Oceania & Australian ILCA Masters Championships

The 2023 Oceania & Australian Masters Championships were held at the Bay Sailing Centre Soldiers Point on Port Stephens from 10-13 March (it has taken me this long to recover!).

The fleets were split with ILCA 7+5, then the ILCA 6 GM+M and finally the ILCA 6 Apprentices, GGM and Legends. Macca, the RO and his team did a great job in very trying conditions.

With many sailors just having returned from the Worlds in Thailand, there was a feeling that they would have a distinct advantage over the rest of the fleets. However the 30 knot nor-easter that showed on the first day of racing was a total extreme for those returning sailors. Wind against tide created a serious amount of chop and on more than one occasion, sailors became separate from their capsized boats as the tide took them out and the breeze blew their boats in. Steve London, in the ILCA 7 fleet thankfully pulled out of racing to rescue a fellow sailor who had been in the water over 20 minutes – the problem then was getting both of them a few hundred metres downwind in those conditions!

Both fleets were stacked with talent with both newly crowned World champions present – Jeff Loosemore ILCA 6 GGM and Brett Bayer ILCA 7 GM. Jeff elected to sail the ILCA 7 for this regatta and I am sure he was questioning that decision as the breeze stayed in the whole 4 days. Day 2 conditions were very similar but not quite extreme as Day 1, then for Days 3 and 4 the wind swung right as a Southerly hit (and stayed).

Results show that no fleet had a standout leader and everyone was fighting for every spot. The short work to the finish was a classic place to loose or gain, especially after arriving at the bottom turning mark on a screaming reach and having to sheet on with aching muscles and cramp.

A great evening at the Bowlo on Sunday night and when all the Worlds sailors were asked to standup, you could see exactly why we are one of the biggest contingents on the world ILCA Masters scene.

With the Worlds heading to Adelaide in January, we can expect a massive turnout and hopefully more World Champions.

Full results here

Photographer for the event was Jon West – please visit his site for more pictures.
Steve

Sailworld_Banner_600x500
TMG-LAGOON-600×500-optimized
Race Yachts
Arcus-x-Cyclops-banner
Jeanneau JY55
TMG-LAGOON-600×500-optimized
Race Yachts
Arcus-x-Cyclops-banner