NSW Formula Windsurfing State Championship + NSW Windsurfing Tour (Heat-4)
Ramsgate Beach, Botany Bay, Sydney
With mid-season upon us, the stakes to the game were lifted with Heat 4 of the NSW Windsurfing Tour and the Formula NSW State Championship all wrapped up into one event. The titles attract the trophy hunters and in true Queensland spirit, Sean O’Brien AUS-120 arrived, fresh from the professional European season with a new Formula board and sails in tow, ready to rip our NSW title from our grasp.
The weather was always going to be the biggest challenge of the weekend with 10knot NE forecast for Saturday and potentially nothing on Sunday. This put the Race Officer (RO) under immense pressure to race whenever the wind was at the championship limit (basically 8+ knots from a stationary boat). The wind filled in at about 3pm to the minimum and we were away for what was always going to be a tough session. Steve Floyd AUS-222 bolted on port to lead at the 1st mark on his 11m, only to be tracked down by Sean, with Sam Parker AUS-3 coming in 3rd. In the Free Formula (the old FE+) Barry Fawkes AUS-2111 continued his winning season beating David Flanagan AUS-057 who was sporting a brand new NP EvoIV 10m. Mick Saunders AUS-149 was 3rd.
With the wind still hovering above the limit another race was set in motion. Brett Morris AUS-8 and Sean decided to take the port start option which resulted in a large lead at the 1st mark, which Sean expanded on to win easily. Brett on the other only received a box seat to watch the new and improved (12kgs lighter) Glen Morrell AUS-83, Mike Nelson AUS-12 and Steve Walsh AUS-55 mow him down on the final downwind for a 5th. Barry dominated the FF, but Roger Lucas AUS-303 proved his light wind potential with a 2nd.
With 3 races required for a championship, little chance of racing on Sunday and the wind dying but swinging to the predicted NE, the RO decided to wait until the last possible minute to get in the decisive last race of the day. This proved to be a wise move with the wind swinging and filling in to the best conditions of the day. Sean made it 3 bullets on the hop (welcome back!!!), with Mike and Steve Floyd having strong finishes for the minor places. Barry Fawkes had the same result in the FF with 3 bullets, but 2nd place when to David Howe AUS-688 who is now consistently in the top 5. Mick Saunders produced his third 3rd for the day. With a 7pm finish there was no socializing (that I know of?), just home to a meal and well earned sleep.
Sunday 11 DEc-11
30+ degrees, and a nicely developing easterly breeze surprised us all, and the course was set for more racing until….the sky turned black and the lightening began. Racing was cancelled for safety reasons as the storm was predicted, with no wind to follow, which is exactly what happened. Congratulations to QLD’s Sean O’Brien on getting bragging rights on NSW for another year and also to Barry Fawkes on winning the FF division, which is growing in participation at every event.
Thanks to Nick Nelson our RO, who produced the best possible result from an almost impossible forecast?
Reminder to pre-register and pay for the biggest event of the 2011-12 season, where we are hoping to attract up to 100 competitors. http://www.fw-australia.com/race-office/registration/
Final Results can be found here:
NSW Formula State Championships Results
Overall Season Pointscore (After Heat 4):