Difficult European Championships in Andora

The Senior European Championships 10-17 March just concluded at Circolo Nautico Andora, Italy.

In the ILCA 7 there were 180 sailors competing in three fleets. In tricky and difficult conditions variable from very light to very strong Croatians Tonci Stipanovic and Filip Jurisic finished closely ahead of Matt Wearn. There was even a strike by the sailors at a point over conditions and equipment but it all ended amicably.

The full ILCA 7 results are Here.

In the 110 boat two fleet ILCA 6s Marit BOUWMEESTER Marit NED had a convincing win despite the tricky conditions. Mara Stransky was the best of the four Australians finishing 7th with consistent results until the last day.

The full ILCA 6 results are Here.

The web site with video and details of the event is Here.

Zoe Thompson in action in Andora – Zoe was 11th in the event

Oceania & Australian 2023 Masters Championships

Vanessa Dudley in action on Day 3 – Photo by John West

The 2023 Oceania & Australian Masters Championships 10-13 March were run from the Bay Sailing Centre Port Stephens.

There were 147 boats sailing in three fleets. There were sailors from all Australian mainland states and territories with the most travelled competitor was GGM Helio Araujo from Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club.  It was pleasing to see keen competition in the ILCA 4s. We are keen to promote this rig for Masters as well as Youth age categories going forward.

Many of the sailors backed up from the ILCA World Masters Championships in Pattaya, Thailand in February.

Weather for the event varied from character building to excellent and from NE to SW.

The first days racing was tough with ENE winds 22 gusting to 29 knots. The waves were challenging, building over the 11Km fetch from the headland of Port Stephens to Soldiers Point. There were a large number of sailors who didn’t make it around the course and even more who were glad that they didn’t try. Well done to the sailors especially in the ILCA 7s most of whom made it all look easy on the day.

Day 2 saw ideal conditions from ENE. The run out tide proved a challenge with several OCSs and Black Flags. On Day 3 the breeze went around to the SW so the waves were down and presented excellent sailing conditions especially for sailors skilled in picking the shifts which were numerous. Day 4 saw a steadier 16 knot southerly and very good sailing conditions.

The fleet winners were GM Brett Beyer Woollahra SC in the ILCA 7s,  GM  Mark Tonner-Joyce from Royal Geelong YC in the ILCA 6 Green (Masters & GMs) and GGM Michael Pitt from Royal Queensland YS in the ILCA 6 Yellow (GGM and Legends). Sandy Kiernan from Northbridge SC won the ILCA 4s. The full final results are Here.

There are very many fabulous action shots taken by Jon West which are linked on the Photos tab on the ILCA Nationals web site. You can view the watermarked images and buy from Jon’s web site. There are photos by Rod Barnes of the presentation which are free to download Here.

Thanks to the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) who manage the Bay Sailing Centre (BSC) for hosting this event for us. The BSC is only a small club on some of the best dinghy sailing water on the east coast so the NCYC did a great job recruiting the 30 on water volunteers needed to run this event. These folks were flat out with rescues on day one with some sailors also rescued by a few good samaritan sailors – thanks to them.

The next ILCA Australian Masters will be held 12-15 April 2024 at RQYS Brisbane.

Brett Beyer – First GM in ILCA 7s – Inaction on Day 1 – Photo by John West

2022 Australian Masters Championships

The Australian ILCA Masters was run very successfully between 25-28 February at Westernport Yacht Club in Victoria. There were 106 entries with 31 ILCA 7s sailing in one fleet, 30 ILCA 6 Grand Masters in a fleet and the other ILCA 6 age divisions in a third 45 boat fleet.

The venue Balnarring on Westernport Victoria provided excellent open water and good clean winds. These combined with ocean and wind swells gave some exhilarating rides and fair racing. All ten scheduled races were completed with light breezes on day one followed by six races in 15 to 18 knots on days two and three and around 12 knots for the final two races. Tides were an issue in the second half of the series when they were pushing the fleet over the start line. On the final day the second ILCA 6 fleet managed four general recalls and three black flag starts before the final race got away minus the 25% of the fleet which were black flagged.

