For the 71st time, the Australian Vee Ess Championships are being contested. For this edition, Toronto Amateur Sailing Club is the host and we are sharing the venue with the Skate class. Another Australian class with a long history (and not a bad bunch of sailors either).
A good fleet has entered. We are missing a few of our regulars, such as Brian & Alex, but we hold hope they might show up to say g’day sometime through the regatta. However, the good news is we have a few new and returning sailors. Jeremy has punted Tim from the helm of SFC Computers, so with Hugh & Tom we now have a bit of ‘cool’ in the fleet, as well as fast sailors. Reminds me of myself 35 years ago…
Also making a welcome return to the fleet is Peter & Steve on Stowe. They last got together with Ryan in the fleet at the Kangaroo Island nationals. And they took out the handicap title. They will get faster all regatta.
Another crew putting it all together for this year is Mick, Robbie & Mark on Meeks Real Estate. Mark has been in the class for years and Mick had a few very successful seasons in Purple Headed Warrior a few years ago. They sampled Runaway at last years nationals and liked it so much they have put together their own boat for this season.
A further addition to the fleet for this series is White Noise. Whilst Browny is away playing Impulse, Joel & Scott have taken the chance to get a bit of experience on the tiller & have recruited Joey. Another youthful crew.
I was about to continue listing the other boats that have crew changes since last year when it struck me; there is only 1 boat in the fleet that has the same crew! Firestorm. John, Dale & Lindsay have stuck together. But is time running out for them?
Sid Peare Invitation
Nine boats started today in a breeze that ranged from 5 to 18 knots & oscillated through 90 degrees. One work was done in one board; the next seemed to be a knock on all tacks and took forever. There was a few capsizes noticed but we all got around & got the feel for Toronto Bay. The racing was close and should be a good indicator for the following week.
Firestorm, Meeks & Troy Botting Shipwright all swapped the lead at various stages. However Col, Adam & Janine knew when the ideal time is, taking the lead on the final run to comfortably cross the line first. Firestorm were next, the fading breeze no good for the series ‘heavyweights’. Meeks were not much further behind, and again will be better for the run. Jeremy and the lads were next, having a good race whilst planning another all nighter. There was a bit of a gap to the next bunch, led by Tim, who was just seconds ahead of the Stowe boys. Chook was next followed by Battleship, then White Noise. But today is just a prelude. I’m sure all crews are discussing ways to improve when the series starts on Wednesday. And we might need to. Steve, Mick & Troy on Runaway will join us then. Last race out they were unstoppable….
Oh, and to keep the interest a bit longer, I’ll remind you that for a while now we have awarded the Sid Peare Invitation race based on the handicap result. And I’ll give myself a pat on the back. The handicaps were assigned well before the race started yet half of the fleet were within minutes of each other. And the winning margin was just seconds.
Better book a seat at the presentation dinner to see who gets the trophy…