Lancelin is gearing up to host the world’s best windsurfers for the longest international marathon event, writes Janine Pittaway
Final preparations are being made for the 2011 Lancelin Ocean Classic – sailing off the stunning Western Australian coastline from 6 to 9 January.
Windsurfing world champion Björn Dunkerbeck (Team Red Bull), will be the man to beat, giving local windsurfers a chance to pitch their skills against the current world number-two slalom rider.
Joining Bjorn will be international Swiss windsurfing superstar and current World Number 1 in Women’s Slalom, Karin Jaggi.
2010 Lancelin Ocean Classic Marathon winner Peter Volwater is returning to defend the title he has won for the past three years. He is a past European champion and is currently ranked 15 in the world for slalom and 25 in the world in for wave sailing.
Newcomer to the event but certainly not the sport, pro windsurfer Timo Mullen from Ireland, will take on local champions Ben Severne – the 2010 Lancelin Ocean Classic Wave Sailing winner, Jesper Orth, Chris Lockwood, Dan Engdahl and Jager Stone. Past world champion Scott McKercher from Margaret River he will also be extremely competitive in the waves and marathon.
The Lancelin Ocean Classic combines three races - Wave Sailing (6 & 7 January), Slalom (9 January) and the main event - The Ledge Point to Lancelin Marathon (8 January) where competitors zigzag through 25km of open ocean, racing to the finish line at the Endeavor Tavern and a well-earned beer! Ledge Point to Lancelin is the longest marathon event in the world.
More than 400 windsurfers are expected to be competing for the $25,000 in prize money.
The Lancelin Ocean Classic, presented by KineticIT, has been running since 1986, making it one of Australia’s longest-running windsurfing competitions.
Competitors and spectators are invited to take part in the many festive activates that will be held on the beach throughout the event and a Saturday night party held at the Endeavor Tavern.
Daytime activities on the event weekend include paddle boarding, windsurfing demos, great music and entertainment. Refreshments will be on sale. People can watch the racing from 9am Saturday at Ledge Point, and Sunday from 11am finishing up mid-late afternoon on both days at Lancelin.
Competitor entries are still open and more information is available at www.lancelinoceanclassic.com.au