Another day of strong winds for the final day of Sail Melbourne International meant an early finish to the event with the last day of Invited class racing called off. Olympic classes also finished one day early and wrapped up on Saturday, 2 December with medal winners decided after a three-day race series.
“This has been a very unusual weather pattern and we had 20 to 25 knots all night. The forecast is that it will stay like that all day as well. Even if some of the classes could cope with that wind speed, what they could not cope with is the sea state we have out there. In the channel we have two to three metre waves,” Principal Race Officer (PRO) Mark Taylor explained the situation.
It was a challenging week for the race committee with a heavy weather front crossing Melbourne and Victoria, but with the Organising Committee’s world class expertise the event wrapped up smoothly.
“We have a good group of partner clubs that allow us to deliver the number of courses that we have and we have got great depth in race management skills, partially because of this event. Sail Melbourne has allowed us to put world’s best practice back to our partner clubs and to also use the Sailing World Cup we hosted over the last few years to lift a lot of skills here.” Mark Taylor said with Sail Melbourne International one of the fixtures on the World Sailing calendar.
“It is a shame that the weather hasn’t been kind to us but it’s been wonderful to have had such a good turn out at our event,” Event Chairman Mark Klemens agreed. “This regatta has been going since 1992 and was coupled with the Sailing World Cup for the last few years and has continued on. Our host Royal Brighton Yacht Club has been amazing and we had a fantastic group of volunteers, who we could not have done without.
“It’s one of the events, which is on the sailing calendar in Australia and around the world and I’m confident it will only grow stronger in the future. In regard to the weather, I’m sure weather like this weekend will never happen again,” Klemens added laughing.
Sail Melbourne International is Australia’s premier Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta, held annually in the waters of Port Phillip. This year the regatta was hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club with some of the world’s best sailors from Australia and around the world attending.
360 competitors from ten countries raced at Sail Melbourne International 2017 with sailors coming from Australia, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Bermuda, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada.
The stellar Melbourne line-up included the Australian Sailing Team and Australian Olympic medallists with Rio 2016 Olympic champion Tom Burton winning the Laser, Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan the 470 and Rio 2016 silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin winning the mixed-multihull Nacra17 on home waters.
Sail Melbourne International offers the rare opportunity for competitors to mix it up with Australia’s up and coming talent, world champions and Olympic medallists on the Port Phillip racetrack. Competing along side their Olympic heroes offers an aspirational pathway for young sailors in the Invited and Youth classes, which wrapped up on Sunday, 3 December.
Tentative dates for Sail Melbourne International 2018 out of Royal Brighton Yacht Club are 12 to 16 December 2018.