Report on Heats 4 & 5
The warning signal commenced the day's racing at 1pm, as per the change to sailing instructions posted the afternoon before, with a fresh 12-15kts W/SW building breeze, waters being fairly choppy..........
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - - Today was a lay day so this report was a number of hours late getting posted to the website. This report covers Tuesday's race 4 and race 5 of the 2007 SUNSMART F11 Nationals hosted by Nedlands Yacht Club, Perth.
The warning signal commenced the day's racing at 1pm, as per the change to sailing instructions posted the afternoon before, with a fresh 12-15kts W/SW building breeze, waters being fairly choppy. John McQueen, the PRO got the first race off after one general recall at 1:26pm with the fleet again splitting evenly to both side of the first work, all hoping the timing was right for their particular strategy for race 4. It appeared the favoured side was in the left, but regular strength and great rights were to be had on the right if you were in the right place at the right time. This regatta was certainly testing the crews ability to pick the shifts which were consistent in their irregularity throughout many wind strengths and directions.
By the top mark, 1325 TROPHERS TOY Jay Griffin & Chris Saunders were around first just in front of 1344 PANTHER Justin Sharrock & Kris Fay, 1308 SNOWSTORM Josh McKnight & James Lawira-Fernand, and 1334 ACE Peter Kendall & Louis Halford.
There was a good 15kts in for the reaches and 1318 HEROES & VILLAINS Robert & Matthew Crawford, 1315 OASIS Carla Doune-Sexton & Shaun Hannan and 1311 UPBEAT James & Kyle Walters gave chase to the bottom mark, where ACE had overtaken his rivals and lead the fleet back up the second work.
Peter Kendall and Louis Halford in 1334 ACE pinned their hopes on the right, with the majority of the previous fleet leaders going left. By the top mark, 1334 ACE was in the lead but the lefties were right behind him with 1325 TROPHERS TOY and HEROES & VILLAINS next in pursuit for the square run to the leeward mark.
The last rounding of the top mark for race 4 was lead by 1334 Ace but by the wing mark, their margin was only 20m from 1318 HEROES & VILLAINS, with equal margins to 1344 PANTHER, 1335 SKYE HIGH Alex McFadyen & Matthew Stenta and all girl crew1336 CRUNCHIE Olivia Price & Lizzie Jones. With the wind strength now around 18kts and building, an intense battle ensued to the bottom of the course, these boats splitting apart for a last dash effort up the final work to the finish line.
First place went to Peter & Louis in 1334 ACE, second to Jay & Chris in 1325 TROPHERS TOY 86 secs behind and last year's MJ National Champion Alex McFadyen with new crew Matthew Stenta in 1335 SKYE HIGH claiming 3rd place; 4th - 1318 HEROES & VILLAINS, 5th - 1344 PANTHER, 6th - 1308 SNOWSTORM, 7th - 1336 CRUNCHIE, 8th - 1311 UPBEAT, 9th - FLYING THE COOP and 1345 BAMBINO in tenth spot.
RACE 5 - With only a short break back to the beach for the fleet, the second race of the day commenced at 3:44pm with only an individual recall to slow up one of the competitors. The breeze was still in the W/SW at18kts but it certainly looked as if it would build further throughout the afternoon.
Two thirds of the fleet took the left option, the right showing an enviable promise to those that chose to do something different and get the timing right for the powerful shifts on this side of the course. At the top mark, 1334 ACE Peter Kendall & Louis Halford has a slender lead from the newly threatening all girl crew 1336 CRUNCHIE Olivia Price, Peter from the right side and Olivia from the left. Next, third to the top mark were another all girl crew 1345 BAMBINO's Ali Chapman (last year's National Champion crew) with Alex Paton, but they immediately took themselves above the mark to do a penalty turn for a previous indiscretion with 1336 CRUNCHIE. This left the lane clear for the persuing crews of 1335 SKYE HIGH, local sailors 1217 RUBBER DUCKY Luc Tasker & Lucina Crisp and 1242 RUSTY Alan Ezzy & Liam Warburton.
With the wind now over the 20kts, a lot of action was happening on the reaching leg to the wing mark - many crews having some rushed moments with the setting of spinnakers and some succumbing to the elements and having a swim - plenty of spray and colour for the spectators enjoying the lively show.
By the wing mark 1334 ACE and 1336 CRUNCHIE were revelling in the freshening breeze with gusts around 25kts and had established a break from the rest of the fleet, a number of them coming a cropper and going in heavily. These two boats actually flew out of the water at times on the shy reach to the leeward mark, and they chose to go right, leaving the choice for the followers to pick a left option in order to close the gap. As predicted, 1344 PANTHER sailed well and took the second rounding of the top mark in front of 1334 ACE and 1336 CRUNCHIE, with 1318 HEROES & VILLAINS right on their tail.
After the run and next work to the top mark for the final time, 1344 PANTHER fired off to the wing mark with 1336 CRUNCHIE next and 1334 ACE on their transom. At this moment, a fierce squall of over 30++kts hit the top end of the course. The water surface lifted from the track and all crews disappeared into a watery haze. It looked like a bowling ball had been fired at the fleet, with boats going in everywhere.
1344 PANTHER, was just holding on along the rodeo ride to the wing mark, with 1336 CRUNCHIE battling it out too just astern. 1334 Ace had just succumbed to the drink at the start of the reach, with 1344 PANTHER nearing the wing mark also hitting the proverbial. Around the wing mark for the last time in storm conditions, the girls in 1336 CRUNCHIE took the lead and only needed to remain upright for a few more minutes until the intense squall had settled. Such is life they say and they too bit the dust on the way to the bottom mark. With all the leaders in the drink, 1325 flogged their way past and took over the lead, with 1344 PANTHER righted and close behind them. All spinnakers in the fleet were dropped or unused for the remainder of the race and the crews went into survival mode until the moment had passed.
Plenty of lumpy water to test the endurance and tenacity of the crews left standing, with 1344 PANTHER claiming a most memorable first place over the line, 1325 TROPHERS TOY 87 secs behind in second, 1318 HEROES & VILLAINS third and a photo finish for forth place with 1334 ACE 1 second ahead of 1336 CRUNCHIE in fifth place.
Next five placings went to 1311 UPBEAT, 1308 SNOWSTORM, 1341 FLYING THE COOP, 1331 BRING IT ON AGAIN, and 1242 RUSTY.
All crews had very tired and red eyes from the water lifting and peppering them at high velocity and strength, but all agreed it was a great and exhillirating race to be remembered.
After 5 races, 1334 PANTHER are on top of the leader board with three 1st's, 1325 TROPHERS TOY next with three 2nd's and 1242 RUSTY third with a 1st & a 3rd.
Last Modified on 10/01/2007 09:39