2018 Gill Flying 11 National Championships
Manly 16' Skiff Club
Dates: 13th - 19th January 2018
Many of the crew experienced sailing in a fairly sizable swell for their first time.......
Racing for day 5 got underway after a brief delay in a strong breeze from the south ranging from 17kts to 27kt gusts at times. The seas in the sound provided spectacular displays of boat surfing by the fleet as they approached the start just off
Many of the crew experienced sailing in a fairly sizable swell for their first time and a general recall brought them all back for another attempt for a start of race 4, the second start all getting away cleanly. From the boat end, 1350 Its Crunch Time, ASC
Again the fleet spread out to both sides and the middle, with 1350 Its Crunch Time reaching the top mark just ahead of 1336 Crunchie M16'SSC Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik following, 1355 Eugene M16'SSC Jonathan Roel and Ira Dubery next, 1352 Boris M16'SSC
A large swell coming in through the heads combined with strong southerly winds took it's effect, with some spectacular sailing by crews who could managed the difficult condition screaming across the top of some huge rollers, whilst others came to grief and ended up cart-wheeling into the stormy seas.
A very quick circuit back up to the top mark for the second time brought 1336 Crunchie's girls to the lead, with 1355 Eugene, 1351 Personal Responsibilities M16'SSC Simon Leicester and Paul Darmanin, 1353 Flying Hellfish M16'SSC Josh McKnight and James Lawira-Fernandez, 1341 Flying The Coop B16'SC James and Kyle Walters 1350 It Crunch Time, 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster and 1292 Insight around next, pushing each other hard and surfing down the waves on the downwind leg of the course.
Casting an eye across the whole of the course during the next triangle, there were boats floating in all corners of the course which kept the many support vessels working overtime ensuring all crews were safe.
Steady seamanship and a very commendable effort resulted in 1336 Crunchie's Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik winning race 4, big wet smiles being the look of the morning after claiming their first nationals win. In 2nd place was 1351 Personal Responsibilities, 3rd 1353 Flying Hellfish, 4th 1341 Flying The Coop, 5th Its Crunch Time and a well earned 6th place by local boat 1355
The fleet handled the exhilarating morning with gusto, plenty of chatter from tired crews heard back at the beach and clubhouse for lunch awaiting race 5. There were some gear failures such as broken rudders which necessitated a few of the fleet requiring tows back to the clubhouse, but all were fitted out with replacements in readiness for a big afternoon.
The PRO posted the AP flag postponing the crews from leaving the club until he was sure the afternoons weather was suitable, having had NSW Ferries complain to NSW Maritime earlier in the day, most likely a negative response from the ferry incident a couple of days ago. Maritime found the fleet did handle the conditions competently and gave their approval in due course.
Once satisfied, Peter Moor signalled a "GO" and race 5 got underway at 4:15pm with 1350 Its Crunch Time, 1335 Skye High M16'SSC Lisa Darmanin and Lucy Copeland, 1275 Rebel RPAYC Rory Glover and Dominic Glover, 1355 Eugene and 1336 Crunchie all getting off to a good start, with one boat receiving an individual recall and returning for another crack at it.
1353 Flying Hellfish and 1352 Boris worked up the middle and lead the fleet to the top mark, 1355
The wind had gone considerably left by now, and with an outgoing tide pushing the face of the waves up and increasing wind strength, the front runners were finding it hard to make the wing mark reaching leg cleanly. The PRO had called for a change of course, but the mark boat was unable to alter the wing mark as the front of the pack had overtaken the back markers by this time.
With a very dark set of low clouds forming just over the heads and coming their way, the committee boat called for a shortened course and completed the race at the top of the third work. 1353 Flying Hellfish claimed first place, followed by 1352 Boris, 1345 Bambino third, 1318 Heroes and Villains forth, 1292 Insight fifth and 1355
After 5 races, the lead has changed hands numerous times and there are two more races scheduled over the next two day, making this series one of the most fought out Flying Eleven Nationals for many years were the lead can still be claimed by the current top 7 contenders. Winds are forecast to remain strong for the remainder of the series so it proves to be a very interesting time ahead.
Overall placings after 5 races with 1 discard are: 1st 1352 Boris M16'SSC - 11pts , 1350 It Crunch Time ASC - 13pts, 1353 Flying Hellfish M16'SSC - 14pts, 1345 Bambino LC12'SSC - 16pts, 1336 Crunchie M16'SSC - 22pts, 1318 Heroes and Villains RPAYC - 23pts, 1341 Flying The Coop B16'SC - 25pts.