C21 NSW F11 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS REPORT R2 RACES 5&6
Round 2 of the Century 21 2007-2008 NSW F11 State Championships got underway at Cronulla.........
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
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
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
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
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.