Day 1 of the 2018 GI Nats Australian Championships got off to a flying start right from the start of Day 1.
In classic 15-20 powered conditions, the first 2 Tables of downwind slalom were completed on a mid tide in the renowned Reef Flats area at the top of the Green Island event venue. Fast starts were the order of the day, but too fast saw a couple of notable penalty box disqualifications with NSW’s Murray Towndrow and local favorite Kelly Morgan getting slightly too ambitious out of the starting gates. Competition was top class and the first time participation of Queensland powerhouse Brad Anderson added to an already well regarded National fleet.
At the conclusion of Day 1 Slalom Racing, New Caledonia’s Alex Rouys holds a narrow lead over Brad and Kaleb Smith from Tasmania showing new power in his turns holding 3rd overall on a points tie countback with Max Gaubert. Freerace machine Byron McIlveen sailed consistently into 5th overall, while Mike Nelson is in 6th overall at end Day 1. Junior racer Grae Morris holds position 10 overall after some solid races today.
Womens competition was super competitive, with Brisbane’s Lara O’Brien locked in a points tie with Noumea’s Mo Chauvin ahead of Shari O’Brien and Derryn Arthur.
Following a short lunchbreak Freerace competition was underway on a mid tide course with reasonably flat chop in 15-20 knot conditions. Some high speed runs on the inbound return leg delivered some epic drag races between top ranked racers. Small download hitch prevents final results from Day 1 to be tabulated and declared until all competitors have submitted their track logs. The verdict is out (at least for now) on who the leading Freeracer will be, but the short money has Byron looking pretty good after Day 1. That same session also showed he wasn’t getting it easy, with Alex, Brad, Kaleb and Kelly all showing great consistent speed over the testing hour long race.
Standby for some really exciting action with good to great conditions now forecast for Days 2-5 of the 2018 event.
And if you’re wondering how Murray’s flying start went, well let’s just say he reached take off velocity but he’s smiling and happy and very much still in the competition !!