can have!

See you all in PERTH 2019! You won't want to miss it.

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