Victorian ILCA Laser sailors busy Spring and Summer

The Victorian ILCA Laser sailors are out in good numbers with training sessions and regattas leading into the Australian and World ILCA Championships and World ILCA Masters championships in Adelaide in January and February 2024.

The Victorian  ILCA Association’s two-day ILCA Inland Championships was sailed at Lake Eppalock near Bendigo in light to moderate conditions on the Melbourne Cup Day long weekend. Sixty-three boats sailed the regatta across the ILCA4, ILCA6, and ILCA7 rig divisions, with a good mix of youth and masters sailors from Melbourne and country Victorian clubs enjoying the Lake sailing and the hospitality of the Bendigo Yacht Club members. Fifteen junior Optimist sailors added to the event with a coaching Regatta across the weekend.
The emergence of the youth sailors, with most having graduated from sailing Optimists, was a feature of the ILCA racing. Five of the top six placings across the three rig divisions went to youth sailors with
ILCA4’s 1st Aidan Simmons, 2nd Callum Simmons,
ILCA 6’s 1st Mark Tonner Joyce (Masters) 2nd Riley Cantwell 
ILCA7’s 1st Patrick Cummin (1st ILCA7) 2nd Lachie Weber,

A two day training camp followed the Inland Waters Regatta with coaching from Rhett Gowans the Victorian ILCA Head Coach and Mark Bulka who has sailed various classes at an international level including Lasers and Matt Himson an experienced coach and Laser sailor. A number of the experienced current Optimist sailors took up the opportunity to have sails on the Victorian ILCA Association Lasers on the training days, and are looking to join the ILCA ranks in the next couple of years, continuing the pipeline from Optimist to the Laser ILCA class.

The Victorian fleet will be joined by a number from interstate for the Victorian State Open & Masters Championships to be sailed from Port Melbourne Yacht Club on the northern end of Port Phillip on 25 and 26 November. The ILCA6 Radial fleet will be the largest with Casey Imeneo returning from an Australian Sailing Team camp in Sydney to defend her ILCA6 2021/22 Victorian Championship win. Super coach and multiple World masters champion Brett Beyer from Sydney has entered and will test the quality of the Victorian Masters fleet.
The Sail Melbourne Regatta at 30 November to 3 December follows on from the Victorian ILCA championships with a strong ILCA (Laser) presence with strong entries from Interstate including World Champion Matt Wearn, Australian Sailing team members, and a number of overseas competitors.

Rod Thomas
Rear Commodore, Albert Sailing Club for Victorian ILCA Association

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