The final day of the Qantas 2013 Raceboard and Techno 293 Championship was abandoned due the extreme weather created by the ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. The effects of this weather system were felt in Queensland and Northern NSW causing extensive flooding and coastal damage. Most Queensland competitors are still awaiting roads to open to allow them to travel back home.
Hawks Nest was largely spared any destructive action however constant rain, large swells and high winds meant that racing in the Oceanic championship was not possible with any measure of safety. In the normally calm Nelson Bay where racing is conducted large swells were seen breaking at various locations.
The final placings in the Raceboard class are as follows;
• Oceanic Mens Champion : Leo Sharpe
• Oceanic Ladies Champion: Tara McCall
• Open Age Champion : James Grunfelder
• Masters Age Champion : Leo Sharpe
• Australian Lightweight Champion : Martin Thearle
• Australian Mediumweight Champion : Leo Sharpe
• Australian Heavyweight Champion : James Grunfelder
As overall champion, Leo Sharpe also received two domestic airfares, from major sponsor Qantas, presented by Marketing Manager (and windsurfer) Louis Pullen.
The final placings in the Techno 293 class are as follows;
• Oceanic U17 Boys Champion: Jacob Whitford
• Oceanic U17 Girls Champion: Emma Baillie
• Oceanic Open Girls Champion: Lara O’Brien, on countback from Samantha Sterling
The top Techno sailor at the event was Brazilian U17 Boy Brenno Francioli, recording 4 wins from 5 starts.
The top RSX sailor, winning the Downunder Pro RSX Championship was Luke Baillie, winning all races.
All in all the 2013 Oceanic regatta was very successful with a pleasing growth in the Raceboard fleet, particularly with the resurgence in Queensland. A great effort by the racecrew, ably lead by Principle Race Officer Nick Nelson, with all delighted by the courses and the general organisation.
On Day two of the Raceboard Oceanics, sailors woke up to a strong and steady downpour a rain that seldom let up throughout the whole day. Nonetheless a windward return course was set once the shifting and light winds had settled and there was enough visibility that the marks could be seen.
In stark contrast to the forecast strong winds, the fleet slowly drifted out to the start line in a light North Easterly wind. Just before the start of the race the breeze started to pick up to be a variable and 8-15 knots with gusts up to 18 knots. The increase in wind suited those who had chosen to register smaller sails, bringing the fleet close together. With the out-flowing tide playing havoc, a general recall was followed by two sailors being marginally called OCS (On Course Side). Unfortunately for James Grunfelder and Leo Sharpe, the tips of their sails crossed the line, robbing them for a first and second respectively. Glen Morrell Coming across the line in third took the win by default. Brendan Moore came in next, followed by Ben Morrell.
After tuning gear for the higher winds, sailors went back out for the second race and were met with strong, but still variable winds, with gusts up to and exceeding 20 knots. Martin Thearle showed his skills in being first to the top mark, yet larger sails had the advantage downwind, and he was overtaken. In a tough race James Grunfelder took the win, mastering the conditions, followed by Brendan Moore, similarly coping well with the strong winds. Leo Sharpe overcame being dumped by some powerful gusts to come in third.
After the lunch break the wind had dropped off and changed direction, giving lighter winds, and bringing the course close to some large swell rolling in through Port Stephens heads. With slower speeds, sailors were more congested, and a number of sailors were able to get closer to the front; the lighter winds suiting their sailing. Leo Sharpe, with speed up wind was able to hold his advantage pumping downwind, and took the win. James Grunfelder just took second in a tight tussle with Ben Morrell, requiring hard pumping and manoeuvring from the top mark to the finish line.
The wind dropped slightly more for the last race of the day (averaging near to 8 knots). Richie Reynolds showed how well he can race with attached slot flushers (detached slot flushers hampering his efforts in all previous races) and was first to round the top mark. Bigger sails again prevailed downwind with Leo taking the lead. Shifting and variable winds, and rolling swell made picking lay-lines difficult, with relative successes and failures leading to a close finish, Leo taking the win. There was a close battle between James and Ben again for second place with Ben just able to prevail.
