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Matt Whitnall Achieves Grandmaster Title and First Place in the NSW Windsurfer State Championship SH Division

RSYS Member Matt Whitnall achieved great success in the 2023 NSW Windsurfer Class State Championships from 11-12 November, 2023, hosted by Toukley Sailing Club. 

He writes "Over 50 sailors, including Olympians, current World Champions and former legends competed at this year’s NSW State Championships at the Toukley Sailing Club, on Tuggerah Lake. Interstate sailors also made the trip from Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland as part of their campaigns leading into the World Championships to be held in Perth from December 28th to January 4th.

2023 Surflogic NSW Windsurfer Class State Championships © Shane Baker

Windsurfer events are an ‘at call’ regatta format, which means stay close to the club house as we may go out racing at short notice if the wind comes in. It is also run in ‘sessions’ of 2 to 5 races in a row depending on the wind then a break and back out again to complete the schedule of races for the day. We had 10 races scheduled for this event, but 8 was enough in the strong conditions and the mob voted that 8 with 2 drops was a fair regatta for all.

2023 Surflogic NSW Windsurfer Class State Championships © Shane Baker

Saturday's racing got off to a pumping start, with two races in the morning session held in a stable but building North Easterly Sea breeze of 15-18 knots, slightly chopping up the waters of Tuggerah Lake. The courses were extremely accurate, weed was a minor issue and required some tricky foot work to clear, large jellyfish also made themselves known on the race track and mercifully the RO gave the fleets a very long line at about 100 metres, which meant very fair starts with only one general recall for the regatta.

2023 Surflogic NSW Windsurfer Class State Championships - photo © Shane Baker

Competition was very close with any misfortunes costing vital places. Race leaders made their presence known setting a high standard with myself, Michael Lancey ( NSW ), Andrew ‘Dolly’ Divola ( NSW ), John Buick ( QLD ) and Stuey Gilbert ( NSW ) all competing for line honours across the heavy and super heavy divisions that started and raced as one fleet, with the 5 of us meeting simultaneously at the top mark in most races then really fast reaches and runs, drag racing at over 20 knots… was exciting and fun.

Three afternoon races with similar sunny 22-degree conditions, with a solid sea breeze kicking in to 26 knots. The increased wind strength certainly sorted things out across the fleets. Plenty of exciting rides to be had, I recorded a top speed in race 3 of 24.2 knots of board speed while duelling with John Buick from Queensland.

2023 Surflogic NSW Windsurfer Class State Championships - photo © Shane Baker

Above: Matty Whitnall (1979, NSW) with John Buick (AUS1151,QLD)

With 5 races completed sailors retired to the Sailing Club revisiting their day's events and to do some stretching and eating.

Day 2 got off to a different start with AP holding us ashore and significantly lighter breeze, 7-10 knots from the southeast. It was a balmy 22-degree day with hazy skies descending onto competitors. A shifting breeze resulting in a course change for race 2. Conditions settled for the third and final race of day and ended the regatta with a very fair 8 races done.

It was good to race so many good sailors and come away with a win, and I look forward to competing at the SA and WA Champs in the next month as part of the Worlds Campaign."

Final Podium results:

Heavy Weight (HW Division):
1st,Michael Lancey ( NSW )
2nd, John Buick ( QLD )
3rd, Stuart Gilbert ( NSW )

Super Heavy (SH Division):

1st, Matty Whitnall ( With RSYS Cap in middle )
2nd, Simon Jones ( NSW )
3rd, Lucas Dean ( QLD )

1st Grand Master ( Over 50 )

Full results