- 03 February 2010 | Windsurfing
The Formula Windsurfing Oceanic & Australian Championships kicked off today with ballistic winds and massive swells on one side of the course testing the 48 competitors from Australia and around the globe.
The first day of competition of the 2010 Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships got off to a ballistic start with high winds and large swells pelting the course for the entire day, bringing some exciting race action to Hawks Nest.
With important points for the Formula Windsurfing (FW) World Ranking up for grabs competitors were keen to get out on the water despite the 5m swell breaking in the channel entrance to Port Stephens, which was the starboard layline in to the first mark.
Top Brazilian sailor Wilhelm Schurmann (Starboard/Neilpryde) dominated the event taking three wins today from three starts enjoying the big swells and strong gusty winds. Schurmann is currently leading the event on 3 points.
With the wind moderating in the late afternoon for the final race from a solid 25 knots down to as low as 12 knots, international race director Tom Stephenson was able to get three clean races away despite the large swells on the course.
The defending champion Sean O’Brien (Point-7/Gaastra) kept tight on Schurmann’s heels all throughout the day and despite leading to the first mark in two of the races was unable to pass the Brazilian maestro and finished the day on 7 points; a clear second.
Previous Australian FW Title holder Sam Parker (Starboard/Neilpryde) kept consistent today and holds his third position overall on 13 points ahead of Stephen Floyd (Starboard/Neilpryde) and Brett Morris (Starboard/Severne).
French national from Martinique, Julien Ventalon (Gaastra/Gaastra) surprised many in the fleet finishing today’s racing only a whisker behind the top sailors in 6th overall and with a score discard coming up after the first race tomorrow will push himself in to the Top 5 if he remains consistent. Julien is now living in Brisbane and was lent equipment to race by his training partner, Sean O’Brien to be able to compete in the event.
With the forecast for the next few days looking excellent, the spectators at Jimmy’ Beach, Hawk Nest can again expect a great Formula Windsurfing display. The Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships will run until Saturday 6th February.