2008 F11 Nationals Race 6


1339 Whitewash
1339 Whitewash
David Price, manly, Saturday, 19 January 2008

What made today's racing really special was the rain increased just on start sequence, blinding the fleet as they battled to focus on maintaining their race strategies whilst tempest raged around them......

Friday 18th January 2008 -

Where did the summer go in Sydney? Racing for today's race 6 had it all. Peter Moor, our PRO had the AP flag ashore dropped just on 2pm with a light drizzle of rain dampening the usual spectator fleet's appearance out in the sound, with all support crews fully "wet-weathered" up, escorting the fleet to the start off Balmoral in the 22kts from the ESE gusting to 33kts and a rising swell of 3m. What made today's racing really special was the rain increased just on start sequence, blinding the fleet as they battled to focus on maintaining their race strategies whilst tempest raged around them. Just holding position in the wind, current and swell for the rescue team was a struggle, many of the RIBs slamming off the back of waves awaiting the heavy weather start. Even the starters shotgun was hard to hear only some 40m away. Wild stuff!


Nonetheless, the whole fleet overcame the adversity thrust upon them and got away to a clean start. 1355 Eugene M16'SSC Jonathan Roel and Ira Dubery climbed the mountains rolling into the harbour in horizontal rain and jumped ahead of heavy weather girls 1336 Crunchie M16'SSC Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik, with 1352 Boris M16'SSC Alex McFadyen and Matthew Stocks and 1353 Flying Hellfish M16SSC Josh McKnight and James Lawira-Fernandez following up the first work, It took real skill to find the mark, let alone sail up to it in the fierce swell and torrents of rain. Just to windward of these boats, the fleet of Sydney Ferries were nose diving there way across the mouth of the harbour.


Once around the top mark, 1355 Eugene extended her lead to 100m from 1336 Crunchie, who, with spinnaker set was busily fighting off her team mates close astern, screaming off the crests of waves that literally hid these boats in the troughs along the reach to the wing mark between Washaway Beach and the bombora. Positions were maintained by the bottom mark, with the rest of the fleet handling the conditions admirably, there being no up-turned vessels during the first triangle, much to the relief  of the now sodden and cold support crews standing by.


Again, the crews strained their way up to the top mark, many working near Middle Head amongst the rough seaway ricocheting back from the cliff face. 1355 Eugene was in a comfortable lead around the second top mark rounding from 1352 Boris, who had just squeezed past 1336 Crunchie. Just commencing the downwind leg, a freakishly steep faced wave grabbed the girls in 1336 Crunchie and tossed them upside down to windward like a toy boat upsetting what had been a great effort to this point of the race. "We weren't even square" they were heard saying after the race. Tough luck for them but fortune for others as 1318 Heroes and Villians RPAYC Robert and Matthew Crawford, 1345 Bambino LC12'SSC Ali Chapman and Alex Paton, 1341 Flying The Coop B16'SC James and Kyle Walters and 1350 Its Crunch Time ASC Scott Cotton and Max Vos enetered to fray behind the four leaders from Manly.


The bottom mark support boat was indicating a change of course to starboard, sounding the horn and flags flapping hurriedly of their bow which produced some difficulty for the from pack to deal with. As the fleet approached the wing mark, 1355 Eugene, 1352 Boris, 1353 Flying Hellfish failed to pickup the mark which was being repositioned just off the bombora at Dobroyd Head. With these three busily dropping their spinnakers two thirds of the way down the last reach and having to tack back up to the mark, the followers got a bonus gift and took their advantaged position astern to round the mark ahead of the front line. 1318 Heroes and Villains hit the lead, with newcomers to F11s this season 1339 Whitewash ASC Tom Koerner and Joshua Ponton grabbing second position and 1345 Bambino jumping up to third amongst the previous leaders.


Some very skilful sailing was required for the crews who had been leading to reclaim their positions. 1355 Eugene and 1341 Flying The Coop headed back up the last work on the left, with the rest of the front pack tacking close to Middle Head.


By the finish line, 1352 Boris had clawed her way up to first place, overtaking 1318 Heroes and Villains over in second place, 1351 Personal Responsibilities M16'SSC Simon Leicester and Paul Darmanin third, 1353 Flying Hellfish forth, 1339 Whitewash ASC Tom Koerner and Joshua Ponton over in fifth place ahead of 1345 Bambino in sixth spot.


All crews were thoroughly exhilarated by the day, big tired smiles on many faces as they returned to the club after the race. The fleet can be commended for their competency and spirit after such a day, with very little work being required from the support crew on this occasion.


Overall placings after 6 races are: 1st 1352 BorisM16'SSC, 2nd 1353 Flying Hellfish M16'SSC, 3rd 1350 Its Crunch Time ASC, 4th 1345 Bambino LC12'SSC, 5th Heroes and Villains RPAYC, 6th 1336 Crunchie M16'SSC, 7th 1341 Flying The Coop B16'SC, 8th 1355 Eugene M16'SSC, 9th 1351 Personal Responsibilities M16'SSC, 10th 1305 Lethal B16'SC.


David Price

National President



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