The Westernport Yacht Club did a fabulous job both on and off the water. Racing was run like clockwork and the logistics of launch and retrieval of the support boats from Westernport, Sommers and bay side clubs were run with military precision. Catering at the club after racing, the functions and free beer from an event sponsor Bright Brewery were all much appreciated by the sailors.

There was a two day coaching clinic lead by Brody Riley & VLA head coach Rhett Gowans  held before the series. This was fully subscribed and very successful.

The winner of the ILCA 7 fleet was Master Brett Bayer WSC/DBSC. Brett won six races edging out Apprentice Matt Blakey PMYC. Sommers YC Apprentice Sean Bly was third. In the ILCA 6 GM fleet John Jager McCrae YC won by a point from Sandringham sailor James Mitchell with David Early GRSC third.

The full results with age divisions scored separately are Here.

The age division podium places are listed below.

Division1st2nd3rdFirst Women
ILCA 6 ApprenticeVaimooia Ripley MHASCVaimooia Ripley MHASC
ILCA 6 MasterOwen Mc Mahon RBYCDanial Blight BSS/RQYSGayl Robinson SYCGayl Robinson SYC
ILCA 6 GMJohn Jager McCYCJames Mitchell SYCDavid Early GRSCChristine Bridge RQYS
ILCA 6 GGMJeff Loosemore GR/MHASCTim Alexander NSCMichael Pitt RQYS
ILCA 6 LegendKerry Waraker RQYSLew Verdon MHASCKevin Phillips GSC
ILCA 7 ApprenticeMatt Blakey PMYCSean Bly SomersYCDavid Newman DBSC
ILCA  MasterRob Barnes DBSCNick Alexander MHASC/DBSCStuart Holdsworth RPAYC
ILCA  GMBrett Beyer WSC/DBSCGavin Dagley PMYCSteve Gunther PMYC
ILCA  GGMGary Martin Darwin SCMike Stockdale PLYC

There are great photos by Jon West which you can view and purchase Here.

Ladies winners Christine Bridge GM and Gayl Robinson Master – Jon West photos

Great Australian Results 2023 World Masters

World Masters GGM Podium Lyndall, Jeff, Steve and Martin

The 60 Australian Masters sailors competing in the just concluded World Masters in Pattaya, Thailand achieved some memorable results.

With 112 boats in the ILCA 6s and 86 in the ILCA 7s there was lots of good close racing over the two weeks of the two back to back series.

The conditions were mostly very good but but with periods of very light conditions. Strong tides confounded some sailors and resulted in a greater than usual (for a Masters) number of U and black flags. The organisation of the event by ILCA and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club was excellent.

In the ILCA 6 GGM 32 boat fleet Australians filled the first four places lead by Jeff Loosemore followed by Lyndall Patterson, Steve Gunther and Martin White. David Early was third in the 42 boat ILCA 6 GMs fleet.

In the ILCA 7s GMs Brett Beyer took out his 15th Laser/ILCA World Masters series winning 9 of the 12 races. Jan Scholten was second and Gavin Dagley 4th in the 38 boat fleet. Steve Gunther and Jeff Loosemore backed up to compete in the ILCA 7 GGMs with Steve finishing second and Jeff third to GBR’s Tim Law. Colin Dibb was 4th in the GGMs. Now sailing for Australia Gold Coast orthodontist Christoph Bottoni had a remarkably consistent series to finish second in the ILCA 7 Masters to the almost unbeatable Greek sailor Adonis Bougiouris who posted 10 wins from 12 starts.

The event web site with news, video and pictures is ILCA 6 Here & ILCA 7 Here. The results for ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 are as linked.

The next ILCA World Masters will be from Adelaide Sailing Club 2-10th February 2024 so hopefully we will be able to achieve similar success there.

Lyndall Patterson and Martin Linsley in Pattaya

ALCA is Now ILCA Australia

Following the unanimous vote of its districts at the 2023 AGM and the approval of the regulator (NSW Fair Trading) the Australian Laser Class Association has a new name ILCA Australia and this new web site https://ilca.au from February 2023.

