20th of January 2005, Australia, The Neil Pryde Sail Melbourne National Regatta 2005 Victiorian Formula Windsurfing Championships

The Neil Pryde Sail Melbourne National Regatta 2005 - Day 2
Allison reports...

by Allison Shreeve (AUS-911)
There's always racing to be had on beautiful Port Philip Bay as Melbourne faithfully turned on the wind for a great kickstart to the windsurfing year with the Neil Pryde VIC Championships over the past two days.

Yesterday we had registration and were scheduled to race at 11.00am but due to late entries and measurement we missed the best wind of the day and had to settle with half a race before it was cancelled. With the gusty off shore winds it was always going to be a good day for some, and a really bad day for others, depending on which sailors got caught with the wrong sized sail! Day one finished with no results which lead to a keen second day of racing with a required three races for the series to count. Overcast and 15 knots at 8.00am and with everyone chomping at the bit to hit the water, by 10.00am the wind decided to die to three knots after the rain cloud left. After being sent out, only three dared to brave the three knots, myself included, and found it very difficult
to plane, though it was very relaxing! Patience was the key and a nice southerly sea breeze came in early in the afternoon.

The first race was still quite light with some of the fleet struggling to plane the whole race. PWA favourites Wojtek Brzozowski, and Jesper Vesterstrom were among the leaders in all races, with Sean O'Brian consistently up there where he belongs among the best.
The race committee are to be commended for getting four solid races in with the ever increasing wind and wave conditions. With two minutes to go until 4.00pm we started our final race for the day in a solid 25 knots. Most seemed worn out from the previous hard races and managed to just get around the course while still using big rigs. I have to say I had a great time sailing with such great guys. They really push the women and I hope at times we push them a little. The calibre of entrants in this local regatta is a testament to the reputation of the Sail Melbourne organisers that such an event can attract elite sailors from many different nations. I am really looking forward to racing this next week in the Oceanics as preparation for the
rest of the year.

Allison Shreeve AUS911