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News Archive



27th – 31st December 2010 - iycwindsurfingevents.net.au


Light easterly winds for the final day of the Oceanic Championships meant only one race before the final presentation.  John Demol AUS 734 had a very convincing win in the Raceboard fleet with 6 bullets out of the 9 races overall.  James Grunfelder was second with Benjamin Morrell only two points behind him claiming the bronze position.

Day Three Video - Pat Coleman talks to us all about the 'Raceboard' class of windsurfing; one of the longstanding windsurfing classes that can be raced in winds from 0-30 knots!

Perfect conditions around 15 knots for competitors on Day Three of the Oceanic Championships.  After 8 races John Demol (AUS 734) heads the Raceboard fleet with a clear six points over his rival James Grunfelder.

Stay tuned on the event live feed


What a contrast on day two as the wind gods delivered 14-20 knots for the mid-morning start and there was certainly plenty of action on the race course.  By midday, there were issues with anchors holding the start boat in the ever increasing winds so there was a slight delay while a bigger one was found!  25 knots plus caused "carnage" on the race course, only a few boards in each class braved the winds and the rescue teams were kept very busy!

We await the results of day two.  Meanwhile competitors can relax and enjoy the epic dinner party at the Illawarra Yacht Club and perhaps wonder what day three will bring.

Day two video - Being interviewed is Ben Morrell (AUS-88) from his home club, who's currently in 4th after two days of racing at the event.

Light shifting winds mainly from the South East and grey skies greeted the competitors on Day One of the 2011 Windsurfing Oceanic Championships. RSX and Techno competitors remained on the beach as the Raceboard fleet waited for their start in wind described as "fresher than nothing" by the Race Director.  However, racing was able to begin on Lake Illawarra by mid afternoon and the day finished with 2 good races completed for all classes.  James Grunfelder and John Demol each took a bullet in the raceboard fleet.

Day One photos here

NEWS RELEASE: 13 December 2010 - There is only a few weeks to go until the 2011 Windsurfing Oceanic Championships begins and the weather has finally swung to warm conditions.  However there has been a lot of rain (floods where it has been years in drought). Winds at Lake Illawarra have generally been NE in the afternoon, with speeds up to 30 knots on some days, but averaging about 15 knots.

In the Raceboard fleet last year's men's champion, James Grunfelder, has been having a quiet year at his Sydney club.  However, James' skill and speed is always on display at the big regattas and he is expected to be battling at the front end of the fleet again this year. Light wind specialists Martin Thearle and Martin Stone, both from Sydney, have been in top form all year with Thearle winning the recent interclub championship.

In the mix if the wind is a bit stronger is Pat Coleman with a combination of Starboard Phantom and a new Severne Raceboard sail. Sydney club captain Greg MacInnes has also taken delivery of a new Tushingham sail and will be very competitive.

Of the locals, Wollongong sailor John Demol looks like the best chance at securing the Raceboard Championships. John has been working hard on his high wind technique and his all-round speed should cause problems for other competitors. Perennial favourite Mike Nelson has been having a great year on the formula circuit and, if he can transfer this form to the raceboard, will be a chance for the championship.

The 2011 Oceanic Windsurfing Championship is being held on Lake Illawarra, Wollongong, NSW with the event control centre based at The Illawarra Yacht Club.

This event brings together three of the main windsurfing classes: -

· RSX – the Olympic class for the last Olympics and the upcoming London Olympics.

· Techno – the international Youth class and recognised feeder class for the RSX

· Raceboard – the original longboard class updated with the latest technology

The combination of the three classes at the one event promises to be the largest windsurfing regatta held in Australia for many years.

Competitors from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and possibly Europe are expected to attend, including former Olympic competitors.

The event features both male & female sailors and age categories ranging from juniors (U15) to masters (O35).

The Illawarra Yacht Club has a long history associated with windsurfing, beginning as a division of the club in the late 70’s. As well as producing national and international windsurfing  champions the club has hosted some large windsurfing events, including the 1992 Windsurfer One Design world championship, and the 2009 and 2010
Raceboard National and Oceanic Championships.

Lake Illawarra is a large estuary compared to others on the NSW coast. It is also unusual in that despite a surface area of 35 square kilometres, it has a maximum depth of only 3.5m with a significant area of the lake being less than 1m in depth.

The average lake depth is 1.9m. The Lake has a relatively long and shallow sea entrance which allows only small tidal variation to occur. Recent major civil work has
widened the lake entrance leading to increased water exchange and improved water quality.

Although essentially a closed inland waterway the wave generation due to winds can produce a rough lake surface. Winds blowing from the south can produce a steep, short frequency chop that challenges a windsurfer's board handling skills and makes for exciting racing.

Conditions expected during the championship are for winds SE to NE, with an average maximum (at 3pm) speed of 7 – 16 knots; water temperature 20°C; air temperature 17 – 30°C. Stronger winds are regularly experienced, particularly the well-known "Southerly Buster" in which wind speeds can reach 40 knots.

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