The Australian International Tornado Association is all about improving the standard of racing within the Tornado class within Australia.
Geographe Bay Yacht Club hosted the 2013 Tornado Australian Championships as part of Raceweek. The Tornado has only recently been dropped from the Olympics but is still the fastest one design catamaran competing in many countries as a class.
The Invitation Race before the ten race series was sailed in a ten knot classic north-west sea breeze that is unique to Geographe Bay and 'Black Caviar' shows a clean set of heals to win the invitation race and stretch the winning streak to 17 races. This was about to come to an end in another few races when the real racing got under way a few days later. There were threats of a trip to the Knackery after the streak ended but in the end the old nag held in for a healthy over all victory. ( 'Black Caviar', the nick name of the Windrush Tornado, is the name of a special Australian race horse who is still undefeated after 22 races including racing in Australia and the UK at the premier sprint races).
The recent Tornado Worlds at Saint Eulalia in Ibiza saw five Tornado teams from Australia, four teams from NYC and one team from Brisbane, participating in a smaller than normal fleet of 32 boats. The cost of getting boats to Ibiza proved an expensive exercise even for the Europeans.
Four Teams from WA competed, Brett Burvill and Fariz Aznan, Paul Raymond and Steve Hermanson, Alan Gamble and Kym Nicolas, Paul Peterson and Phil Peterson and Stefan Bernsdorf and Christine Myers from Brisbane. The venue was pretty special with the organisers putting on what most people confirmed was the best Tornado World event ever. A special opening ceremony with dignitaries, a very tasty Paella night and BBQ night and phenomenal support from the local council and sponsors made the event extremely enjoyable for all.
As a venue for sailing St Eulalia provide winds from all four directions of the compass, good winds on all but the second last day. Spectators were provided with a free ferry to go out to watch racing every day. The ferry would wait for the race to start, race up to the top mark and watch the next 2 laps then race back down to the finish line for each race so spectators were spoilt for spills and action.
This year was the first time in many years that Ryan Duffield didn't pair up with Brett Burvill due to work commitments. Brett was lucky to find Fariz Aznan from Singapore who proved that first time pair ups can work. Brett pushed the top two boats of Greek pair Ionardis Paschalidis and Kosta Trigonis and German husband and wife Roland and Nahid Gaebler all the way only relinquishing 2nd place on the last day of racing to the Gaeblers due to a split second timing error when they cut the back off one of the rudders of the 2nd Greek team. The irony of this race was that Brett went on to finish the race in 1st place only to be disqualified by the jury.
Alan Gamble and Paul Raymond diced all regatta finishing within a place of each other in at least four races. Alan eventually breaking the hoodoo finishing in 9th placing. Paul Raymond finished in 12th, Paul Peterson and brother Phil finishing in 16th with Stefan and Chtistine finishing in 23rd.
View Results 2013 Tornado World Championships OPEN Results
The Australian Tornado fleet are looking forward to the next Tornado Open and Mixed Worlds Championships to be held at Nedlands Yacht Club in Perth direclty following on from the Australian Nationals 31st Dec 214 to 3rd Jan 2015. The good news is that 3 more Tonadoes are heading back to Australia to add to the Australian fleet for the next worlds which should see as many as 50 Tornadoes on the Swan River.