The nine invited classes that made up this year’s Sailing World Cup enjoyed excellent racing across the eight courses laid off the St Kilda sailing precinct on Port Phillip, Melbourne. Over four days the sailors encountered a range of conditions that tested their skills, fitness and patience.
Under the watchful eye of Principal Race Officer Kevin Wilson, four race management teams, each led by an International Race Officer, guided the 340 or so young sailors through some difficult World Cup conditions including a 40 plus knot squall that shutdown Friday’s schedule and sent the juniors scurrying back to the beach.
“We said all along we want the invited classes to keep coming back,” Wilson said. “It was also a fantastic opportunity for them to mix with the Olympic classes and the medallists.”
Laser Radial Men
Current NSW state champion Finn Alexander held onto his series lead in the 35-boat fleet, securing first place overall in the eight-race series ahead of Australian Youth Sailing Team member Alistair Young and fellow West Australian Caelin Winchcombe.
The Malaysian Youth Team member, Azman Asri, finished ninth and the New Zealand Youth Team member George Gautrey finished 10th.
Another large fleet of 32 youth Laser 4.7 sailors raced hard. In first place was Queensland Youth Squad member Thomas Needham, second was Hailey Johnson (WA) and third was George Morton (QLD).
Australian Youth Sailing Team members Lia Jerwood and Lisa Smith (WA) took top honours in the 420 class ahead of Sophie McIntosh and Emily Summerell (NSW) and Nicholas Sharman and James Grogan (VIC).
In fifth place was New Zealand Youth Team members Kerensa Jennings and Chelsea Rees.
“We had three New Zealand boats and our competition was really close. It was great to have them here to train against,” Jerwood said.
The World Cup proved a valuable training event for the O’pen Bic sailors, many of whom have only been in the class for about a year.
In first place overall in the international fleet was a dominant Tom Wright (QLD), second was Michael Parks (VIC) and third Youenn Bertin (FRA).
Many of the Bic sailors now head a few miles down the road to Safety Beach for the start of the World O’pen Cup 2015 on December 27.
Daniel and Nathan Van Kerckhof (NSW) are the Viper champions, too strong for the second placed team of Jack Felsenthal and Ed James (VIC). In third was Tayla Rietman and Kenton Shue (VIC).
South Australia’s Bob Schahinger won the Liberty class, achieving a first in all six races. Second place in the international fleet went to Cathie Stewart (VIC) and in third was Robert Eadie (TAS).
It was an all-Victorian 16-boat fleet contesting the podium places for this junior class. The top places went to Anna O’Brien ahead of Kate Evans and George Aulich.
Australian Youth Sailing Team members Kurt Hansen and Jim Colley (NSW) won their skiff class, consistently placing in the nine-race series with seven firsts, a third and a fourth. Second overall was Thomas Alexander and Liam Robinson (VIC) and in third John Cooley and Simon Hoffman (NSW).
All the hard work and fun of the last week for the 102 young sailors confidently competing in light and heavy conditions came down to today. The final top place was won by Archie Cropley (NSW) and second went to Cropley’s clubmate Cole Tapper. In third was Marcello Torre (WA).
Full results for all invited classes are available at http://sailmelbourne.com.au/website/results.html
By Tracey Johnstone