Sunday, July 8, 2012

Andrew Chapman Has His Sights Firmly Set on 29er Worlds in Germany

Sydney18ft Skiff skipper/sail maker Andrew Chapman (Fisher & Paykel) is never one to rest on his laurels with anything sailing so it’s not surprising to see him take on another project during the Australian off-season.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Although he will be building new sails for Smeg and Kenwood-Rabbitohs, as well as his own Fisher & Paykel skiff, he is competing with Jessica Hansen in the 2012 29er World Championship at Travemunde, Germany from 22-28 July.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Andrew is Youth Sailing Team coach for Yachting NSW and 19-year-old Jessica, of Southport Yacht Club, Queensland, is an experienced up-and-coming young sailor. Chapman is a former Australian champion in both the F11 and Cherub classes as well as the 12ft Skiff Junior champion in 2006. Hansen is an Australian Womens Match Racing champion with extensive competition in the 29ers and offshore racing (helm/bow) over the past three years.

Jessica has packed many other classes into her 19 years. These include Sabots, B14, Optimist, 420, 470, Sailboard, Hobie 16, Nacra 5.8, 29erXX, Moth, Etchel, and more. She was also 2011-2012 team coach for NSW at the Sabot Nationals.

“We haven’t done much sailing together, but we are both looking forward to the challenge of competing against around 200 boats in the event,” Chapman said.

During the recent 2011-2012 Australian season, Jessica got a taste of sailing an 18ft Skiff when she joined Andrew and the crew of Fisher & Paykel in the annual Queen of the Harbour race on Sydney Harbour. After competing as crew throughout the race, Andrew handed over the helm to Jessica after crossing the finish line and Jessica showed her class by steering the skiff home to Double Bay under the big #1 rig.

Andrew’s next 18ft Skiff event will be on 14 October when he skippers Fisher & Paykel in Race 1 of the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge at the Australian 18 Footers League. Who knows, maybe we get to see Jessica back in an 18 at some time in the future, but in the meantime we wish them good luck at the  29er World later this month.

Frank Quealey

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