The Victorian Windsurfer Class fleet will kick off its 2019/20 summer season in October with a big fleet expected to descend on the Sandringham Yacht Club for the 2019 Sail Sandy Regatta.
Hosted on 12-13 October, the Sail Sandy event will see at least 20 Windsurfers as they prepare for a big season ahead, which includes the Victorian State Championships at the Parkdale Yacht Club on 24 November and the National Championships at the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club in Adelaide from 23 to 26 January 2020.
Headlining the Windsurfer fleet at Sail Sandy will be recently-crowned world champion Nick Bez, along with local young guns Will Grimshaw, Jude Smale and the 2019 National Female Youth Champion Isabella Grimshaw, who came fourth overall at the Worlds.
“Sail Sandy will be a fantastic opportunity to get in some great-quality, early-season fleet racing and showcase how fun the racing is in the class,” Bez said.
“Sandringham is supporting the establishment of a Windsurfer fleet within its off-the-beach racing this year so bringing the Windsurfer army to Sail Sandy is a nice way to build some momentum.”
The Windsurfer Class is one of the fastest growing one-design classes in the world with more than 350 boards in Australia since the launch of the new LT version in July last year.
The class received World Sailing international status in late 2018 and its recent world championships on Lake Garda in Italy attracted more than 160 competitors from 18 countries.
Featuring a lightweight epoxy hull with enhanced volume, the LT delivers great performance while supporting inexpensive one-design racing, where the emphasis is on skill and tactics rather than equipment.
The beauty of the Windsurfer class is its versatility. Four disciplines are part of the Windsurfer racing regime – course racing, slalom, marathon and freestyle.
With the biggest one-design sailboard fleet in Australia (107 at the last Nationals), the class has been the breeding ground for every Australian sailboard Olympian and has produced many world champions over the years.
The current crop of racers range from 12-year-old grommets to living legends over 70 years old.
In championship racing, the Windsurfer Class races in weight divisions to keep things even and interesting. At the most recent nationals the lightest competitor was 38 kilos and the heaviest over 100 kilos.
Lighter sailors can use a 4.0 or 4.5 Windsurfer rig, while the full-size regatta sail provides plenty of grunt for the rest.
The class supports racing at club, state and national level with a strong emphasis on youth participation. The Windsurfer is a great option for junior sailors who want to continue their journey on a slightly different path.
The annual Youth Scholarship provides funding for the best male and female sailor under 18 to attend the next world championship.
The first of the state’s
major interclub off-the-beach events, Sail Sandy brings together hundreds of
sailors across a range of classes, many of which use the event for their first
hit out of the season ahead.
Last year’s event saw strong fleets in a range of classes with more than 190 entries, however with the excitement around this season and the major events Sandringham is hosting, the club expects numbers to get close to 250 this year.
“Sail Sandy is always a great event to kick off the season with big fleets on the water and a great atmosphere around the clubhouse over the two days,” club Sailing Manager James Sly said.
“It’s the first major event of the season and is a great opportunity for juniors and seniors alike to dust their boats off and get back into the swing of the sailing season.”
Sail Sandy is open to all classes and is encouraged as a great way to launch into some quality racing to kick off the upcoming season.
For more information about the Windsurfer Class head to www.windsurferclassaus.com
Contact Justin Page via [email protected] for more information or to get involved with the Sandringham Windsurfer fleet.
For more information about Sail Sandy, and to enter into the event, head to the event website.