Australian Championships also brings the best of the region.
The foundation Oceania Laser Championship was a feature of this year’s Australian Laser Championship.
Over 160 competitors from Fiji, The Cook Islands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bermuda, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and of course here at home in Australia came together under the Oceania banner to compete in the inaugural Oceania Continental Laser Championships.
Nationally, every State and Territory was represented in the event; with Western Australia continuing to lead the way following their success in the Zhik 2018 Australian 9er Championships the week before.
The regatta conditions varied from light shifting Easterlies, to Sea Breezes and storm affected conditions as seasonal storms moved in from the West at various points in the regatta. In the end an all-round test of skills was presented to competitors.
In the Standard Lasers it was Matt Wearn’s year. He held a commanding lead over the regatta duration, which fellow Australian Sailing Team member Tom Burton couldn’t match. The Rio Gold Medalist had to settle for second place ahead of Queensland’s Mitch Kennedy, and the top three sailors shared all 11 race wins.
New member to the Australian Sailing Team, Finn Alexander, took the Under 21 Champion in the Standard while in the new Corinthian Division Japan’s Yuki Nishio was victorious.
For the Laser Radial Fleet the 75 boat starting line was a challenge in itself, with an International battle at the front between West Australians Zac Littlewood, Caelin Winchcombe, New Zealander Josh Armit, and Yoshihiro Suzuki from Japan. Littlewood was eventually dominant with six wins from the eleven races, with Armit second and Suzuki third.
For Japan the Radial was a success story with Manami Doi taking the Oceania event Cube over Australian Champion Zoe Thomson. The Women’s representation in the Radial was world class with almost half of the top 20 in the Radial being Women.
The West Australian Team made it clean sweep of the Class Championships with Michael Compton from the South of Perth Yacht Club winning in the 4.7 Laser, from Singapore’s Wonn Kye Lee and New South Wales sailor Boston Cortis.
In the 4.7 Women’s category Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member, and North Queenslander from Tinaroo, Kristen Wadley won her second Australian Women’s Championship after a tough start to the regatta.
Kristen was two places in the overall from Hunters Hill Sailing Club sailor and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member Sylvie Stannage. The 62 boat 4.7 fleet enjoyed close racing and some big days racing next to the Standard sailors on the Delta Course.
For many of the Laser sailors they will now enjoy a short break before competing at the Australian Youth Championships, to be held at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron from the 11th of January.
Follow the action at: www.rqys.com.au/msos