WA sailors have claimed the top five positions at the inaugural DF65 Australian Championship as well as filling eight of the top ten at the inaugural DF65 Australian Championship at Austin Lakes, Perth.
The event sailed over two days (06-07 March) saw the fleet of twenty two boats complete a total of twenty five races in superb racing conditions.
With the Simple Heat Racing System (SHRS) used, throughout the qualification series the points score was extremely tight with positions continuously changing with a total of twelve sailors recording at least one heat win on their score card. This kept the racing exciting with everyone needing low scores to qualify for Gold Fleet in the finals.
Bruce Robins (WA) and Brett Milner (WA) got off to a great start to the event and were definitely the guys to beat but they didn't have it easy by any means, with regular challenges coming from Ray Bassett (WA), Kel Burgess (NSW), Geoffrey Oliver (WA) and Ian Sherriff (WA) to name a few but as day one and the qualification series drew to an end the championship was still up for grabs by any in the top ten overall.
The finals series on day two saw a light breeze to start which was patchy and extremely shifty before settling later in the day and strengthening to around 8-12 knots with some slightly higher gusts which saw a few nose dives downwind.
A poor start to the day by Oliver & Robins along with others in the top six overall positions saw Milner skip out to a comfortable lead after the first few races. As the day progressed, while only winning one race, Milner maintained a level of consistency with multiple second places that would see him move into an unbeatable position for the championship title. At the same time Robins had spaced himself from the remainder of the fleet in second place and as the regatta came to a close it became a battle between four sailors for the final podium position.
Going into the final race only 2.9 points divided the four (Oliver, Kel Burgess, Bassett & Sherriff) all chasing that podium position, and with Oliver getting off to a great start he lead the final race from start to finish being enough to claim the third podium position behind Robins finishing second and Brett Milner crowned the inaugural DF65 Australian Champion.
The inaugural DF95 Australian Championship will commence tomorrow (08MAR) and will conclude Monday.
Pictured - Brett Milner (top), Bruce Robins (left), Geoffrey Oliver (right)
Click image for full results