8th of January 2009, Australia, 2009 Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships

Super Strong Winds and Carnage on Day 3

Sean O’Brien (AUS-120)
The 3rd day of racing at the 2009 Formula Windsurfing Oceanic and Australian Championships in Sydney, Australia, kicked off today with howling southerly winds up to 30 knots at times. The race-crew were out on the water to get Race 4 of the event away today on time at 12.30pm with the winds sitting around 15-18 knots and most of the fleet electing to take out their 11m rigs. Shortly before the start, the wind increased another 8-10 knots which left many sailors struggling with their big rigs to get around the course; Sean O’Brien (AUS-120) being one of those - taking a big spill whilst in the lead on the final downwind to allow Sam Parker (AUS-3), Brett Morris (AUS-8) and Sam Fawkes (AUS-21) through and finished in 4th.

There was more carnage to come, with the winds increasing to a solid 25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots for the next 3 races. Most sailors had changed down to their 10m’s and even 9m sails to get around the lumpy course. Sam Parker made amends for his first day’s results taking a bullet and having two other solid results to come within .75 points of Sam Fawkes who remains in 2nd place overall. Parker, as well as most other sailors at some point during the day, succumbed to the brutal Botany Bay chop and had a swim. The winds became a little patchy later in the afternoon races however the strong gusts still blew in at up to 30 knots which made the windward/leeward gate-course a tactical challenge for many competitors.

Looking further down the scoreboard, 4th and 5th positions overall are being heavily fought by Mike Nelson (AUS-12) and Brett Morris who are just 1 point apart. Sean O’Brien still leads the event overall, taking 3 bullets today and dropping his 4th place in the first race today to bring his total points to 3.75 and is sitting on a strong chance to hold on to the Title going in to tomorrow’s racing. Both the Sam’s will have a battle on their hands tomorrow to see who can catch Sean and who will take the 2nd and 3rd spots on the podium. Although not having as solid results in the strong breeze, Allison Shreeve is still able to upset the Men’s placing as her results are being counted in the overall fleet results and she has not been too far off the leader’s pace at all this week. In the FE+ division, Bruce Healy (AUS-9) still holds on to the lead however with 3 bullets today, Tristan Perez (AUS-093) has closed the gap to 2 points going in to the final day of racing tomorrow.

The skippers meeting has been moved forward to 10am tomorrow with the forecast for wind earlier in the morning and fading late in the afternoon. There is still a great chance for the race-crew to bang off another 4 quality races which will allow the competitors to drop a 3rd race from their overall points which could see a few changes in positions at the top of the scoreboard.

Join the discussion

GRE-969 | 8th January 2009 (18:37:31)

What is the temperature down there ??

Kostas | 8th January 2009 (22:12:09)

Nice stance Jason-GRE200! perfect control...

SeanAUS120 | 8th January 2009 (22:51:09)

You don't want to know! Over the weekend leading in to the event we had up to 39 degrees (I'm melting!)

Yesterday with the cooler southerly winds it was probably more like 25 degrees (which is pretty cold for us!).

AUS666 | 9th January 2009 (13:51:24)

Tempreture was acutally was an icy 21 degrees ( very unseasonal!), some of the competitors even felt the need to put a wetsuit on.

SeanAUS120 | 10th January 2009 (01:49:12)

Hey, I'm from Brisbane. I had to put a SNOW JACKET on when it got down to 21 ;)

Brett Morris | 10th January 2009 (06:39:40)

Jason control was soon ended when he was badly flipped and broke his hand in 2 places. He actually raced 2 days later with hand in plaster...Madness, but no doubting his spirit...

GRE-969 | 10th January 2009 (08:14:37)

Do you mean really broken ??? if yes, how it is possible 2 days later he is on his board again ??

SeanAUS120 | 11th January 2009 (10:42:09)

Cause us Aussie's are pretty tough ay ;)

Kostas | 18th January 2009 (18:50:12)

Oups, this sounds painful. Fortunately, it wasn't complete fracture. I think Jason will give good lessons to locals when he appears on the greek land... nothing stops him

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