As they did so last year, Gosford Sailing Club were the perfect regatta hosts. Peter, Kevin, Warren, Paul & co looked after our every need for the entire regatta. The courses were spot on for length and true to the breeze (as much as it would allow). And the after race BBQ was definitely a hit for hungry sailors. I’d recommend the club to any class looking for a regatta venue. The race management was also exceptional. Col Chidgey was the RO and did a superb job. The VS & MG fleets were co-ordinated such that time on the water was predominantly spent racing, rather than waiting for the other class. And courses were set and starts timed so that we were not fouling each other. Made for a very pleasurable series. Thanks must also go to the MG fleet. The sailors gave us room on the water & arranged a great presentation night & dinner. Thanks Gav. As race secretary, I’d like to acknowledge the assistance of many in making this a great championship series. Apart from the GSC crew, the VS executive (and partners) all combine to ensure the series runs smoothly. Thanks all. It is really much appreciated.
Now for the sailing… Even though the scratch series winner had been decided, racing on the final day was as hotly contested as on the first. The predicted black NE’er did not blow, instead a patchy light to moderate breeze. In the first race Firestorm, Range, TBS, SFC, UP2 & Black Diamond were all trading positions for the first lap. On the long work Firestorm & Range slipped ahead. They continued a close battle all the way to the finish with tight covering by Firestorm allowing them to score the win. It was a similar fight for 3rd with SFC covering hard to beat TBS by just 5 seconds. Handicap positions were also extremely close. Check the scoring sheets!!
The last race of the day was similar to the first. Pretty well all of the fleet together around the windward mark for the first time. The long work allowed TBS, Range & Firestorm to open up a small margin to fight for the victory. After Firestorm overcooked the final run to the bottom marks, TBS had opened up a small lead for the work to the finish. But in a cruel blow the fickle breeze shifted right, allowing Firestorm & Range back into the game. When the boats came together Firestorm had a small lead from Range & TBS. Again close tacking & covering meant they finished in this order. Black Diamond and SFC were also having a similar battle, with 6 seconds separating them at the finish with UP2 not much further behind. Well sailed all.
|Overall results – Whilst the scoresheet may indicate otherwise, this was a close series.
John, Dale & Lindsay on the Firestorm sponsored boat used their experience to retain the scratch title. Working hard on upwind speed they generally managed to get in a position to open a lead up the first windward leg & control the race from there. The oldest crew in the fleet have sailed continuously together for over a decade and know their roles well; Dale looks after tactics; Lindsay is the navigator whilst John just makes it go fast. Col, Adam & Troy on Troy Botting Shipwright put in a great performance to claim 2nd. A couple of breakages cost them dearly when for the rest of the series they sailed flawlessly. As usual their crew work was exceptional. Scoring 3rd in a count back were Mick, Robbie & Mark on Range. Robbie had never sailed a skiff before, yet handled the sheethand role with ease, especially in some very challenging conditions. They scored a race win early in the series but a breakage blunted their series. In 4th SFC Computers could also be pleased with their effort. Consistently fighting at the front end of the fleet they had some great races. Tim, Hugh & Tom have developed crew work that is the envy of the fleet; as they hone their race craft they will be even harder to beat. Bob, Hayden & Ben on Black Diamond had some real highs & lows in the series and ended 5th. Having finished a rebuild just in time for the regatta a broken mast on the first day meant even more carboning. This cut into their tuning time but they still managed some good races, with 2nd & 3rd places being real highlights. Brian, Tim & Daniel on Under Pressure 2 finished 6th overall but also had a few good races, a 3rd being a highlight. Apart from a breakage that caused a DNF, they sailed consistently well and deserved their handicap victory. Congratulations boys!!
Michael, Chris & Beano on Battleship ended 7th but will be better for the series. Michael was seen daily passing on his experience as the boys tuned the boat to their liking. They only missed the handicap title by a couple of points so not a bad result in the end. Rounding out the fleet in 8th was Redfish café. Alex, Peter & Andrew were sailing together for the first time together and on a new boat for the first time too. A couple of breakages cost them at times but they also had a few good races, the highlight being winning the Sid Peare trophy. Well done.
1st Firestorm (J Hodda, D Jacobson, L Auston) 8 pts; 2nd Troy Botting Shipwright (C Gillespie, A Kelly, T Botting) 18 pts; 3rd Range (M Turton, R Turton, M Nugent) 25 pts; 4th SFC Computers (T Dodds, H Dodds, T Wood) 25 pts; 5th Zephyr (B Baker, H Baker, B Ferguson) 35 pts; 6th Under Pressure 2 (B Gleeson, T Gleeson, D Gleeson) 39 pts; 7th Battleship (M Northam, A Fahey, C Wyatt) 51 pts; 8th Redfish café (A Stewart, P Davies, A Eisner) 60 pts.
1st Under Pressure 2 27 pts; 2nd Black Diamond 28 pts; 3rd Battleship 29 pts; 4th SFC Computers 30 pts; Firestorm 30 pts; 6th Red Fish Café 33 pts; 7th Troy Botting Shipwright 33 pts; 8th Runaway 34 pts.