Wow. After a relatively slow start to the season it seems everybody is coming out of hibernation for the Gosford nationals. Talking to a few of the old VS hands today it seems like we will have around 11 entries for the series, which starts next week. And, while some may scoff that 11 boats is still not a big fleet, I’ve looked at the entries & reckon all boats have a chance, depending on the conditions and/or what the criteria to win is. Confused? Let me explain…. If the series is really light, Under Pressure 2 is a good bet. Brian, Tim & Daniel have won heats before & are unstoppable when it is light. Also a good handicap bet. If the series is light to moderate I’m betting Mick, Robbie & Mark on Runaway will be a real threat. Mick & Mark are champion sailors & it won’t take much for Robbie to be considered the same. If the series is moderate Troy Botting Shipwright is hard to bet against. Col, Adam & Troy have the boat speed, experience, fitness, skill…. (Just don’t look back Col)
If the series is heavy, look out for Stowe Australia with champion Rod Carter at the helm. Rod won a few titles in the VSs then moved to 16’s where he is again very competitive. Stowe is fast, & with a fit 16 crew aboard this boat will love a breeze. If the series is really heavy Ragamuffin is a sure bet. Dave Witt is a legend & I’m sure will be wanting as much breeze as possible to test the boundaries of the VS…
If the series is decided on the unknown Chook has to be the clear winner. Bob & Hayden have been rebuilding 2235 PHW for a year, have sought rule changes to allow 18 footer style bows & have renamed the boat Black Diamond. I really don’t know what to expect…
If the series is decided on cool, SFC Computers is a shoe in. Hugh & Tom ooze cool (& Tim enjoys the overflow attention too). If the series is decided on fun Battleship is the boat to be on. With champion Mick Northam stepping aboard Chris & Beano are in for a super series.
If the series is favoured towards debutants Paul Boslem Building has it nailed. These guys are so new to the class I can’t even tell you their names. Welcome guys (don’t crowd me at the starts please). If the series is based on handicap results how could you bet against Alex & his crew. Not sure what boat they will show up with yet, but the reigning champs will get a good run with the handicapper (if they offer appropriate beverages of course). And finally, if the series is based on good looks, of course John, Dale & Lindsay on Firestorm will repeat their dominance & win again (they would also win if the series were awarded to the oldest crew but I try to forget that…) Of course I’m not a betting man so all of the above is purely fictional & no offence is intended. But it does sound like a good series is brewing. And it’s not too late to join the fun. Bring your boat to Gosford or contact Tim to arrange a loaner.
See you on the Brisbane Waters