50th International Contender World Championship, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Swan River, Perth
Over January, BYS members John Lindholm (10th), Callum Burns (12th), Ken MacKenzie (17th) and Ned Lindholm (21st and Youth Champion) ventured to Perth experiencing a range of light to scary conditions.
The pre-regatta commenced with the Australian titles over 3 days. Three-time world champion Mark Bulka of McCrae claimed the title with Callum our best performer in 5th place, Johnny 12th and Ned 20th.
The strong southwesterly’s continued into the first day of the Worlds with 22 to 25 knots gusting 30 knots. Only one race was sailed with many describing it as the windiest conditions they had raced in. It was survival sailing. Ned lost his rig at the end of the first triangle and ended up on Nedlands beach.
Day 2 saw shifting light to moderate easterlies in the first race followed by another solid serve from the doctor in the afternoon producing a range of results for all. Day 3 was light easterly to everywhere with results again being unpredictable. Day 4 was a ripper with 3 races completed – the last in a perfect 30 degree sunny 15 to 18 knot seabreeze. Day 5 commenced at 9am with 2 races completed in light easterlies. Again, the “snakes and ladders” continued and the die was cast.
Congratulations to Mark Bulka of McCrae winning his 4th World title managing consistently strong results across all wind ranges.
The next major Contender activity will be the Victorian States at Somers YC on 1st and 2nd April this year.
There is plenty of terrific footage of the regatta online, and a great Sail World article, 2023 Contender World Championship at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club
2482 – Ken MacKenzie on Maheegan
2648 – Ned Lindholm on Flipper | 2565 – John Lindholm on Hector | 2468 – Callum Burns on Prego Prego