The Winners Crowned

The 2015 Green Island Nationals finished up with 5 days of solid high-wind racing with Danish Jesper Vesterstrøm taking the slalom event win ahead of Jesper Orth who is crowned Australian Slalom Champion. Alastair Bentley from Western Australia won the Freestyle championship for the 3rd year in a row with first time contender Byron McIlveen taking out the Freerace title.

Strong, consistent winds have peppered the island this week with racing taking place on Wednesday in winds over 30 knots making for some challenging conditions for the sailors over the 5 day competition on Green Island National Park on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian Slalom Championship was hotly contested this year with Danish import Jesper Vesterstrøm (Starboard/Gaastra) in town to compete against Australia’s best. With 5 competitors including defending Champion Sean O’Brien (Starboard/Severne) having regularly competed on the PWA World Tour for slalom, the front spots were always going to be heavily contested. After 6 eliminations Vesterstrøm was able to nudge out his Danish compatriate, adopted Australian Jesper Orth (Starboard/KA Sails) to take the win giving the Australian Slalom Title to Orth ahead of O’Brien and Isaac De Vries (Patrik/Severne), Rowen Law (Patrik/Severne) and Byron McIlveen (Exocet/Maui Sails), making up the Top 5 Australian placed riders. Karen Robertson (Starboard/Severne) took out the women’s slalom title with Alex Halank (Starboard/Severne) winning the youth division.

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Vesterstrøm managed to take 3 bullets over the 6 eliminations registering a 7.0m and 7.9m as his two sails for the event and said about the conditions during the week:

“Competing at Green Island was definitely one of the coolest and most beautiful events I have ever done. A ‘dream come true’ downwind course, making racing thrilling and exciting. A relaxed daily schedule giving everyone time to enjoy the trip and a nice nightlife back in Cairns. It has it all and I’ll make it a priority to come back again next year. Big thanks to Ian Fox and crew for making it and epic event”.

The Australian Freerace Championships, a division where competitors take their best speed averages and distances over a 1-hour GPS timed session each day, was taken out by New South Wales rider Byron McIlveen (Exocet/Maui Sails) ahead of Kaleb Smith (Starboard/Severne) from Tasmania and local Cairns sailor Kelly Morgan (Starboard/Severne). Karen Robertson took out the women’s Freerace division. McIlveen, who competed for the first time at this event, was delighted with his win:

“This has been one of the best sailing / racing weeks of my life. What an event what a place and great people!”

In the Australian Freestyle Championships, which finished up on Thursday afternoon, the podium spots were dominated by Western Australia with Alastair Bentley (Knightmare/Severne) taking his 3rd straight title in a row ahead of Max Ploumis (F2/Severne) and David Williams (Starboard/Severne. The strong winds made for some radical and challenging conditions with the competition taking place in the flat waters of the island’s reef shelves giving the best platform for the multitude of flip and spin tricks competitors are capable of in flat water.

This multi-discipline Australian Championship event is hosted in one of Australia’s most famous National Park islands, home to many rare and native Australian animals and plants; situated on the Great Barrier Reef, boasting some of the clearest waters and abundant reefs in the southern hemisphere. During the winter months, Green Islands cops the ‘trade winds’ with conditions exceeding 20 knots nearly every single day throughout May-August, perfect for windsurfing competition and an ideal location to host this premier windsurfing event.

2015 Australian SLALOM Championships FINAL Results
2015 Australian FREESTYLE Championships FINAL Results
2015 Australian FREERACE Championships FINAL Results

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