The first day of the 2013 Oceanic Raceboard Championship saw a fleet of 27 sailors take to the idyllic waters of Hawks Nest NSW for four tough races. [more]There were a number skilled racers of the past coming back to make a competitive fleet. It was fantastic to have a good contingent of sailors from Queensland (8), making the event more of a national affair.

Registrations gave a dilemma to competitors for sail choice, with only two sails able to be registered and strong winds forecast for the 3 days of racing. The fleet had a bit of a one design look, with a large number of Severne 9.5 Raceboard sails (16) and Starboard 377 Phantoms (12) being sailed by the fleet.

Racing started at 1 pm, with a strong 15-20 knot North Easter with gusts up to 25. A swell had started to build and there was a strong outgoing current. Leo Sharpe took the first race, followed closely by James Grunfelder sailing with an older, Mistral One Design 7.5 sail, showing that larger sails aren’t always better. Brendan Moore came in third.
The second race saw several sailors change down to smaller sails. Leo stayed on his Severne 9.5 RB sail, and was able to get the win again. After a better start, Glen Morrell came in second, followed by Brendan Moore again in third. There was close competitive racing amongst the top 5-6 boards.

The third race of the day saw a similarly competitive race. With slightly stronger winds, James Grunfelder’s sail suited the conditions, and some great sailing brought him the win. Glen Morrell couldn’t quite overtake James and came in second. Leo Sharpe, starting to get to the limit of his 9.5, still finished strongly in third.

In the last race of the day, the wind was slightly lighter, being more to the liking of a number of sailors. Leo, ironically, rigged down to a Severne Reflex 3, 8.7 for what turned out to be the lightest race of the day, yet showed his class and was first over the line. In a consistent display Glen took second, followed by Ben Morrell in third.

Unfortunately the conditions proved quite difficult for many sailors, though efforts were made by all to get as far as they could around the course. Racing was close all day for the front group of sailors, who enjoyed the conditions of the day.

The fleet were treated to a fantastic P course set by the race crew, demanding sailors to display all aspects of Raceboard sailing, with a long work, nice reaches and a downwind leg. The course showed the versatility of the Raceboard, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all competitors. A big thanks to the efficient race crew.

With Formula, RSX and Bic Techno also racing on the same course, the day was a fantastic exposition of windsurfing (near to 70 sailors). Racing was followed by an Australia day BBQ, bringing all the windsurfers together.

Thanks must go to the volunteers of the race crew who enabled the maximum races to be completed by all classes, made more important due to the forecast of strong and ballistic winds on Monday, and possibly Sunday.

At the end of day 1 the top 3 are:
Leo Sharp – 6 pts
James Grunfelder – 12 pts
Glen Morrell – 13 pts