Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Pre-A-Cat Worlds: Sailor Struck by Lightning

by Rob Kothe

A sailor racing in the final series ahead of A Class Catamaran Worlds, was struck by lighting at Belmont, south of Newcastle, 29th December, as a severe storm swept through the area.

The 40-year-old Victorian sailor was competing in the Australian National Championships.

The event is being sailed under the auspices of the Belmont 16 foot Sailing Club on Lake Macquarie and Sailing regatta spokeswoman Vicky Endert says steps were taken to protect competitors when the bad weather set in

'We thought the storm was getting close so we finished the race immediately and the fleet was off the water, when the lightning struck the water in the boat park, next to club and in the heavy rain the sailor who has his hand on the carbon fibre mast of his boat received a very severe shock.

The incident occured at 2:15pm.

The sailor was rushed by ambulance to John Hunter Hospital and is now reported to be in a stable condition.

The A Class Catamaran Australian titles will be sailed until Wednesday afternoon, 31st December, then the World titles runs from January 2nd-9th 2009.

The five times world champion Glenn Ashby also from Victoria is leading the National series. Ashby is the 2008 Olympic Silver Medallist in the Tornado double handed catamaran class.

A-Cat Worlds 2009

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