2018 Gill Flying 11 National Championships
Manly 16' Skiff Club
Dates: 13th - 19th January 2018
It had come down to the last day of the series spread over two weekends, the first round having been held in early December and now the final two races 6 and 7 left to battle out the most closely fought contest in Flying Eleven memory.....
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February 2009 - Belmont - Round 2 of the 1824(TM) NSW Flying Eleven State Championships 2008-2009.
Another cold and wet day arrived for the final day 2 of Round 2 of the 1824(TM) NSW Flying Eleven State Championships 2008-2009 hosted by Belmont 16'SC on Lake Macquarie. Unlike yesterday, the promised big winds were not in early, and only light to moderate rain periods brought any real wind to the northern eastern shores of Lake Macquarie.
It had come down to the last day of the series spread over two weekends, the first round having been held in early December and now the final two races 6 and 7 left to battle out the most closely fought contest in Flying Eleven memory. First and second place were riding on an equal 9 points with 1368 Cotton On Scott Cotton & Max Vos ASC leading on countback from 1363 Crunchie Olivia Price & Maddie Clancy M16'SSC and only 5 points away from 1362 Guccii Alex McFadyen & Bradley Leicester M16'SSC last year's national champion. It would also make Flying Eleven history if an "all girl crew" were actually able to succeed in winning a F11 State Titles event, something almost achieved last year but still unfulfilled to date.
Race 6 - The forecast of 40kts was nowhere to be found as yet, and the fleet left the shore of Belmont 16'SC with a soft easterly/south east breeze for the intended 2 races back to back. Fortunately by the starting signal, the breeze had built ahead of a substantial rain squall to15kts. Anxious, nervous faces were a plenty as they lined up for today's battle with some deal of seriousness descending upon the fleet.
An almost clean start with only one boat over and the fleet were off working both sides of the course once again, grabbing any shift that came their way, with 1336 Hydromattic Matt Stenta & Sam Holmes M16'SSC having a great work up to lead around the top mark ahead of 1368 Cotton On, 1363 Crunchie right behind with 1362 Guccii snapping a last minute tack from port side at the mark to round with 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster Natalie Greentree & Chloe White M16'SSC doing the cowboy.
Not much action during the first two reaches with the breeze again softening a little, but both series leaders had moved upon 1336 Hydromattic who was now back in third spot as they rounded the leeward mark, with 1362 Guccii, 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster and 1355 Eugene Tim Forbes-Smith & Wil Dargaville ASC making up the top five positions to commence the second beat, each heading off in different directions.
All 1368 Cotton On had to do was cover 1363 Crunchie in order to break the series score deadlock, which they did to precision leaving no opportunity for their plan to be compromised with the breeze remaining very soft for the entire work. This left opportunity for 1362 Guccii to gain on the front two boats battling it out together over in the middle of the course. 1368 Cotton On still led around the top mark for the second time, with 1362 Guccii now second and 1363 Crunchie not giving the chase away just a boat length behind.
As expected, 1362 Guccii had managed to sail her own race while 1368 Cotton On applied the blow torch to 1363 Crunchie once again up the third work, with 1362 Guccii now leading 1368 Cotton On and 1363 Crunchie away from the top mark for the last time, only a boat length separating the three all the way to the bottom mark rounding.
1368 Cotton On and 1363 Crunchie were left to play it out to the finish. 1363 Crunchie were now beginning to direct the traffic from behind after spotting an encroaching heavy rain squall on the horizon and speared hard left in order to meet the associated pressure front before her competitor. It became a drag race to the far left before meeting a heavy rain squall and some good gains were savoured by the all girl crew by the time it became necessary to tack back to the finish line on port.
Line honours went to 1362 Guccii with 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster next arriving from the right. It appeared 1363 Crunchie had claimed back all the ground necessary to do a final tack over the line, with both crews applying all their skills to split the balance in their favour. By the line, 1368 Cotton On had crossed 6 inches ahead of 1363 Crunchie so they now possessed a one point advantage leading into the final race 7.
