by Ian Grant
Eva Lorenz, the happy Whitsunday Sailing Club Optimist sailor, now has a better understanding of her physical endurance following the Australian championship on Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Waterloo Bay courses.
Optimist sailing action
She has endured some relatively tough physical tests during her career but very few can compare with the day after day grind of racing which tested the heavy wind sailing skills of the 118 competitors racing for the 2012 Open Australian championship.
The boisterous south east breeze and the associated current flow from the January king tides resulted in the race course presenting a serious test of heavy wind sailing in the 15 race championship with the open Gold Medal resulting in an outstanding performance by Victorian teenager Jack Graves while New Zealand skippers Alistair Gifford and Lola Stoodley claimed the minor medals.
This normal summer weather system presented all of the solo dinghy skippers with a supreme test of physical endurance when they were required to lean hard in the hiking straps for long periods to master the sloppy seaway.
Whenever the wind gusts above 12 knots the waters of Waterloo Bay have a defined history of testing the sailor’s tactical and physical endurance and this championship which resulted in a deserved for Jack Graves also identified a wealth of talent in the fleet.
Not every young sailor was expecting to be presented with racing in the physically tough elements but those who managed to start smart and sail with a relatively dry bilge when shunting the snub bow into the corrugated sea surface typically known as the Waterloo Slop generally protected their reputations.
For Eva Lorenz the challenge was totally different to club racing in small fleets on the tropical warm waters off Airlie Beach.
But Eva was on a mission to improve her Australian ranking after finishing 42nd in the 2011 National series.
Her target was to sail smart and focus her tactical skills on finishing the regatta in the top 30 she achieved her goal finishing 25th overall and the fifth best female behind Lola Stoodley, Jaime Swalvey, Annabelle Davies and Sarah Kirke.