Please select your home edition
Plas Menai 2015

Viper World Championship at Royal Geelong Yacht Club - Day 2

by Lisa Ratcliff 10 Jan 2017 09:48 GMT 7-15 January 2017

Jack Felsenthal and Shaun Connor continued their Viper Worlds 2017 dominance with two more triumphs on a picture-perfect Corio Bay, but on the war path are the current Australian Viper champions Daniel and Nathan Van Kerckhof, the only team to take a win off the lead pair so far.

Monday's gloominess and light winds shifted to summer sunshine and sea breezes 14-17 gusting to 19 knots by the time race 5 got underway in Stingaree Bay on Corio Bay's eastern shore on Tuesday January 10, 2017. The Viper catamarans shifted into fifth gear and the ideal sailing day became about boat handling, crew work and plenty of saltwater in the eyes.

"We haven't done much sailing over 12 months, we feel like we've been operating around 50% and today we started to hit our straps," said Dan, who skippers. "As the day went on our racing became cleaner and in the second race we really pushed Jack quite hard. The boat handling really came up a notch today and our confidence and cause too, we are starting to pick better lanes.

"Tomorrow the forecast is good for us, we are on the heavier side and we know how to muscle the boat around, and where we sail (Port Stephens) is quite rough. If it blows we'll be happy to have a dig and not let Jack get his way too easy," Dan added.

In 2012 the current Australian champions and class good guys established their own mentoring program called Send It Marine, also the name of their Viper. "We started Send It Marine to pass down some of our knowledge to the youth guys, to show support and make it easier for them," Nathan explained.

Third in the pointscore, three points off second, is Tayla Rietman and Lachlan White sailing Thanks Again Dad and fourth is the French world champion Emmanuel Le Chapelier and his crew Tho Constance. Rietman and White plan to step up to a Nacra 17 this year and spend time overseas competing on the European circuit.

Laurent Verbeek's young crewmate Stef Haazen is quieter and less smiley than usual this afternoon after seeking medical attention for a split lip that required stitches, the result of a fall overboard at the top mark in the first race of the day. The Belgium team plan to return to the racetrack tomorrow with and Haazen will be wearing a mouth guard to protect his stitches.

Noticeably more than in other high-performance classes are Viper crews at the Australian Viper Worlds who are father/son, partner and sibling combinations, either sailing alongside or against each other.

A lot of discussion over the years around the kitchen table about boat using the salt shaker as the top mark has evolved into a long-term sailing partnership for Gary and his 32 year-old son Ross Purcell from Sugarloaf Reservoir, North Melbourne.

Gary is one of the senior skippers at the Viper Worlds and on the experience of sailing with his son for the past 12 years he said, "Unless you have a bloody good crew you are a nothing. The feeling in your guts when you are operating at your end of the boat, knowing your crew is doing at the front what you expect. When you slam it through a tack and your crew is already out on the wire...."

Ross would love a top ten finish though he's realistic given the international field, "We aren't up against a bunch of slouches; you don't underestimate the opposition."

Competitors have a third consecutive day of racing out of Royal Geelong Yacht Club on Wednesday January 11 before a layday on Thursday. Racing in the Viper Worlds presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover resumes Friday January 13 until Sunday January 15.

Related Articles

Viper Worlds at Geelong overall
Jack Felsenthal and Shaun Connor wrap up the win They led from the outset and at the conclusion of the Viper Worlds 2017 Australians Jack Felsenthal and Shaun Connor (Charter World) beat the immediate past French world champion and took out the series by nine points. Posted on 15 Jan 2017
Viper Worlds at Geelong day 5
Another day blown out A second day of high winds confined Viper Worlds crews to another long wait at the RGYC in Victoria, Australia, before the decision was made at 1500hrs to postpone racing until Sunday January 15, 2017, the final day of the world championship. Posted on 14 Jan 2017
Viper Worlds at Geelong day 4
Strong winds lead to no racing Strong NNW winds gusting to 37 knots on Geelong's Corio Bay and poor visibility kept Viper world championship crews ashore on day four of the multi-national title presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover. Posted on 13 Jan 2017
Viper Worlds at Geelong day 3
Fresh winds test the mettle of even the most experienced Corio Bay's summer sea breeze can test the mettle of the most experienced sailor and on day three of the Viper Worlds 2017 it threw a few off their feet, producing a number of dramatic capsizes that made great fodder for the waiting photographers. Posted on 11 Jan 2017
Viper Worlds at Geelong day 1
Weary crew put in massive effort to lead Winners of the opening two races of the Viper Worlds 2017, Jack Felsenthal and Shaun Connor, shrugged off the fact they both finished different regattas in Adelaide on Sunday. Posted on 9 Jan 2017
Vipers using Sailing World Cup Melbourne
As world championship preparation Young gun Jack Challands started sailing at four years of age and at the Sailing World Cup Final Melbourne, December 4-11, the now 14 year-old is skippering a Viper multihull in preparation for the 2017 Viper Worlds across Port Phillip Bay at Geelong. Posted on 10 Dec 2016
Olympians launch 2016 Sailing World Cup Final
Less than three weeks to go With less than 3 weeks until Australia's largest Olympic and Invited class regatta hits the waters of Port Phillip Bay, the event organisers are excited with the participation from international and national sailors. Posted on 15 Nov 2016
Viper world champion to strike at Geelong
Up to 40 teams set for Worlds on Corio Bay Up to 40 Viper catamarans are expected to contest the International Viper Class World Championship 2017 over January 7-15 including the current French world champion and two top national youth teams, with a Rietman twin on each boat. Posted on 15 Oct 2016
World Cup Final places available by request
The chance to race in Melbourne in December The first offer to be part of the Sailing World Cup Final, Melbourne in December made to the top 20 ranked in each Olympic class by the world sailing body has reaped high calibre entries from multiple countries. Posted on 14 Jul 2016
Sail Sydney 2015 overall
Blue skies and plenty of wind Sail Sydney's fourth and final day of racing came with the same side order of blue skies and wind, a result of the high pressure system sitting over the Tasman and associated trough pushing cooling sea breezes onto the New South Wales coastline. Posted on 20 Dec 2015