Close racing in the Access Liberty fleet
The 2008 Access Class Victorian Championships were held at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club over the weekend of February 16 & 17.
Conditions for the event were ideal, with breezes ranging from 4-18 knots and moderate waves. Nine races were held over the two days for the experienced and intermediate single person divisions of the Access 2.3 and 303 classes along with the Access Liberty. The novice and two-person divisions enjoyed a three-race series on Sunday afternoon.
Most of the twenty eight competitors came from Sailability programs run by Yacht Clubs in Victoria and interstate.
In the International Access 2.3s, the 2007 Australian and World Champion, Duncan MacGregor from Cairns QLD, dominated the results table with six wins. Second overall and the top Victorian was Cadeyrn Gaskin from Docklands Yacht Club. Andrew Cook from Sandringham, an experienced sailor but new to the Access classes, claimed third.
The Womens’ Access 2.3 Trophy was presented to Krista Bailey from Mornington Yacht Club following her fourth placing. Winner of the Servo-Assist 2.3 division was Martin Waller from Sugarloaf Sailing Club.
The Access 303s were won convincingly by Alison Weatherly from Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Alison won every heat, with the exception of the first when she scored a third. Paul Borg from Gippsland Lakes was second overall, just one point ahead of Mornington’s Darren Roberts.
The Liberty division enjoyed some very close racing, although Charles Weatherly from Ballarat Yacht Club (and father of 303 Champion Alison) posted six wins to put the championship beyond doubt. Second place went to Barry Coates from Southport Yacht Club on Queensland’s Gold Coast and third to Bruce James of Latrobe Valley Yacht Club. Winner of the Servo-Assist division was Wayne Crabb from Port Adelaide Yacht Club in South Australia.
Sunday afternoon provided beautiful sunny skies and light to moderate breezes for the novice and two-person competitions.
Brittany Francis from Sailing For Everyone Ballarat won the Access 2.3s with a four point margin to Lore Alessandrini from Docklands. Third was Dylan Wapshott, also from Ballarat.
The two-person 303 division was won by Paul Borg (GLYC) & Samantha Roberts (MYC) on an equal points tie-break from Krista Bailey (MYC) and Cadeyrn Gaskin (DYC). Third were Thomas and Des McGann from Mornington.
The Royal Brighton Yacht Club provided an outstanding venue for the event. The modern accessible clubhouse and excellent hospitality facilities ensured everyone enjoyed their time ashore. The expansive floating marine and hard-stand storage area, close proximity to the racing areas and enthusiastic support from the RBYC on-water volunteers helped to set a new standard for Access Class State Championships.
‘We were delighted to have sailors from three States competing in the Victorian Championships’, said Access Class Executive Officer David Staley.
‘The weather was just perfect, allowing Royal Brighton to conduct arguably our best State Championship event ever’, he said.
Many of the Victorian and interstate competitors used the event as preparation for the Australian and International Championships being held in Canberra during Easter.