ON THE WORLD SCALE: Paul Mitchell and Sam Haines competing in the 2011 SAP 505s World Champions last week.
ON THE WORLD SCALE: Paul Mitchell and Sam Haines competing in the 2011 SAP 505s World Champions last week.

Disappointing end for sailor

PAUL Mitchell returned to Airlie Beach this week after competing in the 2011 SAP 505 World Championships on Hamilton Island.

Mitchell and crewman Sam Haines finished 29th in the regatta, but with the goal of finishing in the top 15, Mitchell felt a little deflated upon his arrival home.

“We weren't very happy with it,” he said.

But with a positive outlook Mitchell said he was already thinking of his next challenge, to achieve his top 15 goal at next year's worlds in La Rochelle in France.

“At least we know what to work on,” he said.

“We were a bit slow down wind so we will look to get a bit faster sail for next time.”

Despite it being a world class event, the weather didn't match, with three of the first four days of racing cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

“We ended up having three days in a row with conditions not being safe to race,” Mitchell said.

“It kind of disrupts you but everyone has to go through it.”

Mitchell said the weather conditions later in the week did suit his crew best with strong winds generating up to three metre waves.

But the bumpy conditions weren't the only elements the local Whitsunday sailor had to contend with.

Once the crews hit the water once again last Wednesday, Mitchell was in 12th place midway through the race but was hit by another crew and slipped back to 50th spot, crushing all hopes of a top 15 finish.

“They put a big dirty hole in my boat,” he said.

“We continued on in the race but it made us a lot slower.

“That was our worst result by 20 odd points.”

But one positive Mitchell did take out of the championships was a 16th, 19th and 21st placing in the last three races of the regatta.

“It was good to get those results,” Mitchell said.

“It kept us going in the right direction.”


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