Klaus makes top 10 at 420 Nationals
TEENAGE sailor Klaus Lorenz (Whitsundays) and his crewmate James Scott (Mooloolaba) were the only Queenslanders to make the top 10 at this year's Australian 420 National Championships.
The championships, which began on December 30, finished on Friday, January 4, after five days of difficult sailing in high, flukey winds.
Of the 29 boats entered, nine were from Western Australia and New South Wales (respectively), with four from Tasmania, three from South Australia, two from Queensland, one from Victoria and one from New Zealand. In the final top 10, WA featured seven times, NSW had two placings, and the Queensland boat Rockstar, with Klaus at the helm and James as crew, came in eighth.
Blustery conditions marked the start of the regatta, with the second of the races on day two sailed in what Klaus described as "very dramatic wind shifts, resulting in something of a lottery for places". The boys placed 14th in this particular race, after losing their spinnaker pole in a capsize.
"As luck would have it, the pole, floating because it is full of polystyrene balls, was recovered after the race by our coach, Robbie Lea, who tracked it down with the help of a tide stick and two iPhone apps," Klaus said.
Unpredictable conditions continued, often leaving the boys exhausted and confused, but they continued to sail to the best of their abilities. By Wednesday, January 2, winds were reaching 37 knots at times and Rockstar's main halyard parted, which Klaus described as "disappointing" but fixable by jury rig.
At the end of the regatta, Klaus said coming in eighth was "a great result, but less than we wanted".
The boys are now sailing in the Australian Youth Nationals, which started in Hobart on Monday and finish on Sunday, January 13.