1st & 2nd December 2008 -
Whilst Sydney had virtually no sailing breeze over the past weekend and rain fell down as if to just rub it all in, our Belmont weather was able to provide for some good hard sailing for the young crews of the Flying Eleven fleet of NSW. The Belmont 16ft Sailing Club hosted the first round of the Century 21 2007-2008 NSW Flying 11 State Championships, drawing a very strong re-generational fleet 74 entries from all over the state to compete in 4 heats of 7 to determine who would be crowned the new state champions for this 2007-2008 sailing season.
Saturday morning's SE breeze was flicking around like the proverbial with the PRO having to deal with frequent 40deg shifts, at one stage prior to the start getting a reading in succession of 08-120degs. Nonetheless, the fleet got straight down to it in heat 1 with a clean start from Manly's 1351 PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES Simon Leicester and Paul Darmanin footing off from the pin end to gain a 20 second lead by the top mark, with team mates 1336 CRUNCHIE Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik and Gosford's 1306 FATTY & SKINNY Sam Ellis and Shivani Luithle leading the rest of the pack into the first reach after the bolting 1351. Some great sailing ensued with the young fleet using all their skills to pick the shifts and keep their competitors covered.
First blood in the States for the weekend went to Manly's all girl crew Olivia Price and Kasha Wojcik in 1336 CRUNCHIE, 1351 PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES in second place, and local brothers from Belmont 1341 FLYING THE COOP James and Kyle Walters taking out third position.
Heat 2 started with a somewhat dying SE/E breeze however they managed another clean start with most of the fleet bunched together from the start to the first mark. Avalon's 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME Scott Cotton and Max Vos managed to keep just clear of the fleet with 1336 CRUNCHIE leading the charge amid Lane Cove's 1295 SPARTA Tim and Nicola Forbes-Smith, 1345 BAMBINO Ali Chapman and Alex Paton and 1341 FLYING THE COOP all chomping at the chance to grab the lead. Plenty of weed in the lake brought down 1336 CRUNCHIE and an ever flicking breeze swapped all the other players about up the last work to the finish, with 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME Scott Cotton and Max Vos triumphing over 1341 FLYING THE COOP in second and Tim and Nicola Forbes-Smith in SPARTA third over the line.
The fleet returned to the club house for a sausage sizzle and plenty of chatter on what had transpired on day 1 of round 1.
Day 2 didn't quite have the same bang as yesterday's start, with a softer and more flicky breeze from the SE/E teasing the fleet as they rigged up. Some early shower activity off the coast meant the lake breeze was forever flicking back left for a short while, making the setting of the top mark almost comical at times, and thus delaying what was to be an early start for an early afternoon getaway. "Not So" said Huey and it took almost an hour to get a reasonably fair go at the starting of Heat 3.
Of course, when things are not going to plan, you can bet it will get worse for the organisers to get underway, and the start of Heat 3 was a good example where the fleet manages 3 generals before the I flag was raised. This brought them back to reality and the forth start produced another lead boat, with Manly's 1352 BORIS Alex McFadyen and Matthew Stokes breaking away up the first work with a good lead rounding the top mark ahead of 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME, 1295 SPARTA, 1336 CRUNCHIE and 1345 BAMBINO.
1352 BORIS maintained their lead the entire race to the finish with 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME closing the gap to within 4 boat lengths at the line in second place, just ahead of RPAYC's brothers Robert and Matthew Crawford in 1318 HEROES AND VILLANS.
Three races and three leaders with plenty of near misses was making Heat 4 look like anyone's trophy, and some eager looking crews left the beach for the trek across the lake to the start in another fickle SE/E breeze of around 8-10kts.
A commanding start by 1336 CRUNCHIE out on the left hand side lead the fleet to the first mark. the next three boats 1341 FLYING THE COOP, 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME and 1345 BAMBINO tussled to and fro with the positions changing regularly during the first triangle. 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME managed to edge past to take the lead until the last rounding of the wing mark where 1336 CRUNCHIE regained the front line, but closely followed by 1341 FLYING THE COOP who together put on a fierce tacking duel up the last work, handing the lead back to 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME at the final stages of the race and over the line to take their second 1st place over the weekend. 1336 CRUNCHIE crossed in second place and 1341 brought home another third.
Throughout the weekend, there were many highlight performances from some of our newer crews to the F11 class, including Jonathan Roel and Ira Drubery in 1355 EUGENE from Manly with a 5th place in Heat 2, 1306 FATTY & SKINNY's Sam Ellis and Shivani Luithle from Gosford also a 5th place in Heat 3, 6th places to 1237 CHEEKY Samantha Nugent and Natasha Ivshenco of Manly and 1208 PSYCHO Stephanie Doyle and Millie Bennett of Avalon.
The top 5 overall positions after 4 heats are 1st - 1350 ITS CRUNCH TIME, 2nd - 1336 CRUNCHIE, 3rd - 1352 BORIS, 4th - 1345 BAMBINO, 5th - HEROES & VILLANS. The second round of the Century 21 NSW F11 State Championships will be hosted by Cronulla Sailing Club on the weekend of the 9-10th February 2008.