Fremantle – The day that promised so much delivered like few events have done before them. With only 3 points separating Rory Hunter and Tom Trotman heading into the final race the atmosphere around the boat park was amazing as the whole fleet waited for the ever reliable Fremantle Doctor to come in.
After a postponement period of around an hour the fleet finally got away in about 12-14knots from the SW. With the starts proving so crucially important across the event the large spectator contingent had all eyes on where the contenders were starting. At the gun Trotman had a belter of a start with Hunter about 4th row and was then interfered with by a powerboat, it was an intense time however thankfully for Hunter the race was to be restarted due to a general recall.
The second start was under a black flag however and a similar start occurred with Trotman powering off the middle of the line, he was high and it was ballsy, however he put the foot down and was going for it, Hunter was slightly more conservative and a little further back off the line not wanting to blow the entire regatta on the final start. As they worked upwind Hunter was hanging on to Trotman with a piece of string and not letting him out of his sight. This allowed New Zealander Bruce Curson through to the lead, this was a big story in itself as he was in a battle to get on the podium and looking to displace Alexander Hoghiem from Norway. Tristan Brown and Brad Devine were also having great races in 2nd and 5th only to discover they had been black flagged at the start, this would prove extremely important as the boats turned downwind for the final time with Trotman holding a slender lead over Hunter and Hogheim was back in 7th.
The breeze was incredibly patchy down the final run and with Trotman splitting away from Hunter on the final run it looked as if the Aussie and a bunch of boats to the right were going to sail in front of Hunter anything could happen at this stage. Bruce Curson took the race win in emphatic fashion and turned his eyes to the action behind him, Pierre Leboucher enjoying the lighter conditions managed to slip inside Trotman pushing him back to 3rd and losing a valuable point on Hunter. There were then 3 boats out to the right who looked to be in puff although Hunter managed to sneak through by a matter of 10 seconds with a nervous gybe at the death.
This meant the podium didn’t change from overnight with Hunter finishing on 30pts, Trotman on 32pts and Alexander Hogheim just pipping Bruce Curson by 1pt for 3rd place.
With 7 nations in the top 10 it was a truly special International event, in the other divisions Brad Devine claimed the masters trophy, son Tommy Devine took out the 6.9m rig, Elise Beavis is the number 1 female WASZP sailor in the world and Rory Hunter capped off an amazing event taking the U21 title as well!