Once again I can report that the VS season was a success. Whilst fleet numbers did not increase significantly over the previous season, it is worth noting that numbers did not drop either. Most pleasing though is that the quality of the fleet continues to improve. Racing throughout the season was clean & close. Many results were decided by seconds. Each of the association organised championships; Nationals, State & Travellers Trophy series, had eight entrants. Gosford & Vaucluse were to best attended races with 8 boats, whereas Sunshine & Hawkesbury both had 6 boats, whilst Teralba only saw 3 boats sail, however a few local boats also joined the fleet.
As detailed reports for each of the VS association series has been previously posted on the web, I have only provided a quick summary below for the record.
Nationals. For the 2nd year in a row the national championships were hosted by Gosford club. Brisbane Waters are renowned for variable conditions and these continued throughout the regatta, preventing the series from ever becoming predictable. With the series truncated by a day it was decided to award the Sid Peare Invitation trophy based on the handicap result of the 5th race. Alex, Andrew & Peter on RedFish Café seized the chance to grab some silverware & won easily.
In the scratch series Firestorm won on scratch, from Troy Botting Shipwright & Range 3rd on a countback. Once again the handicap trophy was as close as possible, with 1 second deciding the overall result. Under Pressure Too claimed the victory from Black Diamond & Battleship 3rd.
State Championships. To coincide with 70th year celebrations and reunion the state series was sailed over 1 weekend at Vaucluse. Fortunately the gods smiled on the fleet & offered some variety – Saturday races were in light breezes with the harbour full of traffic; Sunday races were in a moderate Southerly with much more space. Firestorm again managed to take the scratch title from Troy Botting Shipwright, with Range 3rd. Yet again the handicap title went down to the wire with 3 seconds deciding the result. Battleship this time victorious from Black Diamond & Firestorm 3rd.
Travellers Trophy. Sailed over all regattas, this trophy gives a good indication of the most consistent boat of the year. Whilst they didn’t manage to grab a major place overall in either of the other series, SFC Computers were always scoring good results & comfortably won the Travellers Trophy. Firestorm managed 2nd, with a three way countback for 3rd going to Battleship.
Congratulations to all of the winners. It is no co-incidence that the boats that sail the most get the prizes. These are also the boats that sail consistently fast throughout the season.
Practice makes perfect…
Once again I’d like to thank all sailors for their attitude throughout the season. We have top quality sailors & very close racing, yet we have no protests or appeals. Also thanks to all of the committee & their partners for their help and support throughout the season.
John Hodda VS Race Secretary.
The season progressed well with revised shorter program format for the States, Tourist Trophy & a more compact Australian Title. Favourable breezes for these regattas provided good conditions for keen racing & close competition. Quality of the fleet has improved with the rebuild & upgrade of VS 2235 Back Diamond & VS 2243 Battleship. Close racing in a range conditions & venues demonstrated the high level of crew skill & boat handling of those who sailed their skiffs. Congratulation goes to all crews for a successful racing season. I would like to thank the committee & VS ladies for their support, particularly John Hodda for his organisation & reporting of our main events & Linda O’Connor for her organising skills supporting events. A high light of the season & privilege to be involved with was the VS Class 70th Reunion. The VSSA hosted 110 past & present sailors including Gordon Ingate, Richard Healy (80+ yrs) & Champions from Vaucluse, Cronulla, Hawkesbury, Dobroyd, Taree, & Teralba at the Vaucluse Yacht Club, a great night was had by all. Thanks must go to the all the VS sailors & VS ladies who willingly chipped in to ensure the night was a success. A number of special mentions are required :-
VYC: Ian (Tinka) Bell, Zena & Doug Cameron for organising the Vaucluse Yacht Club, the foundation home of the class as the venue for the reunion & also hosting the State Titles on the Watson Bay & the Harbour.
Catering: Linda & the ladies who attended to the catering from early Saturday though to the end of evening & action next day to leave the club in top shape. Thanks also to Mark Nugent & the lads who provided the refreshments & BBQ, Tim Dodds for coordination the video presentations, Steve Sims MC, Hugh Dodds for photos, Mandy Auston for reunion “T” shirts.
The season ahead looks promising with the rebuild/upgrade of 3 skiffs VS 2234, 2238 & 2226. Also VS 2241 transferring to new crew brings the potential fleet to 15 skiffs. Looking forward to another great year in this 77 year old Australian class.
Col Gillespie, President VSSA, 11th July 2015