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