Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

iSail Whitsundays International Contender World and Australian Championships Preview

by Jane Moffat 3 Jan 20:41 GMT 16-25 January 2018
Mark Bulka from the 2016 Worlds in Santa Cruz © Santa Cruz Yacht Club

Ask double World Champion Mark Bulka who's going to win the 2018 iSail Whitsundays International Contender Worlds at his home yacht club McCrae, and he pauses for thought and considers the list of entrants. He's got the home town advantage, and two International Contender world titles to his name, but with five other World Champions competing it's not clear cut.

McCrae Yacht Club on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria will host the 2018 iSail Whitsundays International Contender World and Australian Championships starting on 15 January. Currently 87 entries from eight countries make this the largest International Contender World Championship to be held in the Southern hemisphere, and with six World Champions along with numerous top five finishers, the competition on the water will be fierce.

What has happened to make the championships so popular? Bulka puts it down to a couple of factors, a vibrant and supportive class association, availability and cost of boats, class rules have kept prices reasonable, and they are fun and fast to sail.

From sailing a Laser and rounding the bottom mark thinking 'argghh I've got to sail that far upwind'. Bulka now wishes the windward legs were longer. "The Contender is much more fun upwind, there's good sailing on every leg."

Of the World Champions competing what are their preferred conditions? Bulka along with Jono Neate (AUS) and Jason Beebe (AUS) are comfortable in most conditions, the all rounders. If conditions are at the top of the wind range, then Simon Mussell (UK) will be in his element, and at the other end of the scale, light airs will likely see Antonio Lambertini (ITA) prevail.

Andrea Bonezzi (ITA) is a seven time Contender World Champion, and 'a great thinker' commented Bulka. Being a 'thinkers boat' is another reason why Bulka likes the Contender. "Sailing a Contender needs skill and tactics not just strength and power, it's a gear changing boat, you need to think and strategise, you can't just sit and not tweak the boat".

Outside of the six World Champions, who else will Bulka need to keep an eye on? "Scott Cunningham (AUS) is a good natural sailor and could easily make a top five finish, he's been pushing me during our training sessions", commented Bulka. "Matt Mulder (AUS) is another one to watch he's good in a breeze". What we can be sure of is with that many world champions on the water and others hot on their heels the daily race results will make for interesting reading.

Championship information and results via www.mccraeyc.com.au

Related Articles

iSail Whitsundays Contender Worlds overall
The 'Grand Finale' between Bulka and Beebe The 'Grand Finale' between the two mighty Contenders - Mark Bulka and Jason Beebe. Posted on 25 Jan
iSail Whitsundays Contender Worlds day 4
Bulka dominates the penultimate day What a fight for the Contender Worlds at McCrae Yacht Club. Mark Bulka dominated the penultimate day with two back-to-back wins, but Jason Beebe won't let go of his title just yet. Posted on 24 Jan
iSail Whitsundays Contender Worlds day 3
Everyone expected the duel between Bulka and Beebe - well they have it! Two points separating them after the discard came into play after Day Three of the Contender Worlds hosted by McCrae Yacht Club, Australia. Local sailor, Mark Bulka, had a blistering day on the water with a first and second Posted on 23 Jan
iSail Whitsundays Contender Worlds day 2
Beebe dominating the competition and big start lines Jason Beebe, current World Champion, is dominating the competition and big start lines. Stretching his overall lead with 7th, 1st and 2nd providing him with a valuable four point difference from fellow Aussie, Scott Cunningham. Posted on 22 Jan
iSail Whitsundays Contender Worlds day 1
Beebe leads until the final downwind gate Peter Merritt, Principal Race Officer, took the fleet left to Rosebud in search of wind and promptly started the first race with 90 boats and six World Champions. Posted on 21 Jan
Soho Lawyers Australian Contender Championship
Aussies start strong ahead of the Worlds in Melbourne The Melbourne weather played games with competitors in the 2018 Soho Lawyers Australian International Contender Championship. Posted on 20 Jan
Contender Worlds coming to Australia
At McCrae Yacht Club in January McCrae Yacht Club in Melbourne, Victoria, is to host both the 2018 Australian and World Championships in the International Contender class on Port Phillip Bay in January when over 80 entries from Australia and worldwide are expected to attend. Posted on 7 Oct 2017
Ronstan Victorian Tasar State Titles
McCrae Yacht Club comes to the rescue With two weeks to go before the 2016 Ronstan Victorian Tasar Championships the organising committee learnt that the venue, Yarrawonga, was under a Blue Green algae alert with strong recommendations that water born activities are not performed. Posted on 23 Mar 2016
Calling all Victorian Tasar Sailors!
Training days in November and February Are you a club sailor or relatively new to sailing a Tasar and know you need to improve your sailing skills but not sure how? Then come along to one or more of the Tasar Association of Victoria's (TAV) training days. Posted on 25 Nov 2015
B14 World Championship overall
Australia wins the Ashes Team Hamburg Sud/Leaky Pipes, consisting of 12 European B14s (11 UK and 1 France) attended the B14 Worlds in McCrae, Victoria, Australia from the 2–6 January 2015. Posted on 22 Jan 2015