2013 – Canberra

The 2013 Australian Access Class Championships, concurrently with the Asia-Pacific Championships were held at the Canberra Yacht Club over the Easter long weekend, 29 to 31 March 2013.

Part of the celebration of Canberra’s Centenary, the Championships were officially opened by Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy. Competitors travelled to Canberra from all over Australia, along with competitors from New Zealand and Japan.

Single person racing was held in the Access 2.3, 303 and Liberty classes and the two-person competition was in the Access 303 and SKUD 18. 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalists Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch also competed, inspiring the next generation of developing sailors in the process. The 2013 Australian & Asia-Pacific Access Class Championships concluded with a full program of eight races for each division conducted by Phil Yeomans and his race management team. The racing saw a light and variable morning breeze being replaced by a moderate westerly in the early afternoon, providing excellent race conditions to finish off the regatta.

The single person divisions were first on the water after the obligatory AP flag was lowered at 10:30. Chris Ruston (QLD) completed a perfect scorecard in the Access 2.3 competition with Allister Peek (ACT) taking second place and Doug Monk (NSW) in third.

In the Liberties, Bob Schahinger (SA) claimed the overall win by a comfortable margin. There was much shuffling of places further down the fleet however, including a 1-2 score on the final day for Chris Riordan (VIC) enabling him to swap positions with Cadeyrn Gaskin (VIC) who finished the regatta in third.

In the 303 doubles, Jocelyn & Tristan Nuemueller (SA) did not sail the final race, but had built an 11 point lead to secure the championship trophy. Alyse Saxby & Bob Hamilton (NSW) had some placings they would rather forget, dropping them from second place yesterday to fourth. John Price & Lindsay Mason (NSW) moved up to second with 3-4 finishes and two race wins today by Nicholas Dukes & Bruce James (VIC) moved them up to third.

In the SKUD 18s, Ame Barnbrook & Matt Crawford (NSW) posted a 4-1 this afternoon to finish their championship with a two point advantage over Rob & Peter Crawford (NSW). Paralympic Gold Medalist Liesl Tesch sailing with Mark Thomson were third.

Regatta organiser Terry Peek emceed the presentation ceremony on the lawns of the Canberra Yacht Club, with trophies presented by Race Officer Phil Yeomans (NSW) and Jury Chairman John Grace (NZL).

2.3 and 303 singles results

303 doubles results

Liberty & SKUD19 results

2011 – Perth

Asia-Pacific and Australian Access Championship – West Australian and Tasmanian sailors have claimed most of the major trophies at the Australian and Asia-Pacific Access Class Championships 2011 which concluded at Royal Perth Yacht Club today.

Conditions for the final day were testing for RPYC Race Officer Annette Morris and her team. A very light northerly this morning allowed just the one shortened race for the single person divisions, but after several mark movements and a long postponement a south-westerly eventually filled in for the afternoon session.

Yesterday, Craig Escott (TAS) had taken the lead in the Access 2.3 division on a tie-break from Martin Waller (VIC). His first place today gave Escott a two point break to secure the title. Third placed was Michiyo Nishino (JPN). Sailing with servo electric control of his helm and mainsheet, Waller took home the Access 2.3 Servo trophy as consolation for the overall trophy that has eluded him.

Fellow Tasmanian Robert Eadie also won his final race of the series to claim the Access 303 single person division prize. This was Eadie’s first year in the 303, having progressed through the 2.3 fleet over the past few years. He finished with an impressive eight point buffer over Roy Jewell (VIC), with Wayne McNeil (WA) four points further back.

In the two person 303 fleet, Wayne Crabb and Bob Schahinger (SA) placed 1-3 today, while Wayne McNeil and Neil Colwell (WA) and Lachlan and Tony Clear (NSW) had some ordinary results. The WA and NSW teams had to settle for second and third, happy not to have been caught up by Sarah and Craig Millsom (VIC) who finished with a 2-1 scoreline.

Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Mike Cull (WA) took out the Liberty division honours with a win in the final heat, pushing Chris Riordan (VIC) into second with Bob Schahinger (SA) finishing in third place. There was very close racing in this fleet over the three days. Helena Horsewell (NZL) took home the Liberty Servo Trophy.

Local SKUD 18 sailors Jamie Dunross and Rachael Cox (WA), in a boat they only put together a day before the championships, made a statement in the final session with a 1-1-1 scoreline to finish four points ahead of yesterday’s leaders. Jovin Tan and Desiree Lim (SIN) are their country’s Paralympic representatives for the 2012 Games and match-raced the new local team hard over the three days.

The duel was excellent training for these two teams who now head for the IFDS World Championships in Weymouth, UK, in July. Russell Phillips and Morgan Staley (VIC) were on the pace by the end of the regatta, but had to be content with third.

During the Awards Ceremony at RPYC, other presentations included:

• Best performances for Special Olympics sailors – First Martin Waller (VIC), Second Sarah Millsom (VIC), Third Mark Thorpe (VIC)
• Best Junior – Yuki Nishino (JPN)
• Best Female – Sarah Millsom (VIC)
• Most Improved – Helena Horswell (NZL)
• Australian Encouragement Award – Thomas McGann (VIC)
• International Encouragement Award – ‘Frank’ Sekiya (JPN)
• Hans Hill Volunteer Award – Bob Schahinger (SA)