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’09 Lancelin Ocean Classic – Final Report

 


09 Lancelin Ocean Classic – Final Report


Once again, the Lancelin Ocean Classic was the event of the year and definitely not one to miss out on with eventscorp and www.westernaustralia.com now supporting the event. It was expected to be bigger and better than before and did not disappoint.


Thanks to the great organization this event had all the good things: windsurfing, wind, waves, happy people, parties… The Ocean Classic is a big windsurfing festival including a wave event, the longest downwind race in the world (represented in the Guinness book of records) and a slalom event, all of it in a unique atmosphere: music playing all the time, live bands, loads of people coming to watch, free windsurfing lessons for the kids. Lancelin which is usually a quiet little fishing town turns into a really busy party ground.


Once again this year the event attracted some of the best windsurfers in the world including names such as Peter Volwater, Scott Mckercher, Karin Jaggi, Leure Treboux, Patrik Diethelm, Chris Lockwood, Jesper Orth and Boujmaa Guilloul.


The wave event started on Thursday with conditions offering a nice 20 knots of wind and head high waves. The girls were sent out first for a 25 minute heat which was fantastic as explained by Leure Treboux. “We all loved it out there, catching waves, smiling and having fun. I landed a few loops, shove its and so on, got some nice riding, and won!!!”


Then the open division where sent where the waves were getting better and better. This is always a very competitive division with the final results being William Kolbrink in 1st place, 2nd Blair Gavin and 3rd Jamie Cobill.


Then it was time for the Elite division which was represented by a lot of big names: Boujmaa, Jaeger Stone, Scotty Mckercher, Ben Severne, Luke Walmsley, etc. With a $1200 cash prize up for grabs for first place the guys where definitely not holding back. The top 4 from the first round included Jaegar Stone, Scott Mckercher, Ben Severne and Jamie Cobill.  With the first round finished it was time to head to the pub for a couple of beers and wait for the double elimination the next day.


The following day (Friday), the double elimination was started. The wind was a bit lighter and the swell had also dropped slightly but the conditions were still excellent to run the double. This is where things became very interesting. Everyone thought Boujmaa wouldn’t go far on the second day after being knocked out in the first heat on the previous day… how wrong they were. The Moroccan was amazing, he had worked out the wave perfectly and kept knocking people out of the competition round after round until he met the previous day’s winner Jaeger Stone in the final. He had to beat him twice to be crowned the winner of the 2009 Lancelin Ocean Classic Wave event. He managed to win the first final which kept everyone on the edge of their seats however with no energy left after sailing so many heats, Jaeger Stone was crowned the 2009 champ with Boujmaa claiming 2nd place and Ben Severne 3rd.


It was now Saturday and time for the blue ribbon event, the Ledge to Lancelin Marathon. 26kms down wind with 170 starters! With names such as Peter Volwater (Holland), Patrik Diethelm (Switzerland), Scott Mckercher (Australia), Karin Jaggi (Switzerland), Chris Lockwood (Australia) and Jesper Orth (Australia) it was going to be a very close race.


With thousands of spectators at the start line as well as at the finish and music pumping out of the speakers, the sailors were all pumped up and ready to go. The media Helicopters where hovering just off the edge of the beach waiting for the start gun. With one minute to go the sailors picked up their equipment ready for the running start to the water. Then they were off and the 2009 Lancelin Ocean Classic had begun in around 23 knots of wind. An amazing site 170 Sailors, thousands of spectators, helicopters following the leaders and a prize pool of $10,000 cash. No wonder this is Australia’s biggest windsurfing race.


It was a hard fought race all the way to the end as explained by Chris Lockwood who claimed second place:


 It was a great race. Thanks to all the guys and gals involved in organizing it, and a big thanks to all the competitors.
Peter was right there for most of the race, and he passed me on the 4th leg after I did a slow gybe. I caught him again at the end of the leg. He gybed early, and I thought he was not going to make the marker boat in one go. He went upwind of the boat, found a nice steep swell, surfed it clew first for a considerable distance and hooked in alongside me for the last run out to the last mark. I got there first, but was struggling to find a ramp to gybe on and stay planing- there was very little wind. I shot wide in desperation, and peter hooked a nice ramp to cruise past on the inside. I was left floundering and pumping to try to get planing again… he was long gone. But I put the pedal down in a last ditch attempt to catch him. His landing wasn’t too flash but was good enough to hold me off on the beach. It was one of the best races I’ve done in terms of being pushed all the way to the end. Feeling a bit sore still! Congrats Peter.
NEXT YEAR…”


The final results where Peter Volwater 1st, Chris Lockwood 2nd and Patrik Diethelm 3rd with Karin Jaggi winning the ladies division. All results can be found at www.lancelinoceanclassic.com.au


It was now party time and with thousands of people expected it was going to be one of the biggest in the 24 year history of the event and it did not disappoint. With ½ an hour of amazing fireworks and a great band the town of Lancelin partied well into the night. This party is one that everyone must attend at least once in your life.


On Sunday the wind was light which was perfect for the ‘kids to have a go at windsurfing’ morning. With a huge turnout of 70 youngsters it proved to be a great success and fantastic for the sport of windsurfing to have that many kids giving it a try. The light conditions also allowed the big kids to recover in the adjoining park with the big Aussie recovery breakfast.


Plans have already begun for the 25th anniversary event next year and you will be able to see all details @ www.lancelinoceanclassic.com.au


Thanks to eventscorp and Tourism WA for supporting the sport of windsurfing and regional towns such as Lancelin. Also big thanks to Col Leonhardt for the pictures: www.birdseyeviewphotography.com.au


For more information on this event, email surfandsail@bigpond.com


 

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