The first regatta of the 2001 Sail Downunder Series, concluded here today. After three days of perfect sunshine the weather gods were not quite as kind today, an overnight downpour replaced with continuing showers throughout the racing.
The winds today were however consistent at 12-15 knots providing ideal racing for the fleets racing, the Laser and Laser Radial regatta finished yesterday to allow those competitors time to travel to Sydney for the Sydney Laser Metropolitans this weekend. The hotly contested 420 and 49er classes went down to the wire, with any of a number of competitors still in with a chance of snaring a prize at the beginning of the final day.
In the 49er class Jason Beebe and Philip Manning" (RQYS-Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron) finished with two thirds and a fourth (23 points total) to just hold out Mark Turnbull and Nick Partridge whose two seconds and a third got them to within one point of the championship. Third place went to Irish sailors Tom Fitzpatrick and Fraser Brown who scored two firsts on the final day.
Whilst in the 420's Trent Gordon (RQYS) managed to get past Scott Webster (RQYS) once the second drop became available to competitors this morning. Trent had an OCS and DSQ amongst his five race wins while Scott was very consistent with only one result outside the fop four. Third place went to another Royal Queensland crew, Cameron Smith and Luke Allen.
In other classes, the 470 pairing of Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page wrapped up the regatta with a fourth in Heat 9 and a first in Heat 10. Second place went to Sydney 2000 Womens Gold Medallists Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell with the local pairing of Matthew and Daniel Belcher third. The 470 class also saw the inclusion of two Polish entries.
The 29er fleet was evenly matched for the entire regatta with David Chew finally emerging victorious thanks mainly to final day results. The Mistral sailboards also concluded today with Michael Lancey taking the honours, from Allison Shreeve in second and James Grunfelder in third.
"All sailor nationalities Australian unless otherwise stated.