WA Tornado crews off to the Worlds

New 2009 Australian Tornado Champions, Brett Burvill and Ryan Duffield, who won the Australian Tornado Championship in Darwin last week, have only a few weeks back in Perth to finish their preparations for 2009 Tornado World Championships in Italy.

In Darwin, TEAM WINDRUSH raced in a field of 14 boats from all over Australia, including seven of the top teams from Western Australia. Six days of races were held during 4 to 11 July at the Darwin Sailing Club, Fannie Bay. Brett and Ryan dominated the races, battling tidal currents in light to moderate wind. Good intuitive nature and consistent training helped TEAM WINDRUSH win 11 of the 13 races.

Brett said, “Being able to race in Darwin on my boat that I built freed me up to deal with the currents.” He added, “I'd really like to have my boat in Italy, because I know how it feels and where
everything is. All Ryan or I have to do is pull the mainsheet [gesture] this amount and we know what the sails will look like. On a chartered boat it will take time to get that feel”

Brett and the other WA sailors have benefited from support from the Western Australian International Tornado Association and Nedlands Yacht Club. The Association and Club have coordinated freight for
boats, sponsors and race volunteers for state and national events.

One patron in particular, South West Group (SWG of Perth), has been an important annual patron of Western Australian state championships. Their sponsorship over several years was a key part to providing outstanding regatta locations. Attendance at Western Australian championship events and the number of top Tornado sailors grew in Western Australia, as athletes were attracted to the high-quality championship events. In turn, the better competition helped TEAM WINDRUSH and others develop national-level skills.

Two teams will represent Australia at the 2009 World Championships. TEAM WINDRUSH will be joining TEAM SONY MARINE (Jared Eyles/Billy Leonard also from Perth) at the international competition at Bogliaco Brescia on the west end of Lake Garda from 28 August to 4 September.

As the athletes prepare to travel overseas, the responsibility for freight, sponsorship and details shifts to the individual teams. Both teams are working with modest time-and-expense budgets by using all of their annual leave and a lot of family sacrifice to participate in the National and World competitions. Jared Eyles quipped, “This is a blokes only event. No tourism – no time.”

Currently, both teams are looking for air cargo options to get equipment and the TEAM WINDRUSH boat to Europe. There wasn't enough time for shipping the boats or equipment by sea cargo, because there was so little time between Darwin and Italy.

Australian Tornado sailors expect to see TEAM WINDRUSH in the top 10 to 15 finishers in the expected fleet of 50 to 80 international Tornado catamarans that will be competing. Daily results will be announced at the International Tornado Association site (tornado.org), the Australian International Tornado Association (aita.asn.au) and the Italian race organizer's site (centomiglia.it) as well as right here on mysailing.com.au.


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