Racing on Day 1 of the 2014 Downunder Pro – Formula Windsurfing Oceanic & Australian Championships kicked off today at the new venue of Georges River Sailing Club, at the southern end of Botany Bay, Sydney. With relatively light and gusty winds prevailing over the day, 4 races were completed with the results reflecting the tricky and tactical conditions.
6-time Australian Champion from Brisbane, Sean O’Brien (Starboard/Severne) had a great start to the event, with 3 wins in the 4 races and narrowly missing a clean slate of victories after leading the first race until the last few hundred metres before some clever downwind tactics allowed the Danish former World #1, Jesper Vesterstrøm (Gaastra/Gaastra) to pass him and take the first race win. Vesterstrøm currently sits in 2nd overall posting a 1st, 4th and two 2nd’s after the first day of racing.
The battle for the third spot on the podium is a close one with Nathan Hohnberg (Patrik/MauiSails) currently in the spot but just 1 point ahead of a three-way tie between Rick Murray (JP/North), Brett Morris (Gaastra/Gaastra) and Luke Baillie (Starboard/Severne).
The tricky conditions today allowed for some mixed results as some sailors struggled to find the right gears in the fluky and shifty conditions. 72 year old Tibor Firenczy (Starboard/Severne) found the right gears in the final race of today, leading around the first mark before being run down by O’Brien and Vesterstrøm but still finishing a commendable 3rd, keeping him in 7th overall.
The forecast for the next days of racing looks very promising with winds building over the week with strong winds forecast tomorrow for Day 2 of racing.