Monthly Archives: January 2023
The 2023 Oceania & Australian Masters Championships will be held at the Bay Sailing Centre Soldiers Point on Port Stephens 10-13 March 2023.
Entries ($300) are open Here. Beach entries ($350) will be accepted after up to 1200 on Friday 10th March at the venue.
Entries received 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.
Jeff Loosemore ILCA 6 GGM and Brett Beyer ILCA 7 GM Current World Masters Champions – Photos Jon West
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!
Photo below is of the Solidarity Program girls & AST ILCA 6 Sailors.
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.
The 2023 Oceania & Australian Laser Open & Youth Championships were 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 races 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 Plasschaert from Belgium finished second in the final race to take a narrow win from Maud Jayet (SUI) and Maria Erdi (HUN). Maria just pipped Queenslander Mara Stransky by a single point. Mara Stransky was the Australian Women’s Champion and the overall ILCA 6 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 sailor (under 21) was Stefan Elliott-Shircore from Western Australia.
The ILCA 4 (aka Laser 4.7) fleet of 55 boats consisted mostly 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 where 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.
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.
PRO Peter Merritt has set up for a 12:30 warning for ILCA 4s and 13:00 for ILCA 6 & 7s for Saturday 7 January. Conditions are predicted to be marginally better on Saturday with a little less wind and much less rain – here’s hoping.
Emma Plasschaert leads AS Youth Sailor of the Year Evie Saunders in Close ILCA 6 Racing – Photo Jon West
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
Due to no racing on scheduled Day 3, 5 January the ILCA 6 Qualifying Series is concluded at Race 4 (see NoR 7.2). The scoring to determine the qualification for the Finals Series provides for a drop (see SIs 16.5). The Qualifying Series results including the drop are linked above. NB the event comprises a maximum of 12 races (for all classes) so for the ILCA 6s there will be a maximum of eight final series races.
The Fleet Allocations for the ILCA 6’s Final Series are Here.
The fleet colour assignments for ILCA 6s for Races 3 & 4 are Here.