Regional sailors win Vic States

The 2018 Victorian Hansa Class Championships have wrapped up in Shepparton. Sailors from regional Victoria took out the top prizes across the weekend,

Competitors had to battle temperatures over 40 degrees each day, lake weed and fluky winds across the weekend.

Arriving on Friday, competitors rigged their boats before attending a coaching clinic with Mark Teasdale. Mark took competitors through some sailing basics, sail trim and racing tactics, before taking the sailors onto the water for practice racing.

For the start of racing on Day 1, the Hansa 2.3 and 303 singles were the first divisions on the course. A brisk breeze faded during the morning, and 2 races were completed for the divisions.

Following lunch, the 303 doubles and Liberty sailors took to the water. Sailing in the Liberty for the first time, experienced sailor Russell Denholm soon came to grips with the new vessel, taking out both of the day's races, in front of reigning Victorian Champion, Charlie Weatherly.

Competitors and their guests enjoyed a BBQ dinner at the nearby tennis club and prepared for racing on Sunday.

Again, the day was very hot, with a higher temperature of 43 degrees forecast. Several of the competitors had water pistols to keep themselves, and their fellow sailors, cool throughout the day. Sailors cooled off by taking to the water and squirting each other with water pistols.

The Liberties sailors had a reversal of fortunes, with another Russell - Russell Phillips - taking out 2 of the 3 races on day 2, with 'the other' Russell, continuing his great form to take out the 1st race of the day to take him to the overall lead. The Liberties, with their twin rudders and deeper keels, were more affected by the lake weed than the other divisions.

Consistent sailing -and two victories - by Latrobe Valley's brother & sister Sarah & Craig Millsom, saw them lead the fleet in the 303doubles, from local pair Roy Hill and Carl Russell.

The 2.3 and 303 singles divisions finished out the weekend's sailing, with 4 races in the final session.

Ballarat sailors Ben Lodge, Cooper Brown and Allison Weatherly fought out a close competition, with the results decided on a countback.

The 303 singles were a runaway win for another Ballarat sailor, in Jonah Molonie-Wise.

The AHCA is grateful to the volunteers from Sailability Shepparton and the Lions Club for hosting our event and BBQ dinner. Thanks also to Mark Teasdale for giving up his time to host the coaching clinic.

Sailors will now look to other interstate events, before turning their attention to the Nationals in NSW at Easter and the World Championships in Hiroshima in October.

See photos from the event in our gallery.

Photos © Amy DePaola



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