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  • Ryan Palk

A Wild Weekend In WA ! Jean De Falbaire takes Open title, Mani Bisschops Defends State Trophy...

Wow! What a weekend! The 2019 PKR WA State Championships presented by Forward WIP Australia, Bisschops Boards and Fremantle Sailing Club saw some amazing racing over the weekend.

In total, the fleet completed 12 races on a variety of courses that tested their speed, strength and adaptability. Day 1 one saw a stiff ‘Freo Doctor’ - the local seabreeze which whipped up to over 20 knots. With a reach ‘GranPrix’ style start into a windward leeward course, the fleet came to grips with speeds well over 30 knots to try and grab the best position.

Day 1 saw race wins posted by local Mani Bisschops, as well as Mauritian superstar Jean De Falbaire. Jean - “It was windy but fun, I couldn’t push super hard on the first reach because the waves and wind were full on, but it was all part of managing your race, you had to choose your spots to send it!”.

Other notable performances on day 1 were plentiful, with the whole fleet raising their game to display some fantastic racing skills and speed, with some noticeable improvements especially from Phil Rowlands (Dr. Phil) - the man from Scarborough who is well known for enduring long training sessions in tough conditions, the training definitely showed today!

It was also good to see our Free-racers enjoying the tough conditions, with Simon Maris and Vaughn Bisschops showing a winning spirit by finishing plenty of races and having a great time in the breeze!

Day 2 saw an earlier start as the race committee tried to get some racing in the morning’s South East wind. However it wasn’t to be, with the wind switching to a sea-breeze quite early. After a short wait on beautiful South Beach - the fleet hit the water for 2 races in a developing sea-breeze.

The big kites were out in force, and we saw a resurgence from local favourites - with Alty Frisby taking the race 6 win, Andy Cooksey in 2nd and some impressive pace from Gareth Mullins and Anthony Pillinger, right on the tail of the leading pack.

After a short break for lunch, the fleet hit the water again for 5 more races in a steady 18-20 knot Freo Doctor. The small kites were back out and the races were fired off - getting the competitors legs burning as they fought for the title. Some great starts were had by 18ft skiff sailor and NSW foiler Jordan Girdis : Jordan - “I had some awkward starts at the 2019 JJ’s (18 foot skiff world championships), so I really wanted to work on my starts here! I’m stoked with how they were going, I just need to work on the downwind speed now to finish off the race like I started!

The Free-race crew endured the leg burn to have 3 sailors consistently completing their races, with Ben Maslen’s first day of racing making for some epic improvements in one of our newest sailors. But in the end, despite a late WA attack from Andy Cooksey, Dr Phil, Mani Bisschops and Alty Frisby - Jean de Falbaire from Mauritius was too fast, and very consistent to take out the PKR WA Open Title.

The WA State Championship Trophy went as follows: 1st - Mani Bisschops and WA State Champion, 2nd - Alty Frisby, 3rd - Andy Cooksey.


One of these prizes went to Dr Phil, for showing an amazing improvement and blistering speed in hard conditions. An OCS in the final races cost Phil a podium in this series, but everyone agrees - he is definitely going fast enough to warrant a good helmet is needed! So he now has a Forward WIP helmet to keep sending it Safely!

Our other FORWARD WIP - GO FAST ON WATER prize went to Free-race winner Simon Maris. Simon has recently started kitefoiling after experience in skiffs and showed a blistering enthusiasm and improvement over the weekend to take out the Freerace division. He is one to look out for in the future, and now has an epic Forward WIP Impact Vest so he can send it harder!

Finally - a big thank you to the Fremantle Sailing Club for hosting and providing world class equipment and services. To our SPONSORS - Forward WIP Australia who provided top quality prizes and vouchers for this event, Bisschops Boards and Marc Leib of Art Glass studio for an amazing set of trophies, as well as Kiteboarding Australia (KA) and Kiteboarding Western Australia for their support and backing of this event. To the RIDERS for showing great sportsmanship, adaptability and skill, and to our VOLUNTEERS who kept everyone happy and safe - it certainly was a big weekend for all involved! See you next year!

Special Mention to all our volunteers!!! Buy these people a beer/wine/FWD WIP product if you get a chance!!!

Erryn Arnold, Chris Sutherland, Nathan Boyes, Alex Landwehr, Jane Bisschops, Vaughn Bisschops, Julie Mullins, Lauren Mason, Gareth Mullins, Alty Frisby, Anthony Pillinger, Sandy Clark, Paul Green and the ladies on the Start Boat!, Darren Marshall, Nigel Cassidy, @BigGirlRuby, Thor Schoenhoff, Sam Blackburn and 1st time RO Ryan Palk!

Full Results here:

Results Summary:

Open Championship:

1st: Jean de Falbaire MRI 2nd Mani Bisschops AUS 3rd - Alty Frisby

PKR WA State Championship

1st: Mani Bisschops 2nd - Alty Frisby 3rd - Andrew Cooksey


1st - Alty - WA Masters State Champion . 2nd - Andrew Cooksey 3rd - Philip Rowlands


1st - Mani Bisschops

Free Race:

1st: Simon Maris 2nd - Vaughn Bisschops 3rd - Ben Maslen

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