We are only a few days away from the highlight of the Australian Course Racing season: the Qantas http://www.downunderpro.com/
With over 70 competitors already registered, and windy conditions forecast, we should be in for some classic racing...
The 2013 Down Under Pro will be run from the 30th of January to the second of February. The event is the Oceanic and Australian Championships for Formula board windsurfing.
This year, as always, the entry list shows an impressive line up to challenge for the Oceanic and Australian titles. The best sailors in the world as well as the top-ranked Australians will compete in up to sixteen races to determine the winner. The list of entries include current and 5-time Australian Champion Sean O’Brien AUS-120, 1 World ranked sailor from Brazil, Wilhelm Schurmann BRA-999, 2 World ranked Formula windsurfing Champion Steve Allen AUS 0 and former 1 World Ranked sailor from Denmark, Jesper Vesterstrøm DEN-111.
Formula Windsurfing is the box rule of windsurfing. It is a development class that encourages different designs and ideas; however the majority of the products available are starting to look very similar. Boards can be up to 1005mm wide, carbon fins are 700mm's deep and sails can be as large as 12.5M/2. These boards have a massive wind range that enables racing in very light winds from seven knots up to 35 knots and are capable of reaching speeds of over 30 knots.
The RSX, Bic Techno and raceboard classes will hold their Oceanic Championships over the long weekend of January 24th -26th. This weekend will also be used as a warm up regatta for the Formula Class and will count for Heat 5 of the NSW Formula Windsurfing Tour.
The Down under Pro will be run from the picturesque Jimmy's Beach in Hawkes Nest. The beach is nestled between the coastal forests and pristine beaches of the Myall Lakes National Park, featuring spectacular views across the Port Stephens waterways and the Myall River. The region enjoys mostly 10-15 knot gradient winds each day, with the possibility of sea breezes around 15 - 25 knots, perfect for windsurfing! With average daytime temperatures of 25-33 degrees, spectators and competitors alike can hangout in one Australia's best kept secret holiday spots.
The race course for these events is usually located a couple of hundred meters off the beach, which allows racers to return to shore between the twenty minute races. This format ensures a very family friendly environment. The Formula Experience division also allows people who are interested in joining the class to start and race one lap on the same course as the pro's. It is certainly one way to improve your starts!
If anyone is at all interested check out the website, or come to Jimmy's Beach to see some of the best windsurfers in the world, compete on one of Australia's most spectacular stretches of water.
The event website is http://www.fw-australia.com/
For more information on the formula class check out our web site http://tour.windsurfingnsw.com/