Mark Bulka has returned from Santa Cruz victorious for being crowned 2016 Contender World Champion for the second time!
The McCrae, Victoria local competed at this event from the 23rd to the 29th April on the waters off of the Santra Cruz Yacht Club.
Last year's regatta Bulka missed the top podium spot by one point but returned to claim the throne.
"It was very exciting to win another World Championships after missing out by a point last year," Bulka said.
"We raced in very tough conditions and we had three meter waves and winds ranging from 0 to 32 knots."
If weather wasn't enough to create a tough battlefield there were five World Champions and a couple European Champions in the mix adding another dimension to smart sailing.
After nine races Bulka secured a safe win by five points, second to Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's Jason Beebe (former i14 National Champion). Great to see Aussies landing two thirds of the podium.
Other Victorians included Calum Burns who sailed fantastically well to finish fifth and John Lindholm did very well in 12th.
"Race five was the extreme day with winds up to 32 knots and three metre waves made this very difficult. It is being referred to as Big Wednesday for the crazyness of the conditions. I managed to get around in respectable shape for a win which helped a lot," Bulka said.
"My advantage was doing well in the light and the breeze. I think I am a good light air sailor however being on the heavier side for the class makes speed an issue for me in the light. I won two of the light air races which was a real bonus given that all my opponents for the regatta win had some poor results in these conditions.
"The last day was very light. Last years winner Simon Mussle struggles in the light winds, however is super strong in the breeze. Half way through the last race he headed for the shore as he was around 30th and nothing he could do could affect his result."
For a full list of results CLICK HERE
Next year the World Championships will be in Denmark and then in 2018 the Championshipsare coming to McCrae Yacht Club in Victoria. This is certainly starting to boost numbers on the Peninsula with 19 boats now sailing at Blairgowrie and 12 and growing at McCrae.
Mark's previous World Championship results:
2013 Lake Como, Italy -Third
2014 Sydney - First
2015 Medemblik, Netherlands - Second
2016 Sanra Cruz, USA - First