Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A-Cat Worlds 2009: Brewer has Lightning Start

David Brewer, who was struck by lightning whilst sailing his A-Cat off Belmont, Australia. Image copyright

by Rob Kothe

Victorian Dave Brewer from Safety Beach Sailing Club in Melbourne, finished 14th in the first race of the 2009 A-Cat World warm up even the Australian National titles, on 29th December. Not the best result by his standards - he is in the top 5 to 10 World championship prospects - but not exactly shocking.

Five times World Champion Glenn Ashby won the race ahead of Dave McKenzie and Steve Brewin, Andrew Landerberger was fourth.

America's Cup Match Racer James Spithill was eighth and dual Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby was ninth.

The race had started at 1300 but with a severe electrical storm sweeping in from the south east, race organisers had hurriedly shortened the first race and the A-Cat fleet headed shorewards.

The crews were busy pegging down their lightweight catamarans in the grass covered boat park next to the Belmont 16 foot Sailing Club, when grey green skies opened. The storm hit, with driving rain and forked lightning and thunder.

At 1415, Brewer had his hand on the carbon mast of his catamaran when lightning stuck the water directly in front of the boat park. In the driving rain, there was electrical current spread across the area and the 36 year old sailor was thrown to the ground.

He was rushed to the major regional hospital, John Hunter in Newcastle, by ambulance. Event organisers were told he was stable shortly afterwards by the medics.

Brewer is expected to be released from hospital around 11am AEST and is planning to be on the start line for Race 2 in the series at 1300 on 30th December.

A-Cat Worlds 2009

No comments: