by Lulu Roseman
Some of Australia's leading multi-hull sailors (and a few mono- hull guns) are expected to carve up the waters around Gosford this weekend in the Australian F18 Catamaran National Championships.
Tornado Gun and Four Time Hobie Cat World Champion, Jason Waterhouse and crew, Josh McKnight will face off against his dad, Rod Waterhouse, who has recruited the only Farr 40 skipper in the fleet, Chris Way, as his crew.
Other high profile competitors in this class include current America’s Cup Sailor and ETNZ strategist, Adam Beashel, Grant Pellew, Brett Burvill, Andrew McDougall, Adam Beattie, Mick Guinea, Greg and Bret Goodall.
Unfortunately Emirates Team New Zealand's Dean Barker and crew Glenn Ashby, won’t be competing at all after the pair learned that their chartered boat had fallen through. However Barker's fellow team member, Adam Beashel is paired up with crewman Grant Pellew, who just happens to be Oracle Racing James Spithill's brother-in-law.
America's Cup winning helmsman, Spithill was rumoured to be participating but according to class president James Ogilvie, failed to register to race in the three day event that officially kicks off today Saturday 22 January, 2011.
Yesterday was set aside for sail measuring and weigh ins to ensure all competitors and their boats comply with the class rules. Many of the crews spent the afternoon training and familiarising themselves with the course area.
Gosford Sailing Club, home of the Lord Howe Island Race, will play host and are expecting a large number of competitors and their supporters to enjoy the Club's facilities after racing each day.
Australian F18 Nationals 2011