Race 7 - All crews retired to the bottom of the course to eat their lunch on water and await the start boat to re-position the course and setup for the final race of the series. There was little to no wind now, however the forecast was for another set of squalls to reach the course some time in the near future.
The crews had just finished lunch by the time a vicious squall arrived, signalling a renewed enthusiasm amongst the crews now assemble for the start just after 1:30pm. With one boat ocs, the fleet sped off in the south east 15kts with the rain now pouring its heart out, making it near impossible to see 20m ahead at times.
The spectator craft at the top mark had no idea who would be arriving first, and the anticipation was electric. Faint shapes were emerging out of the rain haze but no one could see any detail, the leaders sailing in from the right side of the course. 1363 Crunchie had chosen well and led the fleet of "ghost ships" around 25secs ahead of new comers 1229 Not Quite Angels Murray Jones & Aaron Moretti B16'SC, 1347 Miss Elevation Lisa Leicester & Pia Doyle M16'SSC, 1359 Frantic Keats Thompson & Timothy Narborough CSC and 1334 Ace Penny Kendall & Lucy Murray ASC. What ever happened in the fog remains a mystery as 1362 Guccii rounded 16th a minute behind with 1338 Cotton On 15secs behind them in 20th spot.
As with the weather the entire weekend, nothing was going to be a certainty and the possibility of a complete drop out in breeze was seriously on the cards. Sure enough, the breeze dropped considerably to 8-10kts for the remainder of the race.
At each mark, 1363 Crunchie had increased her lead over the fleet and by 1:50:51pm crossed the line over a minute ahead of 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster in second place with 1334 Ace 33secs behind them in third place.
Regatta Wrap - The competition during this regatta series was as tight as it could possibly be, level scores for the leaders throughout the regatta coming in to the last day, the pendulum swinging both ways with plenty of luck going to and from all crews, but of course there could only be one winner. Neither crews from 1368 Cotton On who finished second or 1362 Guccii who claimed the bronze gave anything away and their level of commitment and focus was outstanding, not to mention their skill and tenacity.
The regatta had many stories of triumph for the individuals and clubs. It was Hornsby's first season in F11s and the crew of 1234 Gemini Lachlan Alexander-Dawson & Kurt Walker HPCYC in race 5 sailed most of the race in the top ten, finishing eventually in fourteenth place. They also won the biggest trophy of the competition for the Fastest Veteran Boat. Three clubs shared the wins, four bullets to Manly 16'SSC, three to Avalon SC and one to Cronulla SC with three wins to the girl skippers and four to the boys.
Our Junior NSW State Champions this year were 1306 Fatty & Skinny Sam Ellis & Caitlyn McIntosh from Belmont 16'SC. 1338 Intergalactic Cookie Monster Natalie Greentree & Chloe White M16'SSC won the Handicap Trophy and the All Girl Crew Trophy went to 1363 Crunchie Olivia Price & Maddie Clancy M16'SSC.
The last race was a bit of a milestone for the F11 class as it was the first time the class had a complete podium finish of "all girl crews" for a state championship race as far as memory serves us. Three more girl skippers made the top ten finishers of the race clearly demonstrating there are just no boundaries for either sex in F11 class competition. As a father of a boy crew quoted, "where else can both sexes compete with each other on such a level playing field and across such a wide age range"? Sailing is such a physically demanding sport yet our boys and girls literally "level peg" throughout the season.
The win to 1363 Crunchie in race 7 not only earned the girls the title of 2008-2009 NSW State Champions, it also created Flying Eleven history with Oliva Price and Maddie Clancy becoming the first ever "all girl crew" to have won a NSW Flying Eleven State Championships. These girls also won every Flying Eleven Association regatta during this season, excepting the F11 Nationals finishing second to team mates Josh McKnight and Ira Dubrey. They also represented the F11 class at the Yachting NSW Youth Championships and won the Class and Intermediate Double Handed Dinghy Divisions.
1824(TM) NSW Flying Eleven State Championships 2008-2009
|Photos 08-09 NSW F11 States Presentation|
|Photos Races 4 & 5|
|Photos Race 6|
|Photos Race 7|