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Jon-Paul Tobin was the top kiwi performer in the Open fleet at the Sail Melbourne Australia and Oceanic Formula Windsurfing Regatta. David Robertson from Kohimarama Yacht Club won the Youth division. They are amongst other New Zealand former Olympic class Mistral board sailors that tested themselves on the Formula board in preparation for the new Olympic discipline, which is said to be between the two existing classes.The recent announcement that the Mistral Board is to be replaced by the Neil Pryde RSX board as the Olympic class has prompted the diversification as sailors focus their mind on preparing for the Bejing Olympics. The new Olympic board is not available until mid 2005.

Tobin finished in 5th place behind two European sailors and two Australians who are all full-time Formula board sailors. Yachting New Zealand’s National Coach, Paul Page is in Melbourne and sees the experience of the Formula regatta as valuable practice.

“Our guys have taken on this regatta with quite antiquated equipment, and this is a game about who has the best gear,” says Page. “Take this into consideration and they’ve done very well. You’ve also get to remember that some of our guys, like Robertson are well under the normal weight of the regular Formula Sailors. They’re 80kgs plus, Dave Robertson is only 68kg.”

Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance Manager Peter Lester commented on the level of interest and quality of sailors in the fleet.

“There are 49 board sailors there in this Open fleet with entries from outside Oceania. Brzozowski from Poland is dual World Champion. It’s great to see that our guys can go up against the likes of Brzozowski and the Australians who sail the Formula full-time,” says Lester.

Jon-Paul Tobin’s result qualifies him a spot to sail in the Formula World Champs which will be in Melbourne in December.

“The Formula World Champs is something JP will consider. It would mean quite a cost out-lay to get some good equipment, but it could be worthwhile for him,” says Paul Page. “They are all weighing up the options and thinking about doing more Formula competition.”

Australian Formula Windsurfing Overall Results
Final New Zealand Results

JP Tobin – 5th
Jonathan Squires – 9th
Dave Holt – 10th
Thomas Ashley – 11th
David Robertson – 15th

Australian Youth Formula Windsurfing Results

David Robertson – 1st

Polish windsurfer Wojtek Brzozowski has taken out the Australian Formula
Windsurfing Championships raced off Elwood, on Melbourne's Port Phillip

The four-day regatta, which is part of Sail Melbourne, concluded late this
afternoon in oppressive 35-degree conditions with light northerly winds.
Afternoon sea breezes from the south, which until today made for perfect
racing, arrived too late for riders to complete the remaining four races
of the 15-race series. Racing was abandoned at 3.30pm

Brzozowski, a dual world champion in the Formula class, made the
unscheduled trip Down Under to get a handle on the conditions at Elwood -
the venue for December's Formula Windsurfing World Championships. He
relished the conditions and said his reconnaissance mission was 'very

Denmark's Jesper Vesterstrom and Perth-based Dane Jesper Orth finished
second and third respectively in the Australian Open division.

Orth, 29, who has lived in Perth for the last six years, also took out the
Oceanic Championships (for Australians and New Zealanders) from Sean
O'Brien (QLD), JP Tobin (NZ), Mike Nelson (NSW) and Sam Parker (NSW).
These five automatically qualify for the Worlds.

In the women's division, Allison Shreeve (NSW) won dual titles - the
Australian and Oceanic Championships - from Anna Davis (VIC) and Hayley
Thom (NZ).
Both Shreeve and O'Brien are using the Formula board as a stepping stone to
the new Olympic-class windsurfer, the RSX which is due for release later this year. --

Michelle Ainley
Results and images for publication are available online at

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