NSW States Cronulla
NSW States Cronulla
David Price, Cronulla, Saturday, 9 February 2008

Round 2 of the Century 21 2007-2008 NSW F11 State Championships got underway at Cronulla.........

Saturday 9th February 2008 -  

Round 2 of the Century 21 2007-2008 NSW F11 State Championships got underway at Cronulla in a mix of southerly breezes ranging from the morning race in 11kts-19kts gusting to 27kts with many squally rain sessions to contend with off Bundeena seaward and the tide running out at a rapid pace.


Visibility was poor and the fleet of 46 returnees from round 1 had difficulty locating the marks in swell and rain and a very dark cloud cover overhead.


The first top mark rounding saw many of the Manly contingent take first blood with 1352 BORIS Alex McFadyen and Matthew Stocks M16'SSC round first a boat length ahead of 1336 CRUNCHIE Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik M16'SSC gaining ground along the reach to the seaward wing mark with the front two boats stretching a good lead from the following pack.


Once around the turn, the fleet searched desperately for a bottom mark without success until the very last moment as they approached the breakers off the Cronulla headland. A quick gybe and the front runners found it almost required a work up to the bottom mark position, with the fleet behind peeling off earlier to make this newly found mark, obscured by light, swell and rain.


1336 CRUNCHIE rounded ahead of 1352 BORIS and 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME Scott Cotton and Max Vos ASC who took the advantage of the "lost mark" predicament rounded in third spot. From here the fleet split with the majority heading left out to sea but some like 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME working the middle of the course.


By the second top mark rounding, 1336 CRUNCHIE and 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME  were fighting it out together with some separation from 1352 BORIS and 1353 FLYING HELLFISH Josh McKnight and James Lawira-Fernandez M16'SSC.


By the final work to the finish, the breeze had dropped out in a number of places over the course area and an earnest tacking duel was had up the entire work in a full runout tide, creating a tense spectacle for all the onlookers off the headlands. It was the 1336 CRUNCHIE girls who kept the boys in 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME at bay and took line honours, with 1353 FLYING HELLFISH in third place, followed by 1352 BORIS, 1339 WHITEWASH Tom Koerner and Joshua Ponton ASC over fifth.


A brief stop for lunch at Gibbon Beach and race 6 commenced in a lacklustre and oscillating  breeze of 10kts reaching at times during the race to 18kts, with a clearing rain and cloud bank overhead.


Most of the fleet on the right hand side of the first work faired well, staying out of the tide and working along the breaking waves off the Cronulla rocks, weaving at times in between the local surfers who looked on in a somewhat bemused state. Obviously catching the near breakers was a gamble but a number of top crews took the option to gain an advantage creating some angst amongst the support boats aligning themselves off the line of breaking waves in an attempt to force the fleet seaward. A number of girl crews explained to me later that they were really only in there to "check out the surfers!"


By the first rounding, 1350 had established a good lead from 1345 BAMBINO Ali Chapman and Alex Paton LC12'SSC with 8 boat lengths over 1336 CRUNCHIE around third. The fierce tide and soft breeze on the left paid out on those crews who took the morning's favoured side and they made the top mark from 15th position back, with much to do to catch the front runners.


Throughout the second work, the lead alternated between 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME and 1345 BAMBINO however the later paid a price for search for more pressure in the middle of the course but hurting with the tide run. 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME remained in the lead for the remainder of the race, 1345 BAMBINO being threatened by the approaching 1336 CRUNCHIE up the last work until the girls in 1336 CRUNCHIE made the decision to protect third place from cousin Alex in 1352 BORIS who was throwing everything they had at them determined to grab third.


1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME took a comfortable win over 1345 BAMBINO, followed by 1336 CRUNCHIE third staving off 1352 BORIS fourth and 1338 INTERGALACTIC COOKIE MONSTER Natalie Greentree and Matthew Stenta M16'SSC putting in a good show for fifth place.


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