The 2023 International WASZP Games roared to life at Sorrento, witnessing Sam Street’s commanding performance, seizing two victories in spectacular fashion amidst glamourous late east-south-easterly conditions.
After enduring three days of cooler weather and rain, sailors basked in the rejuvenating 30-degree sunshine, lifting the spirits of all competitors. The onshore culture of the class was on the show with table tennis competitions, moments of beach life at Mornington Peninsula, and even a raft-up gathering at the jetty. Families relished the time spent alongside sailors, creating and awesome atmosphere.
Andrew McDougall led a tech talk attended by nearly 100 current and aspiring WASZP sailors. Adding to the festivities, the upcoming schedule includes a morning yoga session, offering sailors a chance to unwind before the races.
The awaited easterly wind finally made its presence felt around 4 pm, albeit without the necessary strength to prompt fleet action. However, at 5:15 pm local time, a promising wind spike compelled the decision to launch. Welcomed by 10-12 knots in the first race, winds built steadily to 14-15 knots for the second, rewarding the patience of both sailors and the race committee with an exhilarating day on the water.
Sam Street exhibited exceptional speed and tactics, clinching both races convincingly. His flawless execution in race one, capitalising on the right side of the course for optimal breeze, secured a resounding victory over Italian contender Francesco Bertone, who, despite a tense moment with a near nose dive, held firm for a crucial 2nd place.
Hawaii’s Gavin Ball showcased his capabilities with a commendable third place, while European Champion Markus Berthet secured 4th. Recent National Champion Tom Trotman emerged as the first Australian contender, proving he can mix it among the frontrunners.
Race 2 witnessed Street facing spirited competition from Italian sailor Ettore Bottcini, a real contender, as the series unfolds. Frenchman Hippolyte Gruet claimed the final podium spot, with Overbeck’s consistent performance placing him 3rd overall, trailing Street and Bertone.
In the women’s championship, Hattie Rogers continued her pursuit of a top 10 overall position, securing 13th in the first race and sitting 16th overall. New Zealand’s Helena Sanderson holds 30th position, closely followed by Hanako Tomishima and Tess Lloyd.
Super-Master Andrew McDougall showed he still has it with a stellar 14th place in race two, securing a spot in the top 30. Brad Devine holds 2nd place in this category.
In the masters division, Dave Shaw from NZ leads the pack, closely trailed by compatriots George Wills and Peter Graham, with Australia’s Richard Steedman not far behind.
The first junior sailor, Andrew Chisholm from Canada, sits just outside the top 10 in 12th position overall, facing a close chase from Aussie Aidan Simmons.
The 6.9s witnessed an intense battle between Pia Tvieta from Norway and Australia’s Callum Simmons, displaying consistent competitiveness, closely followed by an improving Brenn Armstrong.
The Hotlaps Crew, guided by coach James Owen-Smith, boasts up to 10 sailors navigating their path, with expectations of more joining throughout the event.
For further updates, standings, and event highlights, stay tuned to the WASZP Games at Sorrento.
The BIG news is the final 2 days of the event will feature a LIVE STREAM of the racing, stay tuned for further updates.