King of Carnac a windy winner

IT was a beautiful weekend for the inaugural King of Carnac race, which took place Saturday off Woodman Point at the Jervoise Bay Sailing Club.

Under a sunny sky, 78 wind-powered watercraft of all shapes and sizes—catamarans, kite boarders and windsurfers—took to the waves in a battle for line honours.

Co-organiser Bevan Chrimes says the new event’s success reflects an increasing diversity and interest in local water sports.

When he arrived six years ago “the club was quite underutilised”, but its committee has strategically refocused to cater for “people moving to personal watercraft, away from bigger, bulkier vessels”.

He suggests this trend has something to do with the superior portability and ease of use of smaller watercraft such as kiteboards and catamarans.

11. 47NEWS

• Windsurfers hit the water for the King of Carnac event. Photo by Rebecca Cutter

“People are time poor; it’s easier to keep that kind of equipment in the boot of your car, and you don’t spend as much time rigging and maintaining it.”

The King of Carnac received more than 200 entry applications, and organisers had to cap the number of participants The club has a core membership of “die-hard sailors”, but is reaping the benefits of “embracing… the way of the times”.

Additionally, a Formula 18 Cup was held at the same venue Sunday to cater for an emerging category of smaller 18-foot vessels without stringent design restrictions.

The fledgling division is still finding its feet—only eight 18-foot vessels are currently owned by WA clubs—but is the fastest growing sailing category in the world. This event will recur monthly, and has been organised with a view to attracting the division’s national championships to Fremantle in 2017.

“We approached the national committee about it, and they said ‘prove to us that you’re capable of hosting it’… it’s our long-term goal,” Mr Chrimes said.


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