AHCA Nationals underway on the Gold Coast
Day one of the Australian Hansa Class National Championships commenced at Gold Coast Sailing Club today. 35 competitors from around Australia were joined by a New Zealand entrant for the first Class Championships in Queensland since 2009.
Racing for the scheduled morning session was postponed due to a lack of wind, with racing rescheduled for after lunch when the wind was expected to turn and strengthen. 3 divisions took to the water – the Hansa 2.3, Hansa 303 singles and Liberty.
3 races were completed for each division in the delayed session. In the Hansa 2.3, reigning Australian Champion Allister Peek from the ACT didn’t have it his own way despite winning the opening race. Townsville sailor Chelseann Osborne - competing in her first Hansa Class event – was hot on Allister’s heels, winning the 2 remaining races to be only one point behind Peek at the end of the first day’s sailing.
In the Hansa 303 single person division, Victorian sailor Bruce James lead home a trifecta of Queensland sailors to take all three victories in the session. Gregory Williams and Ben Fitzpatrick make up the top 3.
The Liberty fleet contains some experienced sailors competing alongside several sailors competing in their first Nationals. Reigning Liberty Champion, SA’s Bob Schahinger showed why he has been the one to beat at many regattas, posting 3 bullets from today’s racing, ahead of NSW’s Jason Elwes and Gold Coast local Chris Ruston.
Several sailors are competing in two divisions, and following a quick boat and crew changeover, the racing concluded with the 303 two-person division.
Racing was close in the doubles, but as with the 303 singles, the leading boat was from Victoria. The sister and brother team of Sarah and Craig Millsom took all three victories, ahead of the Queensland pair of Greg Williams and Chelseann Osborne with South Australia’s Laurence and Anthony Byrne in third place.
Sailors from each State are competing for the State Teams Trophy with results from each State’s top 2 sailors counting towards their overall results. Currently, the Queensland team have their hands on the trophy from the Victorians but, with two more days of racing, anything can happen.
Racing continues tomorrow.