Cockburn City 2018 Australian F18 National Titles - WA

Published Thu 08 Feb 2018

The Australian F18 Nationals were held at Jervoise Bay Yacht Club, Western Australia 24-27 January. 12 races were held. Wind conditions on each day were: Day 1, 7 knots on the first leg of the first race but increased to 19 knots thereafter; Day 2, first race 11 knots increasing to 21 knots thereafter; Day 3, 14 - 22 knots; Day 4, 18 - 21 knots with gusts of 25 knots. Sea conditions were generally quite flat. 

34 boats attended the regatta, down from the 2017 nationals of 46 boats. This was due to the significant distance crews had to travel from eastern states (eg 36 hours driving time from Melbourne - even more from Tasmania). The support for the regatta reflects the strength of the F18 class in Australia and in particular, the support for the WA fleet who travel this distance or more every year to attend nationals in the eastern states. 

This year the Australian F18 Association started a travel subsidy program for crews traveling long distances to attend national events each year, particularly the WA fleet and Queensland fleets traveling to the eastern states. 

Racing was dominated from the outset by WA crew James Clark (skipper) and Max Puttman (crew) on an Edge who won the event with a truly remarkable first place in races 1 - 11 (they did not need to sail the 12th race), despite strong opposition by many world class sailors in the fleet. All these wins, bar one, were very strong, leading second place by several hundred metres. Both James and Max had trained heavily leading up to the event and it showed with superior boat speed, height, crew work and tactics. This was despite the lack of any funding or coaching but a scientific approach to what worked and what didn’t. 

James and Max sailed with a Goodall boomed decksweeper (with minor modifications by Max - Next Gen Sailmakers) and a spinnaker made by Max .


Full results here


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