Competitors were able to make the most of an otherwise miserable day, competitors, have racing over a whole range of wind strengths to test to all round sailing abilities of the fleet. The lighter conditions at the end of the day left had many feeling well worked after the day of sailing. With a forecast for more rain and 40+ knot winds on day 3 (the final day), it is unsure whether there will be any more races in the championship. Hopes are that the forecast turns out to be wrong as it did today.
Standings after day 2 of racing:
1st – Leo Sharpe
2nd – James Grunfelder
3rd – Brendan Moore
The first day of the 2013 Oceanic Raceboard Championship saw a fleet of 27 sailors take to the idyllic waters of Hawks Nest NSW for four tough races. There were a number skilled racers of the past coming back to make a competitive fleet. It was fantastic to have a good contingent of sailors from Queensland (8), making the event more of a national affair.
Registrations gave a dilemma to competitors for sail choice, with only two sails able to be registered and strong winds forecast for the 3 days of racing. The fleet had a bit of a one design look, with a large number of Severne 9.5 Raceboard sails (16) and Starboard 377 Phantoms (12) being sailed by the fleet.
Racing started at 1 pm, with a strong 15-20 knot North Easter with gusts up to 25. A swell had started to build and there was a strong outgoing current. Leo Sharpe took the first race, followed closely by James Grunfelder sailing with an older, Mistral One Design 7.5 sail, showing that larger sails aren’t always better. Brendan Moore came in third.
The second race saw several sailors change down to smaller sails. Leo stayed on his Severne 9.5 RB sail, and was able to get the win again. After a better start, Glen Morrell came in second, followed by Brendan Moore again in third. There was close competitive racing amongst the top 5-6 boards.
The third race of the day saw a similarly competitive race. With slightly stronger winds, James Grunfelder’s sail suited the conditions, and some great sailing brought him the win. Glen Morrell couldn’t quite overtake James and came in second. Leo Sharpe, starting to get to the limit of his 9.5, still finished strongly in third.
In the last race of the day, the wind was slightly lighter, being more to the liking of a number of sailors. Leo, ironically, rigged down to a Severne Reflex 3, 8.7 for what turned out to be the lightest race of the day, yet showed his class and was first over the line. In a consistent display Glen took second, followed by Ben Morrell in third.
Unfortunately the conditions proved quite difficult for many sailors, though efforts were made by all to get as far as they could around the course. Racing was close all day for the front group of sailors, who enjoyed the conditions of the day.
The fleet were treated to a fantastic P course set by the race crew, demanding sailors to display all aspects of Raceboard sailing, with a long work, nice reaches and a downwind leg. The course showed the versatility of the Raceboard, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all competitors. A big thanks to the efficient race crew.
With Formula, RSX and Bic Techno also racing on the same course, the day was a fantastic exposition of windsurfing (near to 70 sailors). Racing was followed by an Australia day BBQ, bringing all the windsurfers together.
Thanks must go to the volunteers of the race crew who enabled the maximum races to be completed by all classes, made more important due to the forecast of strong and ballistic winds on Monday, and possibly Sunday.
At the end of day 1 the top 3 are:
Leo Sharp – 6 pts
James Grunfelder – 12 pts
Glen Morrell – 13 pts
The online regatta entry system is now operational. This is now done via the main Downunder Pro website. Click on the link www.fw-australia.com/race-office/registration/, fill in the relevant details and click on the “Submit & Pay” button. Your details are saved in a database and you are taken to PayPal. You can pay using a debit card, credit card or through your own PayPal account.
Entry fees are ; Senior $125, Junior (born in or after 1996) $100
Note that the raceboard classes are:
- Master Man – born in 1977 or earlier
- Master Woman – born in 1982 or earlier
- Youth – born in 1994 or earlier
- Man or Woman – not in the above categories
The Techno 293 classes are:
- Junior – born between 1999 and 2002 inclusive
- Youth – born between 1997 and 2000 inclusive
- Open (A17) – born in 1996 or earlier
Note that the PayPal processing is via the Windsurfing NSW account.
The notice of race is now posted – click on the link on the left sidebar to download – it’s a pdf.
Note also the health information form – this is for juniors.
This site is for the upcoming 2013 Raceboard Oceanic and Australian Championship and 2013 Techno 293 Oceanic Championship.
Click here to see the 2012 website