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3rd RS AERO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Black Rock YC, Melbourne, VIC, Australia 28/12/2019 - 04/01/2020
3rd RS AERO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Black Rock YC, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
28th Dec - 4th Jan
Saturday 28th - Registration Measurement, Charter RS Aero handout and practice sailing.
Sunday 29th - Practice Race
Several of the front runner RS Aeros got tired legs and peeled off after a lap, but ‘you have to be in it to win it’ and the winners were rewarded at the Presso by a fine historic book detailing the colourful local sailing history of Black Rock YC and the evolvement of the Port Phillip Bay sailing scene over the decades.
Monday 30th, Day 1 - Racing abandoned for the day (40kn breeze and 40'C temps!)
Day 2 - Summary Report
Two back-to-back races were split by a nice lunch break before returning afloat for two more. Under clear blue skies the breeze increased from 12kn through to 20kn by the end of the day. The Port Phillip Bay waves built steadily providing a fantastic day’s racing to open the Championship.
In the 29 boat RS Aero 5 fleet was led by Aussie ladies with Sophie Jackson AUS opening her account with a couple of firsts to take the overnight lead whilst Megan Ridgway AUS scored a trio of 2nds for a close second. Other race wins went to David Ellis GBR and Caitlin Atkin GBR.
The RS Aero 7s have the largest fleet with 38 entered. Marc Jacobi USA opened strongly with three bullets with Rhett Gowans AUS close behind with four 2nds. Youthful speedster Noah Rees GBR completes the podium with a string of 3rds and 4ths. Final race win of the day went to Peter Barton GBR as the breeze maxed.
The RS Aero 9s had an exciting time catching Port Phillip Bay’s waves and where clean sweeped by Liam Willis GBR. Keith Willis GBR and Simon Reffold AUS completing the podium.
As is customary Top-Tips were duly extracted from all the lead sailors to share through the Class globally. In the RS Aero 5s Sophie emphasised the importance of decisive movement and steering to catch the waves on the run, whilst Megan favours a low fast mode upwind. In the powerful RS Aero 9s Liam Willis felt he had more vang than his competitors, ‘buckling’ the rig to tame the power of the larger sail. Marc Jacobi concentrated hard on his compass to compliment his strong boat speed with reduced distance by being quick to identify good shifts.
After an evening of New Year’s Eve celebrations and day off on New Years Day racing resumes on 2nd January with three more races.
Day 2 - Video Roundup
Day 2 - Top-Tips
Wednesday 1st - Layday
Day 3 - Summary Report Racing continued following a day off on New Years Day. Conditions were splendid with 10kn increasing to 16kn by the end off the day under clear blue skies and pleasantly hot but bearable temps. Three back-to-back races were scheduled and the race officer got racing off promptly with a quick turn around between races. The Port Phillip Bay waves built nicely providing some fantastic rides downwind as the agile RS Aeros veered and surfed around the crests
The RS Aero 5 fleet saw three race winners Sophie Jackson AUS, Ned Stattersfield GBR and Kazuyoshi Nakao JPN taking the line honours. The top three overnight were Sophie Jackson AUS 1st, Megan Ridgway AUS 2nd and David Ellis GBR in 3rd. The RS Aero 7s had some equally intense battles. Rhett Gowans AUS turned the tables with threes 1sts to draw level with Marc Jacobi USA who took three 2nds. Noah Rees GBR scored a couple more 3rds to complete the podium. Liam Willis GBR tightened his grip on the RS Aero 9 champs with three more 1sts whilst Derek Bottles USA bounced up to 2nd overall with three 2nds.
At the daily Presso, Top-Tips were once again extracted from all the lead sailors to share for the good of Class sailors globally. Sophie felt arriving early at the race course for pre start checks, accumulating wind data and confirming settings were vital. Rhett provided an insight on how he so successfully catches wave after wave on the run and Liam spoke of the technique upwind through waves, combining body, tiller and mainsheet movement in sync
Tomorrow the schedule is increased to four races in case strong wind and possible thunderstorms curtail play on Saturday.
Day 3 - Video Roundup
Day 3 - Top-Tips
Day 4 - Summary Report
A full schedule of four races were raced in a medium 7-12kn breeze on the penultimate day. The sun was out but the Bay was engulfed in smoke for the bushfires around Victoria affecting visibility.
The RS Aero 5 fleet Sophie Jackson AUS won 2 races to hold the lead overall but a OCS in the final race leaves her having to work for it on the final day. David Ellis GBR won Race 9 and with four top three finishes moves up to 2nd overall. The last race of the day was won by Kazuyoshi Nakao JPN, moving up to 4th overall, one behind Megan Ridgway AUS in 3rd.
Rhett Gowans AUS continued his run of bullets from the day before, taking all the 1sts to clinch the champs a day early. Marc Jacobi USA also had excellent pace over the rest of the fleet to secure a string of 2nds. The Ever consistent Noah Rees GBR completes the podium with a solid run of 3rds and 4ths.
In the RS Aero 9s the day was drawn between Liam Willis GBR and Derek Bottles USA as they scored a 1,1,2,2 each. However this was enough for Liam to secure the champs with all to play for on the other podium spots.
At the daily Presso, Top-Tips were once again extracted from all the lead sailors to share for the good of RS Aero Class sailors globally. David emphasised the importance of the right vang setting through the waves in the lightish breeze. Noah recommended drinking loads (of water) in the hot weather to stay hydrated on the race course. Michael O’Brien AUS provided his insight into squeezing the mainsheet super tight to enable pointing whilst holding speed in the medium breeze.
Tomorrow the final two races are scheduled and it looks like a breezy one to conclude the champs!
Day 4 - Video Roundup
Day 4 - Top-Tips
Day 5 - Summary Report
After a cracking day with four races yesterday the forecast for today proved correct with the southerly wind smashing in at lunchtime and curtailing play.
The fleet launched on schedule to the increasing wind but by start time 33kns of wind was recorded on the Committee boat and with it still increasing the race officer sent the fleet back ashore. They fleet enjoyed getting on the water though and every one returned jubilant for having had a blast out in the Port Phillip Bay waves in the fresh breeze.
After waiting ashore for an hour to see if a break in the weather may occur the RO called off any further racing for the day as gusts exceeded 40kn. So the results from the end of Day 4 stood and with 11 races completed and great championship was concluded over a variety of conditions.
MANY THANKS to everyone who made the 3rd RS Aero World Championship in Australia such an awesome success. Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors RS Sailing, Sailing Raceboats (RS Australia) and Rooster. Thanks to all the volunteers at Black Rock YC who gave their time and expertise. Thanks also too the International Jury who helped keep our racing fair and enjoyable.
NEXT UP - It has been an awesome Worlds in Australia with fantastic racing in a mix of conditions. The fleet is already looking forward to the 4th RS Aero World Championship in August 2020 at the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA. Charter RS Aeros are available to book now at a discount rate until the end of January and online entry is already open. A Pre-Worlds and Coaching Clinic precede the World Championships for those who fancy an extended stay at one of the Worlds most iconic venues.