AHCA Nationals wind up in Hobart

The 2015 Australian Hansa Class Championships has wound up at Derwent Sailing Squadron.

Competitors in the four divisions – Hansa 2.3, 303 singles and doubles and Liberty, completed 8 races across the Easter break in mainly light winds.

On the final day of competition, better winds prevailed as the morning fleets of 303 singles and Liberties took to the course.

In the 303 singles, Chris Symonds held a commanding overnight lead heading into the last 3 races and whilst he didn’t win a race on the final day, his results from the first two days of competition were enough to secure him the title.  South Australia’s Kenneth Hibbert picked up two victories on the final day to cement outright second place overall. Wynyard’s Michael Darby also claimed victory in one of the final day’s races, and that was enough to secure him overall third position on a countback from Victoria’s Bruce James.

In the Liberties, South Australia’s Bob Schahinger enjoyed the stronger winds and took 3 bullets to move him from third place overnight to claim overall victory from fellow South Australian Jocelyn Neumueller. NSW sailor Bob Hamilton took third place by a point from Victoria’s Cadeyrn Gaskin.

In the afternoon session, only two races were required for the Hansa 2.3 division to complete their regatta. Overnight leader, Victoria’s Mark Thorpe, couldn’t hold off the reigning Australian Champion – ACT sailor Allister Peek - who won both races to reclaim the National title by one point from Thorpe. Launceston sailor Rob Eadie took out third place in front of NSW sailor Melissa Nelson.

As with the 303 singles, Wynyard’s Chris Symonds held a commanding overnight lead in the 303 doubles, where he teamed up with Neal Rodwell. Winning one of the remaining races saw them take home the National 303 doubles title, after finishing second last year. Victoria’s Bruce James and Christine Elliott were sailing in the doubles for the first time together and their pairing saw them take out second place by a point from South Australia’s Paul Linden and Kenneth Hibbert.

At the presentation, several perpetual trophies were presented. In the President’s Trophy – a ‘traveller trophy’, where points are awarded for attending and placing in State championships – South Australia’s Bob Schahinger was the winner on 11 points, overtaking the NSW pair of Colin & Brad Alderton on 8 points. Schahinger, sailing the Liberty, had placed in the South Australian and Victorian State Championships and, with his victory in that division at the Nationals, scored enough points to overtake the Aldertons, who scored points in the ACT, NSW and SA Championships. Another SA sailor – Jocelyn Neumueller – was in third place on 7 points.

Just prior to this championship, a State Teams Trophy was revived, causing several states to hurriedly field sailors in other divisions in the hope of scoring points. This resulted in several people sailing in divisions that they had not planned to enter, and a couple of people who had not planned to sail at all find themselves in boats! Five sailors – SA’s Kenneth Hibbert & David Smallacombe, NSW’s Donna Millsom and Joellen Garbutt and Victoria’s Bruce James – were awarded special ‘press-ganged sailors’ awards for their efforts.

This made the State Teams Trophy a hotly contested prize, with the Tasmanian team announced as winners. However, on checking the final results, an incorrect calculation saw that the State Teams Trophy had in fact been won by the South Australians, with Victoria in second place, one point ahead of the Tasmanians.

Chris Symonds was awarded the Hans Hill trophy for his work in making this regatta such a success and Australian Hansa Class Association President Russell Phillips presented Derwent Sailing Squadron Commodore Ron Bugg with a burgee celebrating the National Championships.

As this Nationals was combined with the Tasmanias State Championship, State Championship trophies were awarded to Rob Eadie in the 2.3 and Chris Symonds in the 303.

Golden Egg prizemoney was awarded to NSW sailor Jason Elwes, SA's Paul Linden, Victoria's Krista Bailey and ACT's Allister Peek.

The AHCA would like to thank Commodore Ron Bugg, Manager Shaun Tiedemann, Sailing Manager Michael Denney and Functions Manager Tracey Lord and her team for hosting our Nationals at Derwent Sailing Squadron. We are also grateful to the Tasmanian Government for their support of this event. Thanks also to 303 sailor Norm Brundle for hand making all the pens from local Tasmanian woods that formed part of the trophies. Also to Docklands Yacht Club for lending boats and allowing the container to be packed and shipped from their venue.

Thanks to Sam Tiedemann for over 1300 photos of the regatta that he has shared to Flick. Please be sure to give credit to Sam Tiedemann Photography if you use these images for commercial purposes. All the photos can be viewed on Flickr here.

An interview with ABC local radio about the regatta can be heard here.

Results available at the bottom of the page.




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