Mistral Worlds held in Perth , Australia , December 8-16.

What a year!
Aaron McIntosh reports


1997 what a year, to top it off was the Mistral Worlds held in Perth , Australia , December 8-16. Training began in June with an extensive on and off the water training programme.

October 24th Yachting New Zealand’s team departed New Zealand bound for Perth to set up camp and start our location training 6 weeks before our event. We as in Myself , Jon Paul Tobin , Bruce and Barbara Kendall accompanied by Shane Bright set upon the task of putting our best foot forward for this Championship. Training included hours upon hours on the water working on getting used to the local conditions testing our equipment and building up our endurance.

We pre booked our accommodation from NZ but once arriving we decided to move closer to the water we ended up being based 5 km out of Fremantle at the Coogee Beach Caravan Park in chalets walking distance to the water allowing us to leave our equipment rigged up out side our accommodation.

Week by week the training went on nothing very exciting happening the best we could do was get out to the movies and that was a mission. Our day would consist of waking about 7.30 - 8 have breakfast which generally took about 45 min to consume , this was because of the sheer volume of it. We ended up buying mixing bowls as your average bowl just would not cut it. We would then head off to the gym , the workouts would taper as we closer to contest time. 2 hours later we would finish up with stretching and return back to our dwelling to consume a Carbohydrate / Protein shake and start pushing food into our bodies. Usually a small rest would follow or we would work on equipment , what happened more often than not was I would have a little catnap. About 1.30 we would set out on the water as the Freemantle doctor arrived. Our on water training would then consist of a warm up wind sail then proceed to sail down to our racing area. Most of the time we would sail as a team as this has proven to be the way to achieve results. Barbara was very quick in light winds and Husband Shane was quickest in the strong Perth sea breezes . Jon Paul myself and Bruce fitted in close behind and all conditions but often much faster downwind.

This worked well , the weeks then the days were passing quickly. November 18 we all departed Perth for Noumea for the tradewind trophy , as we had not done much racing in recent times we decided that it was best that we get in a regatta to sharpen up our race skills. This even went exceptionally well the Kiwis dominated a small but classy field. I place first, Jon Paul second and Bruce third with Barbara winning the Women’s event.

All was setting up well for the Worlds in 10 days time. One thing that was in our minds was the space between contests 10 days was just enough. We arrived back in Perth but I started to come down with a fever , head aches and was not a happy camper. I took it easy I spent 3 days reading watching TV and generally taking it easy I thought that I would get over it quickly and set out on the water , not a wise thing to do and in hind site this just put me back to square one. I made a call to NZ Doctor Tony Edward’s worried that things were not looking so good what drugs can I take as most things would show up in a drug test. I then made my way to the chemist with a shopping list. Things came right and I managed to get some quality on water time and sort out my racing equipment.

With registration and measurement out of the way we winding down letting our bodies fully recover before we did battle.

10th December Day 1, this was it , we had done the work to the best we possibly could time to put our hard done training to work.

Well we waited for the wind , we were greeted with conditions that we had never seen before it just way it goes we had spent 5 weeks in Perth god lad Murphy’s law oh well.

After 3 general recalls we were away all the Kiwis had started poorly but managed to pull up through the fleet finishing I finished 7th Joao Rodrigous Portugal won this race.

Day 2 same again we waited for the wind it came but no grunt 8-10 knots I placed 17th not recovering well from a bad start.

Day 3 the wind a light Sea breezes stared to fill-in we had 3 races I had another 7th and then went on to win the next , the breeze was getting up to 25 knots this is what we were expecting I had a 9th. This put me in first = with the Portugal sailor. Consistent top 10 placing’s did this

The 13th a lay day a chance to watch the Whitbread fleet depart for Sydney what a sight a spinnaker start heading North to a mark off the shore before heading out to sea and South. This was a day the sea breeze really kicked in but no racing for us.

Day 4 Light to moderate winds from the SW 10-15 knots and lots of sea grass to slow everyone up this made things very interesting I placed 2nd and 16th.

Final Day 3 races scheduled this was it I was sitting in 2nd place 1 point off the lead and 3 points from 3rd and 4th it was going to be tight. Race 8 I finished 4th just in front of my rivals. Still tight race 9 I placed 3rd and my competition had bad races , I was sitting pretty for the last race I needed to finish in the top 10 and be close to my rivals , I placed 8th and beat them.

That was it I had done it World Champion 1997. Other Kiwi placings.

  • Jon Paul Tobin 5th
  • Bruce Kendall 10th
  • Shane Bright 31st
  • Barbara Kendall went in the final day 1st = with the Italian sailor but a late charge from the Hong Kong Gold Medalist pushed her into 3rd.

All in all a great performance from the Kiwis top country by far.

We did the hard training and the results came.

I would like to thank the following for there support. LINE 7 , Rip Curl , Windscene Windsurf , Power Bar , Oakley and the New Zealand Sports Foundation.

I would like to welcome SUBARU to my team as a new sponsor.

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McIntosh Racing -
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Aaron McIntosh 1997

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