AUSTRALIAN F16 NATIONALS 2021
Last week we saw the Australian F16 National championships take place at the glorious Tanilba Bay in Australia's NSW. For the second year running the F16s were joined by the F18s on the starting line and for the first time ever, the Australian FCup was up for grabs as well as the Australian F16 Trophy.
Goodall Design and the Australian F16 association have joined forces to create the Australian Formula Cup (Fcup). The concept is an absolute line honors racing series that pitches F16 and F18 against each other in a no handicap dogfight for supreme honor. All F16 and F18 on the same start, racing the same course and winner takes all.
In Australia the F16 boats have made the Step to DS to match the F18, and the performance upgrade is remarkable. The VIPER is regularly beating the F18 upwind, and around the course the boats are very evenly paced. To highlight his point, 3 of the top 5 positions after 15 races were VIPERS!!!
Over the 15 races and 5 days we saw every condition imaginable. 20+knots all the way down to a 5 knot drift around, but still the fleet was having a blast with tight racing throughout the fleet. At the end of the Day James McDonald and Adam Coe took the Formula Cup on their C2!!!
Although the Fcup saw the F16 scored against the F18, the real business for the F16 teams was the Australian National championships (in which the F16s where only scored against each other). This year we saw a number of new rig/sail designs hit the water.
I took the opportunity to trial a new sail cloth and lower jib (dropped to the spinnaker pole). Although I confirmed my crew at the last minute, and we'd never sailed together, our package was an absolute Rocket ship.
It was instantly clear the new sailcloth (EnduMax from contender) was super stable and responsive. The cloth is designed for crosscut sails and with very little stretch, sail trim is critical. I think this would be a very good cloth for professional sailors, but club sailors would struggle to change gears to get the most benefit from it.
The Championship very quickly turned into a 2 boat race, with us and the another VIPER2 (Emma Rankin/Beau White) trading blows in the shape of 1sts and 2nds thorough the series. The final result simply came down to some super clean and consistent sailing from Emma and Beau, a result of sailing a lot this summer. They really raised the bar this year of the level of sailing in their VIPER F16.
The real winner was every sailor the attended. With a great social side, it was more a social gathering of sailors who like to live a little outside the box and have fun. We had BBQ, dinners, Open Mic nights and even a special "bangin' the corners" sprint event for the spectators!!! Beau Outteridge was at the event taking interviews and making videos, so watch this space for the movie soon!!!!
This is absolutely how catamaran Sailing events should be held!!! I'm looking forward to the event next year in South Australia in the first weekend on January (exact date to be confirmed). Get your Fboat and join the Party!!