ALCA Solidarity Program Report

At the 2023 Oceania & Australian Championships six girls were selected from around Australia to participate in the ALCA Solidarity program. The details of the program are in an earlier post Here.

This is an account of her experience by Victorian participant Maddy English from Mornington Yacht Club.

Late last year I was selected to represent Victoria in the ILCA Youth Solidarity programme at the 2023 Australia and Oceania ILCA National Championships in Sydney. The Solidarity programme is a new initiative designed to encourage young girls into the world of competitive ILCA sailing. Together with five girls from around Australia we formed the Solidarity team.

Over the eight day regatta I was fortunate to be introduced to the ILCA Female Australian Sailing team and Olympic medallist Matt Wearn, who shared their experiences and offered encouragement and advice. The Solidarity team and I were coached on and off water by Daniel Costandi, who guided us with great skill, calm and a great sense of humour.

The weather conditions proved challenging for me, as I found myself sailing in 20+ knots on a few of the days, however this intense experience improved my confidence sailing in larger fleets. With 180 ILCAs launching from the beach with sails flapping, my adrenaline was pumping! By the final days, I was closer to the start line where I needed to be. I also learned how to better trim my sail; after several capsizes in choppy, blustery conditions, staying upright is a great incentive to focus my attention on setting my sail controls right!

I had some amazing experiences out on the water, met some wonderful people and made some great friends. Thankyou John d’Helin and ILCA Victoria for this fantastic opportunity. I’m looking forward to the ILCA 2024 Championships in Adelaide!

Solidarity Program Girls and AST ILCA 6 Sailors

Request for ALCA Coaching Expressions of Interest

ALCA is compiling a candidate list of coaches for Australian Teams at a Youth & U21 World Championship events.

The events and likely coaches required for 2023 is tabulated below.

2023 EventsLocationDates (unconfirmed)# coaches (unconfirmed)
ILCA4 Youth World ChampionshipVolos, GreecePre regatta & regatta 19-30 Jul2
ILCA6 Youth World ChampionshipDziwnow, PolandPre regatta & regatta 28 Jun – 9 Jul2
ILCA U21 World ChampionshipTangier, MoroccoPre regatta TBA, regatta 15-22 October1

Coaches travel costs and fees are paid by the team and its sponsors. The team will need guidance in the leadup and supported during 12 days of pre-regatta and regatta with advice after the event.

To be considered for selection ALCA is looking for active and developing coaches who have demonstrated commitment to the class in their state. They should provide information about their coaching & sailing background, their current coaching arrangements, their experience, where they would like to apply their coaching in the future. They should submit the Expression of Interest by 10th February to Don Elks ACLA Youth Development Director by email.

Oceania & Australian Masters

The 2023 Oceania & Australian Masters Championships will be held at the Bay Sailing Centre Soldiers Point on Port Stephens 10-13 March 2023.

Normal entries ($300) are open Here. Beach entries ($350) will be accepted up to 1200 on 10th March at the venue.

Entries to 7 March are Here.

This event is a little later in the year than normal and was re-scheduled to avoid clashing with the ILCA World Masters Pattaya, Thailand 8-16 (ILCA 6) and 18-26 (ILCA 7) February 2023.

Port Stephens is our favourite venue for Masters events with great sailing winds and water and lots of accommodation in all price ranges.

The Notice of Race for this event is Here.

Charters will be available from NB Sailsports and Performance Sailcraft Australia.

Jeff Loosemore ILCA 6 GGM and Brett Beyer ILCA 7 GM Current World Masters Champions – Photos Jon West

ILCA Top Sailors at Sail Melbourne 14-18 January

Maria Erdi (HUN) Sail Melbourne ILCA 6 Winner – Photo by Beau Outteridge

Sail Melbourne run from Royal Brighton YC 14-18 January saw a talented field of ILCA 7s (26), ILCA 6s (42) and ILCA 4s (9) competing. Conditions were were described as at times character building.

In the ILCA 6s the women dominated filling the first 9 places. Hungary’s Mari Erdi had four first places and won the series without needing to sail the last race. WA sailor Zoe Thompson had a great series scoring two wins including the last race in tough conditions to take second with Maud Jaynet (SUI) third.

