Cropley and Paul storm home in 29er Nationals

New South Wales, Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne champions in the 29er skiffs, Archie Cropley and Max Paul, yesterday stormed home on an 18-20 knot Derwent River seabreeze to snatch victory in the 2019 Australia championship.

Cropley and Paul came from seven points down at the end of Sunday’s penultimate day to finish three points clear of Tasmanians William Wallis and Fynn Sprott.

The Tasmanians on Sunday evening suffered a major setback with a race incident disqualification in race eight, adding to their BFD (black flag) starting penalty in race nine.

The Middle Harbour Yacht Club crew sailed a brilliant final day, starting with a second to another Tasmanian crew, Oscar O’Donoghue and Rupert Hamilton. They then surfed away in the 18-20 knot sou’easter to win the final two of the 15 race series.

Wallis and Sprott were able to discard both disqualifications, but their final day result of 11-2-2 on the water was just not good enough.

Another fine result from the small Tasmanian contingent from Sandy Bay Sailing Club came from young Oscar O’Donoghue and Rupert Hamilton who finished fourth overall. Alice Buchanan and Devla Duggan, also from Sandy Bay, were first all-female crew.

In the 49ers, the Olympic two-male skiff class, Victorian brothers Sam and Will Phillips, finished with a remarkable 15 straight wins to take out the championships

Sydney sailor Will Cooley and his new crew, Bec Hancock, successfully defending his Nacra 15 catamaran title.


– Peter Campbell

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