The 2022 Hansa Class Asia Pacific Championships have concluded in Hiroshima.
Perfect conditions and good winds on Days 1 and 2 didn’t carry into the final day, with racing abandoned for all divisions, when the scheduled breeze didn’t eventuate.
With the event being held outside Australia for the 1st time and, at the time of planning, strict travel conditions in place in Japan, it was great to see competitors from Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and USA join Australian and Japanese sailors at this regatta.
A spectacular opening ceremony was held at the newly completed regatta centre, with a spectacular sunset closing the event.
Day 1 got off to a familiar start in the 303 singles, with reigning Asia-Pacific Champion Chris Symonds (AUS) taking 1st place in both races, and backing up in the 303 Doubles with crew Manuela Klinger to top the leaderboard on Day 1. The 2.3 fleet was lead on day 1 by Alistair Peek (AUS) in front of a large fleet of Japanese sailors. The Liberties saw the 2 previous World Champions Bob Schahinger (AUS) and Vera Voorbach (NED) battling it out at the front of the fleet, with Vera taking the honours on the 1st day.
Great breeze on day 2 saw positions change in the 303 singles with Symonds relinquishing his lead as one of 6 competitors judged OCS in race 4 on the crowded start line. Reigning World Champion Piotr Cichocki (POL) took the lead, in front of Gauther Brill (FRA) and Takumi Niwa (JPN). Symonds/Klinger continued to lead the way in the doubles, to be 4 points clear of his Polish and French singles competitors and their crew.
Allister Peek continued to lead the way in the 2.3, despite a 5th placing in race 3, with Kei Ejima (JPN) and Koh Sueda (JPN) 3 points behind.
Liberty racing again became a battle between Schahinger (AUS) and Voorbach (NED), exchanging 1st and 2nd places in the 3 races, with Schahinger ahead on countback at the end of day 2. In 3rd place was Cristina Rubke (USA) who, by her own admission, had done little sailing this year and was using servo gear installed just days before the regatta began.
The 2.3, 303 singles and Liberties all went out on Day 3 in very light conditions, with all divisions being started, but the light breeze dropped away to nothing and races times out, causing racing to be abandoned, and the results of Day 2 would stand as the final results.
Whilst being knocked into second place on countback in the Open division, Vera Voorbach (NED) took out the Liberty Servo division, ahead of Cristina Rubke (USA) and Japan’s Ryo Sasaki.
Para World Sailing medals were awarded to competitors in the 303 singles (male and female) and Liberty divisions.
The incredible fleet of volunteers then swung into action, assisting competitors out of their boats, helping with de-rigging, cleaning and folding sails. Within a couple of hours, the majority of boats were cleaned, dried and back in their racks in the marina building – a testament to the principle of ‘many hands make light work’. The assistance of the volunteers, translators, medical and massage staff, race management, jury members and organizers was greatly appreciated by the competitors and their supporters.
The closing ceremony was held again on the deck of the new marina centre, with another warm evening and spectacular sunset to bid farewell to this regatta.
Results for the event available here.