Australian Olympian Mara Stransky finished 4th. Emma Plasschaert (BEL) who won the Oceania & Australian event had a U and a Black Flag in the series with only a single drop so was relegated to 8th place.

In the ILCA 7s the British Sailing Team’s Michael Beckett and Elliott Hanson finished one and two in front of Swifto Elliott from WA. Australian Olympian Matt Wearn who won the close fought Oceania & Australian Championships two weeks earlier had a consistent start and was in second place after four races but then decided to withdraw. Matt wanted to recover a wrist injury prior to the upcoming European season in which he and the other top Australian ILCA 7 sailors will be competing.

In the ILCA 4s Riley Cantwell (SSCBC Vic) had six bullets and was an easy winner from Joshua King (Witsunday SC, Qld) and Charlie Byford (RPAYC/DBSC, NSW).

The full results are Here.

2024 Championships at Adelaide Sailing Club

The next Oceanian and Australian Open & Youth Championships will be at Adelaide Sailing Club 1-8 January 2024. Following these championships will be the ILCA 7 Men’s and ILCA Masters Worlds. There is a YouTube video promo for the big events Here and the the full list of event dates is below.

There will be a number of lead up events at ASC which will be a good opportunity to familiarise sailors with the conditions for the big championships. The full program of ASC events  and the 2023 Masters is below.

Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships Final Results

The 2023 Oceania & Australian Laser Open & Youth Championships was sailed on Botany Bay from Georges River Sailing Club. These championships were completed on Sunday 8th January.

The 180-boat event was sailed in four fleets with three ILCA class rigs. There were 150 Australian and 30 international sailors from 12 countries competing.

Sailing was scheduled between 3rd and 8th January however on days 3 & 4 (5-6 January) with the wind at 27 gusting to 35 knots no sailing was possible . Two race per day were sailed on days 1 and 2 in very good conditions followed by three races on day 5 in testing 18-20 knot southerly winds while the final three races on day 6 were sailed in ideal 15 knot southerly conditions.

The 83 boat ILCA 6 gold fleet saw some great racing with the last race determining the top four places. These were contested between Tokyo 2020 Olympic Women’s ILCA Laser sailors from Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, and Australia. Emma Plaschaert from Belgium finished second in the final race to take a narrow win from Maud Jaynet (SUI) and Maria Erdi (HUN). Maria just pipped Queenslander Mara Stransky by a single point. Mara Stransky was the Australian Womens champion and the overall Australian Champion. Mara is the first female since Sarah Blanck in 2008 to win the open ILCA 6/Laser Radial title. Casey Imeneo from Victoria topped some consistent results with two wins on the last day to finish fifth overall.

The under 19 ILCA 6 division was won by Australian Sailing Youth Sailor of the Year and silver medallist in the World Sailing Youth Championships Evie Saunders from Manly Yacht Club in NSW.

Cube Winners – Some of the Best ILCA 6 Sailors in the World – Photo by Jon West

The ILCA 7 fleet was hotly contested with four Australians, four from Great Britain and two from New Zealand finishing in the top ten.

In a drama packed final race Michael Beckett (GBR) needed to win to take the title after Australia’s Matt Wearn had some issues and was a DNF. Michael finished second and so Matt Wearn won his fifth Australian Laser/ILCA Championship on a close countback. Elliot Hanson (GBR) was third in front of popular WA sailor Swifto Elliott and leading Kiwi George Gautrey.

The leading youth sailors (under 21) was Stefan Elliott-Shircore from Western Australia.

The ILCA 4 (aka Laser 4.7) fleet of 55 boats consisted of up-and-coming youth sailors under 18 and under 16 years of age. The first three placegetters were young sailors from Victoria. Aidan Simmons and Angus McIntyre both won four of the ten heats, with Aidan the overall ILCA 4 champion by two points. Riley Cantwell finished third overall and was the under 16 junior ILCA 4 champion. It was pleasing to see 40% of the ILCA 4 fleet were women and the first woman Sara Bruce from DBSC and RSYS was 4th overall.


