FOIL RACING IN AUSTRALIA
Raging bushfires, blinding dust storms, and tropical hailstorms are the usual ingredients of any hot summer “downunder” in AUS, but the heat was certainly on during the 2020 DownUnder Pro Australian Foiling Championships.
Photos by Mitchell Pearson
The event was hosted January 31 through February 2 at the iconic Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay in absolutely perfect foil racing conditions. Conceived as an “event by racers, for racers” by Severne’s extended AUS family members Brendan Moore and Glen Morrell, supported by John O’Brien and Ian “the Fox” Fox, delivered a masterpiece.
Top competition with strong teams from NZ, New Caledonia and even Singapore giving the Aussies more “summer” in their own back yard. Super performances from some of the youth contenders, especially emphatic sailing from the Kiwis Lloyd Lloyd Perratt and Thomas Crook who took out first and fourth overall, under the guidance of their chaperone Ian Young who -apart from cleaning up the Masters – also scored third outright. Jacquin Hippolyte in 6th overall from Noumea lead a strong charge of New Caledonian youths.
Run inside the overall event, the Australian Championship was won by the super energetic Julien Savina(and 2nd in overall regatta), ahead of Julien Ventalon and local RQYS charger Leo Sharpe.
Six windward return races of around 15 minutes winner time were conducted on each of Days 1 and 2, with Day 3 featuring a long distance lap marathon ahead of the final 2 races of the 15 race series. Designed to encourage participation and grow the sport of windfoil, relatively “open” equipment rules allowed a good opportunity for equipment comparison, with some notable standout trends amongst the front runners. Competitors used predominantly 9 and 10m HG2 sails, with 900/255 on 95cm foils the “go-to” size for the steady winds in 10-15 kts range.
The event was regarded by everyone as super successful, providing a safe, positive and exciting experience to everyone involved. Yes, next year’s event is already in the frame.
Full event results at https://www.sailwave.com/results/2020DownUnderProAus.htm
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