F16 Nationals - Waterhouse and Darmanin supreme

1st Place Jason Waterhouse Lisa Darmanin - F16 Natonals Image courtesy James Wierzbowski
Sally Waterhouse
The Australian F16 fleet is going from strength to strength with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin leading the charge winning the Formula 16 title during the Magic Marine Easter Regatta at Lake Boga Victoria.

The pair crushed the opposition with great starts and consistant wins to take the title with two races to spare. Brother and sister combination Adam and Ericka Beattie scraped into second and 2010 Champs Adrian Fawcett and Jess Dobie were third.

The event was well attended with the largest fleet of F16 catamarans ever assembled with 13 sloops and 4 one up cats, from as far away as Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. It even had a bit of an international flavor with Pim and Marleene from Holland and Mark from New Zealand. The level of sailing has lifted greatly since the beginnings of the class in this country just four years ago.

The Lake Boga Easter Regatta is a very social event with boats of all types sharing the lake and the beautiful rigging and camping lawns beside the lake.

It was great to have Taipan 4.9 gurus Dan and Nathan VanKerckhof attend with their new Viper. At the beginning of the regatta they looked very quick and were my pick as the guys who could beat Jason and Lisa. But the rest of the fleet had more than a bit to say about that. Also in attendance was current Taipan 4.9 Australian champ Chris Boag also on a Viper. The scrap for the minor placings quickly turned feral with everyone down to ninth place with at least one top three finish but no one could establish the speed and consistency of the lead team.

Emile Barret on his cat rigged Blade had some great races and really beat up on most of the sloop sailors at one stage or another. It was a great spectacle watching the cat guys handle these feisty boats by themselves. Also worth a mention was the newcomer to the class Shane Kershaw on the homebuilt plywood razor, which really looks good on the beach and looked to be going great downwind at times.

Going into the last day we had two points separating five boats in the battle for second place. And it turned out to be a massive day with gusts of at least 25 kts streaking through the course making the downwinds a case of set the kite, hang on and hope you don’t get hit by a big scud. Even Jason and Lisa had a swim in the first race.

F16 Nationals Lake Boga Victoria - F16 Natonals. Image courtesy James Wierzbowski
Sally Waterhouse

A big thank you has to go out to the Volunteers of the Lake Boga Sailing Club, Magic Marine and many other sponsers for putting on such a great event.

A decision on the venue for the 2013 F16 Nationals will not be to far away. The committee will be putting in a great effort to make sure it is as great as the 2012 title.