Based on strong performances particularly in the ILCA 4 fleet the Battens Trophy for the best performed State went to Victoria. Victoria showed the benefit of strong state training programs and racing in ILCA 4 and the feed in junior classes, in particular the Optimist class.

Victorious Victorian Team – Battens Trophy Winners –  Photo by Jon West

Full results can be found Here and on mobile devices using the free Australian Laser App under the National & District Events tab.

The next ILCA class National & Oceania Championship will be for masters sailors at Port Stephens, Australia on 10-13 March 2023 were nearly 200 boats are expected to compete.

The next Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships will be at Adelaide Sailing Club 1-8 January 2024. There is a 4 minute promotion video for the 2024 Adelaide event and the following ILCA 7 and ILCA Masters World Championship events on YouTube Here.

New Zealand ILCA Nationals 2023

Anyone who is or will be in New Zealand later this month may be interested in the NZL Nationals in Auckland. This year the nationals will be sailed at Murray’s Bay Auckland 19-22 January. There are currently over 120 sailors entered including a record 60 ILCA 6s and with free entry for any first time ILCA nationals sailors more are expected.

Top NZL sailors and a number of highly ranked ILCA sailors from other Oceania nations will compete in all classes and age categories from youth to masters.

10 races are scheduled over the 4 days of the regatta, which will be preceded by a number of training camps, so Murrays Bay is going to be a busy venue for the next week. Final entries do not close until the start of the regatta so anyone still thinking about it should take the plunge. Race documents and online entries can be obtained on the NZLA web site Here.

Two Days of Unsafe Conditions for Nationals

Matt Wearn in great form at GRSC – Photo by Jon West

After run of great weather including for the Practice Race and Race Days 1 & 2 Huey has turned on a nasty spell (5 & 6 January) of wet and excessively windy days so no safe, fair racing has been possible.

The women are dominating the ILCA 6s holding the top six places. With no racing on the third scheduled day of racing the ILCA 6 qualifying series is concluded and a drop is included to determine the split into the Gold and Silver fleets for the Final Series. Results for the Qualifying Series are Here.

There is just one point between the top four so it is all in play for once the weather allows the Final Series to proceed.

In the ILCA 7s team GBR has four of the top six places however Olympic Champion Matt Wearn is three points clear at the top. Racing has been very close and the series is still wide open. Results to Race 4 in the ILCA 7s are Here.

In the 55 boat ILCA 4 fleet Team Victoria of Aidan Simmons, Angus McIntyre and Riley Cantwell is dominating taking pretty much all the podium places in each race. Full results are Here.

Jon West Event Photos Online

Jon West has been braving the weather and his valuable equipment to capture some great action photos. You can view and purchase photos from the event Here.

Note that the photo albums are numbered from the Practice Race as Day 1.

Check Jon’s photos on Instagram Here

ILCA 4 Fleet Action – Photo by Jon West

Hot Fleets for Oceania & Australian Championships

The Oceania & Australian Open & Youth Championships get underway 1-8 January at Georges River Sailing Club. There will be practice race on 2 January with the more serious business starting on 3 January with two races per day over six days.

There will be a hot fleet of 180 boats racing in four fleets in ILCA 4, 6 and 7s. The Australian Sailing Team and top level sailors from all Australian states and territories will compete along with sailors from the Pacific, Asia and Europe. 13 countries in all will be represented. Late entries can still be placed.

This event web site will have information, race documents and results. Otherwise the series can be followed using the Australian Laser App which is a free download from the App Store and Play Store at the links below.

iOS Apple App Store           Android Google Play Store

Links to event information & documents are below.

Late Entries for ILCA World Masters Close 12 January

To the sailors gearing up for an ILCA Masters Worlds in Pattaya, Thailand, or to those who have not enter yet, please see the information below in preparation for the event.

2023 ILCA 6 Master World Championship will take place between 8-16 February 2023. For event details see HERE. To enter the event click HERE.

2023 ILCA 7 Master World Championship will take place between 18-26 February 2023. For event details see HERE. To enter the event click HERE.

Please note the Entry closing date for both events is 12 January 2023

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