The first day of racing at the Downunder Pro - Formula Windsurfing Oceanic & Australian Championships had sailors on the water for 3 races in shifty, tactical conditions with Latvian Janis Priess leading the event ahead of Christian Justesen from Denmark and Sean O'Brien the defending champion from Australia.
Racing on Day 1 of the 2015 Downunder Pro - Formula Windsurfing Oceanic & Australian Championships kicked off today at the new venue of Belmont on picturesque Lake Macquarie, Australia's largest coastal salt-water lake. Despite a few spots of rain over the day, light and shifty winds held in long enough to complete 3 race with the results reflecting the tricky and tactical conditions for the small but world class fleet.
Multiple-time World Champion from Australia, Steve Allen (Starboard/Severne), led the charge early dominating the first two races ahead of Janis Priess (Gaastra/Gaastra) from Latvia and Christian Justesen (Starboard/Neilpryde) from Denmark who played musical chairs on the minor placings throughout the 3 races with Priess winning the final race of the day.
Defending Australian champion, Sean O'Brien (Starboard/Severne) finished the day in 3rd overall posting a 4th and two 3rd's to keep him on the podium with his teammate Steve Allen having some gear failure in the final race which he wasn't able to finish, dropping him back to 7th overall. Now after 3 races, Priess leads the event on 7 points ahead of Justesen on 9 points and O'Brien on 10 points.
The tricky conditions today allowed for some mixed results as some sailors struggled to find the right gears in the fluky and shifty conditions. 73 year old Tibor Ferenczy (Starboard/Severne) found the right gears today posting a consistent 8th in each of the 3 races today. Brett Morris (Starboard/Severne) leads the Grand Masters division in 4th overall ahead of Ferenczy and Rick Murray (JP/North).
The forecast for tomorrow looks light. however with a high pressure system sitting off the coast of Sydney it will come down to how far the high wants to travel as to the affect of the winds tomorrow.
photographer Rob Plim