Raceboards from Downunder will return to the scene of the spectacular 2016 Raceboard Worlds for their Nationals in January 2018.
The Australian Titles, which will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Oceanics, will be held at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Manly, Brisbane from Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th January. John O'Brien, who headed up the Race Committee for the Worlds, and the 2017 Nationals, will be leading the team again.
But the reigning Australian Raceboard Champion, Lea Sitja, won't be back in the country for the event, setting the scene for some close battles. Polish powerhouse Max Wojcik won an astonishing 10 out of 10 races at the last Nationals/Oceanics at Hawkes Nest, NSW in 2017. But proving it's not just Australian politicians affected by citizenship issues, Wojcik could not claim the crown by dent of his citizenship. Dual Spanish/Australian citizen Lea Sitja lifted the trophy, with an extremely consistent 9 seconds and 1 fourth. Third was NSW sailor Richie Reynolds, who at the very light end of Medium Weight, managed to edge out Heavyweight James Grunfelder in the predominantly light-wind regatta. Queensland's Mark Ward was fourth.
The 2018 event promises to be the closest fought in years. Raceboarding in Australia has experienced a surge in popularity after the Brisbane Worlds, particularly in NSW, with sailors pushing each other to better performances. Apart from Reynolds, Grunfelder and Ward, Cam Harrison, Rhys Herbert, Cameron Whitford, Brendan Moore, Justin Lord and John Doolan are all capable of leading the fleet around the course. Adam Hampton has also picked up pace this season and could threaten the pointy end.