Robert Crofts and Grant Alderson from Royal Perth Yacht Club (WA) have won the SKUD 18 Australian Open Championship which concluded today on Pittwater.
It came down to the final of six races to decide the title, with Crofts & Alderson finishing one point ahead of overnight leaders Neil Rowsthorn and Jack Wallace from Southport Yacht Club (QLD). Greg Hyde and Scott O’Connor from Middle Harbour Yacht Club (NSW) were third overall, two points further back.
All the crews included a para sailor helming and non-disabled forward hand able to use trapeze for this event. The light and variable breezes across the weekend, however, dictated that weight movement needed to be fairly subtle and the ability to make the most of a gentle puff of wind made all the difference. It was as much a mind game.
Australian Sailing Hall Of Famer, Greg Hyde, took two wins across the weekend in his first SKUD 18 regatta and a looked a strong possibility to make the most of the fickle winds. Other than one poor result today, Rowsthorn and Wallace sailed consistently again but a race win eluded them. Crofts and Alderson, having taken and then relinquished the lead in both races on Saturday, claimed two wins today and posted a 2 and 3 to move up from their overnight fourth place.
Crofts made a huge commitment to travel and competition this summer, twice making two-way trips across the Nullabor with boats to compete in the Australian Para Sailing Championships along with the New South Wales, Victorian and Australian Hansa Class Championships in addition to this weekend’s regatta. His competition experience and regular training with coach Alderson is paying off.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club were outstanding hosts and their race management team did well to complete a full race program in the challenging conditions.
Full results can be viewed at: https://app.sailsys.com.au/
Article Australian HANSA Class Association.
Photographs credit: David Staley