Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Generic 728x90
Product Feature
Zhik Powerpads II - hike harder for longer!
Zhik Powerpads II - hike harder for longer!
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Star-studded fleet to challenge for Ronstan Australian Finn Championship

by Robert Deaves 7 Jan 14:16 GMT 7-12 January 2019
The Finn fleet at Sail Melbourne © Beau Outteridge / Sail Melbourne 2018

Thirteen international Finn sailors have joined 27 Australian Finn sailors for the Ronstan 2019 Australian Finn National Championship, which begins at Black Rock Yacht Club, in Melbourne, on Tuesday.

The fleet includes 2018 European Champion, Ed Wright, 2016 Olympic champion, Giles Scott, and 2016 U23 European Champion Henry Wetherell, all from Britain, 2016 European Champion, Pieter-Jan Postma, and 2018 Tokyo World Cup winner, Nicholas Heiner, both from the Netherlands. In addition, 2018 Kiel Week winner Josh Junior, and Andy Maloney, both from New Zealand are taking part as well as sailors from Japan, China and Bermuda.

The 40-boat fleet will be the strongest fleet to contest the Australian championship in 20 years. For the Australian sailors taking part, the event has increased significance, as it is the main qualifying regatta for the 2019 Finn Gold Cup, which is being held in December at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

European champion, Wright, commented, "The British Finn squad and various other top nations have been down in Australia for a while now. We are all getting a lot out of the amazing conditions and the friendly atmosphere from the Royal Brighton YC. They made us very welcome in their new club facility. Now we have moved to Black Rock just down the road ready for the nationals, which looks to be a great forecast. It's going to be tough racing with many talented sailors. It all starts tomorrow. Let's see how it goes."

The defending champion is Jake Lilley, but he will have a tough time to repeat this week. The Australian fleet includes all the international sailors, who have been training hard in recent weeks.

The 2017 champion, Oli Tweddell, is happy to see such a large fleet on home waters.

"It's pretty amazing to have such a big turnout from overseas, and also domestically."

"All the international sailors have been training in Melbourne getting ready for the Worlds later in the year, so the training has been of the highest quality, and I'd expect another great event with lots of tight racing."

"Our masters and junior fleet are also very strong, so it will be great to see them all battling it out for those titles."

The Australian U23 sailors will be pushing hard for the U23 title. Based on recent performance, Jock Calvert, from Tasmania, should be favourite, and is up against Lachlan Gilham, who won the silver medal in the U19 category at the 2018 Finn Silver Cup, and Harmon McAulley, both from Perth.

One overseas sailor who has made Australia his training base as he attempts to qualify for Tokyo 2020 is Rockal Evans, from Bermuda.

"Training in Australia has been great. I'm seeing improvements all around the race course, upwind and downwind. Really looking forward to the Australian Nationals. It's a nice size fleet with lots of people from overseas."

One intriguing battle the championship could produce is between the two Dutch sailors. Last time they met, in Aarhus, Postma came out on top. Heiner later won the first big event at the Olympic venue in Tokyo.

Postma is sailing a borrowed boat this week, but said, "It a big honour to be here and race."

"Tomorrow we start and I don't feel ready without my own mast and boat, and still adjusting to heat. But even with that, let's check where we stand. And give it some."

The regatta follows straight on from last week's Australian OK Dinghy Championship at Black Rock, with a number of sailors taking part in both events.

The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Hon Martin Pakula MP, commented, "Hosting events such as OK Dinghy National Championships and Finn Australian Championships, and doing it so well, is one of the reasons that Victoria is the sporting and major events capital of Australia."

"Victoria lives and breathes sport and no one puts on a show like we do. More than 500 events have been funded through the Significant Sporting Events Program alone and more than half of those events were held in regional Victoria, boosting local jobs and economies. These events are so important to our visitor economy, which is worth over $25 billion to Victoria, employing over 214,500 people across the state, and that's why the Victorian Government is proud to be supporting this event through the $17.7 million Significant Sporting Events Program."

Ten races are scheduled from Tuesday 8 January to Saturday 12 January. The long range forecast looks perfect with mild temperatures and sea breezes predicted for the first few days, getting hotter later in the week, with some big wind expected near the end of the championship.

All event documents, the entry list and results when available can be found at www.bryc.com.au/news/11046

Related Articles

Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival overall
Final day sees tricky conditions and short course racing The Medemblik Regatta closed with some exciting racing. There was some delay due to light and shifty wind, but the end of the day all races are sailed. In the RS:X Youth a complete French podium and two Dutch gold medallists in RS:X women and men Posted on 25 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 4
Exciting racing for Musto Skiffs and 49ers Saturday May 25th, the medal races will be sailed at the Medemblik Regatta. In the RS:X Men Kiran Badloe (NED) is already secured of a gold medal. For the RS:X women the battle for the top spot is on between Dutch Lilian de Geus and Polish Zofia Noceti Posted on 25 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 3
Olympic future of windfoil surfing tested at the Medemblik Regatta The third day of the Medemblik Regatta had all the ingredients for a happy day of sailing. Nice wind conditions, lots of sun and exciting racing. A perfect day to start two new classes at the regatta Posted on 24 May
NZL Sailing Team: Top Kiwis slide at Laser Euros
Sam Meech slipped on the first day of gold fleet racing to 10th and George Gautrey to 17th Sam Meech slipped five places on the first day of gold fleet racing to 10th and George Gautrey dropped 10 places to 17th but Tom Saunders made some ground and is now 15th with two days remaining. Posted on 23 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 2
Light and shifty winds keep RS:X classes on shore for an extra hour It's a difficult day for sailors and race committee. Light and shifty winds kept the RS:X classes on shore for an extra hour. The sailors of the Hansa class manage to race an extra race and the day closes in sunny conditions. Posted on 22 May
'Nightmares' for Meech in Laser Euro's - Day 2
'I had a couple of absolute nightmares at the top marks, I couldn't even buy a shift' Sam Meech, the world's No 1-ranked Laser sailor started the second day in 31st but climbed to 12th after banking a seventh and a fifth in his two races today. Posted on 22 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 1
Close racing on the first day The first day of racing is done at the Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival. Almost all classes raced according to schedule, only the Hansa Class had to stay inside due to, too heavy winds. For the RS:X surfers racing went smooth and fast. Posted on 21 May
Olympics news regarding Paris 2024 and Tokyo 2020
Equipment selection currently dominating the sailing news While the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are still well beyond the horizon, wheels are already turning for the Paris 2024 Olympics, with equipment selection dominating the Olympic sailing news cycle Posted on 21 May
Paris 2024: Laser Performance hits out at ILCA
The testy relationship between ILCA and Laser Performance has just 10.5 weeks to be remedied Laser Performance the predominant builder of the Laser dinghy, until they had their building licence revoked last March, have hit out at the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), after the class was provisionally confirmed for the 2024 Olympics Posted on 20 May
USA qualifies for representation at Tokyo 2020
Caleb Paine finished in 11th place overall, earning the U.S. country selection Eight countries earned selection last summer, at the 2018 Sailing World Championships in Aarhus. This week, four more sports were on the line, Paine secured the final spot. Posted on 20 May