With strong swells today off the coast of Lancelin in Western Australia, local and international wave sailors competing in the Lancelin Ocean Classic had a good time on the waves but would have preferred a bit more wind to really show off their skills.
In divisions of Masters, Women, Junior, and Open, 33 sailors took to the waves to out-manoeuvre each other with the highest aerials and radical wave sailing under clear blue skies.
While it is too early to know results for the day’s wave sailing, competitors said they had a good time out on the water with a swell of four metres and winds of up to 13kn.
World’s best female windsurfer, Karin Jaggi from Switzerland, said she caught some good waves in the light onshore winds.
“I had a good time on the waves but found the wind conditions pretty hard as I prefer more offshore conditions, but I think it would be the same for everyone.
The elite competitors including titleholder Ben Severne from Perth and 2010 second place winner and European Champion Peter Volwater will have to wait until tomorrow to compete for the wave sailing title.
Volwater said he was looking forward to getting out on the waves for the elite wave sailing plus the Ledge Point to Lancelin Marathon and challenging 2010 marathon winner, multi world champion and fellow Dutchman, Bjorn Dunkerbeck, to the prize.
“It will be like the lion showing up and being harassed by the fly! I’m looking forward to getting out there again. It’s always a bit crazy at the start with hundreds of us out there, but once we get going it’s great fun – but always good to get back to the beach at the end.
“It’s great to be in Lancelin again for the event, catching up with windsurfing friends to start the year and enjoying the great welcome the town puts on for us.”
Organisers are expecting more than 200 windsurfers to compete in tomorrow’s 25km event, all hoping to take home a share of the $25,000 prize pool. Winds are expected to be stronger with speeds of up to 25kn forecast and a slightly smaller swell.
The Lancelin Ocean Classic wraps up on Sunday with the high-speed Slalom events.
Presented by KineticIT, The Lancelin Ocean Classic has been held since 1986 and is Australia’s longest-running windsurfing event. It is made possible thanks to the enthusiastic Lancelin community, Eventscorp, Bendigo Bank, Endeavour Tavern, Shire of Gingin, 92.9, and a team of dedicated volunteers.
Lancelin’s population of 800 can swell to more than 4000 over the four days of the event with competitors, spectators, media and supporters descending on the crayfishing town, which boasts long stretches of white sand beaches ideal for all forms of watersports and water-based activities.
For event details visit www.lancelinoceanclassic.com.au