I think everybody knows but, for the record, the VS fleet gathered at Vaucluse on the weekend for two days sailing and a reunion gathering. And all those that attended would vouch that it went off well. Because I’m sure it will be reported elsewhere, I’ll be brief regarding the reunion but I must say it was a huge success. Around 100 past and current VS sailors attended and shared many stories of colleagues and the class over a nice meal and refreshments. Congratulations & thanks to all involved in pulling it all together. Hopefully we’ll do another in future years.
Also a success, again that I hope is repeated in future years, was the state title series. The Vaucluse Yacht Club was the sole host of the series this season, with three races sailed on Saturday and two on Sunday. Tinker, Doug, Dave & all at the VYC again looked after us like royalty. The courses were long and true, making for great VS racing. And off the water we once again enjoyed the legendary VYC venue. Sitting on the veranda watching the best harbour in the world, with nice food & seemingly endless drinks, is pretty hard to beat.
Busy. That is how I’d describe the harbour today. There were yachts, cruisers, speedboats, tall ships, sea planes, ferries, dinghy's & skiffs everywhere. As such there was very little clear breeze & flat water. But fortunately there was an 8 – 12 knot NE’er that allowed the crews to get on the wires & get a little speed to plough through the chop caused by the boats & a strong run out tide.
Full race results are posted elsewhere but to summarise today all boats, apart from Redfish Café who suffered multiple breakages & had a regatta to forget, had a good day, sailed well and finished close. A quick scan shows less than 5 minutes spread across the fleet in all three races and only seconds separating places in several races. It seems there is no longer any one ‘back of fleet’ boat. One mistake and you could well be that boat. It’s great to see boats like Under Pressure Too, Black Diamond & Battleship racing with and beating the usual front runners. These boats are getting these results by chipping away at improving their boats & sailing. As such, these boats also feature strongly in handicap results. More later.
Firestorm & Troy Botting Shipwright shared the line honours today with John, Dale & Lindsay getting the gun in races 1 & 3 while Col, Adam & Troy had a nice victory in race 2. Steve & Mark had a good day in Range and showed Mal (legend from the 80’s) how well the modern boats sail. They lead the fleet at times so it was a good display. Tim, Hugh & Tom on SFC Computers also had a good day, with some high places but, also noticed how close the fleet is in race 2 when they slipped to 6th after earlier battling for a podium. On handicap Andrew, Greg & Chris on Battleship scored victories in races 1 & 2 whilst Bob, Hayden & Ben chalked up a win for Black Diamond in race 3. Courtesy of a 2nd & two 3rds Brian, Tim & Daniel on Under Pressure Too would go into day two also with a strong handicap chance.
As everyone rolled up to the club on Sunday morning there didn’t appear to be too many ill effects from the night before. Maybe this was because, despite the forecast of a light variable breeze, a nice little southerly was blowing. With less traffic on the harbour and all boats keen after the close racing of the day before we hit the water for a 130pm start. Once again the course was nice and long, allowing plenty of options both upwind and downwind. The tide was still running out but the breeze was now with it, the result was flatter water with the work into the tide. Unfortunately Alex and Andrew were without Peter today, and with things to fix, decided that Redfish Café would DNS. Bad luck boys. This allowed Brian, who was missing Tim & Daniel for the day, to pick up Alex & Andrew and attempt to keep Under Pressure Too in the hunt for the handicap title. Unfortunately UP2 didn’t perform well with the extra weight and they slipped out of contention.
The conditions were right in the Firestorm sweet spot and they scored two comfortable wins to retain the state title. TBS, Range, SFC and Black Diamond seemed to be trading places all day and keep the committee boats engaged with close finishes. In the end TBS scored enough to claim 2nd overall with Range 3rd, SFC 4th & Black Diamond 5th. With a better spinnaker on yesterday Bob & the boys could easily have been higher up in the places. With club mates UP2 & Red Fish sidelined Battleship did a grand job of flying the Hawkesbury flag. Knowing they had a handicap chance they sailed very well in the first race today, notably beating Black Diamond by 3 seconds on handicap. This was fortunate because they had two swims and sailed like chumps in the last race, but they had already done enough. Battleship won the handicap title on a count back from Black Diamond. Both boats are the most improved throughout the season, the result of the hard work mentioned elsewhere. Congratulations to both of you. But beware the handicapper has now noticed you!!!
State Title Overall Scratch
1st Firestorm (J Hodda, D Jacobson, L Auston) 4 pts; 2nd Troy Botting Shipwright (C Gillespie, A Kelly, T Botting) 7 pts; 3rd Range (S Sims, M Thompson/G Jakins, M Nugent) 12 pts; SFC Computers (T Dodds, H Dodds, T Wood) 14 pts; 5th Black Diamond (B Baker, H Baker, B Ferguson) 20 pts; 6th Under Pressure 2 (B Gleeson, T Gleeson, D Gleeson) 21 pts; 7th Battleship (A Fahey, G Lowe, C Wyatt) 25 pts; 8th Redfish café (A Stewart, P Davies, A Eisner) 34 pts
State Titles Overall Handicap
1st Battleship 10 pts; 2nd Black Diamond 10 pts; 3rd Firestorm 13pts; 4th SFC Computers 13 pts; 5th Under Pressure Too 15 pts; 6th Range 17 pts; 7th Troy Botting Shipwright 18 pts; 8th Red Fish Café 34 pts.
The Travellers Trophy series is scored on handicap points from the majority of regatta races we sail. The first race of both days at Vaucluse were the final two scores for this series. To win the series a boat has to sail both consistently well and consistently. A look through the summary page will show that missing a regatta or two will make it hard to catch up. When you are away your opposition may be scoring well!!
This years champion crew is Tim, Hugh & Tom on SFC Computers. I don’t think anyone can deny they sailed consistently well all season. They have quietly developed over the past few seasons to the point now where the boat lacks nothing for speed & their crew work is the envy of most (well us oldies anyway). Well done boys!!
Firestorm took 2nd overall, mainly due to turning up at all races & sailing consistently. As for 3rd, it was a real mixed bag. Three boats ended tied on points. TBS started all races & sailed consistently well but just didn’t hit the highs the handicapper expected. Under Pressure Too missed the Teralba regatta but scored well elsewhere, but again didn’t repeat their highs like at the nationals. Again seeming to do well on a count back, Battleship ended 3rd overall. They also missed the Teralba regatta but keep improving throughout the season. Full results are posted elsewhere on the web.
So that’s it for the season. Look out for notice of the AGM and start thinking about what you need to do next season. There is a bit of renewed enthusiasm in the class so make sure you are ready to come along for the ride. There are a few top crews plotting a return to the class, which will make the racing even better but I’ll leak those details later.
But what I’m very pleased to announce now is that Michael Brown has purchased 2241 & will join us next season. Browny is a champion sailor, winning many Australian & State titles in various classes. His plan is to enlist a few of the young sailors from Sunshine as crew so I’m sure they will be quickly on the pace. Welcome to the VS class Browny!