Wet and Wild - F11 Fun Park at GRSC for Round 2 Report Races 5 & 6
Gurgle, gurgle, splash, gurgle, splash......... It was a wet one for day 1 of Round 2
Saturday 6th February 2010 Georges River 16ft Sailing Club
Wild and wet summed up the first day of Round 2 of the 2009-2010 NSW F11 State Championships, with 20kts to 32kts from the south the order from Hughie (not to be confused with our Bagdad Bob).
Upon arrival at GRSC, you struggled to stay upright as the wind stripped the tops off the steep chop across Sandringham Bay at the mouth of Georges River, the flooding tide gaining prominence as the morning shaped up for a power play day, not something our new Green Fleet were that keen on. Despite the horizontal rain stinging the eyes of the young sailors, tails we wagging and there was a real buzz amongst the open fleet who had recently returned from their nationals campaign in Tasmania a few weeks before.
RO Hugh “Bagdad” Leicester conferred with Iain Murray and his Race Committee on where best to give it a shot, either back around in the bay off Monterey with the lee shore being the rocks at the end of runway 2, or out the front in Sandringham Bay with nice soft sand forming the catcher’s mitt for the unwary. The sand won - despite a shorter work scenario.
Quite regrettably, and as you would have guessed, the full-bodied southerly conditions with a run in tide spelled a stay of execution for the Greenies and we AP’d them for the day with a promise we would have another go at it perhaps tomorrow. With over 15 crews forming the new fleet, it was disappointing to pull the plug on their inauguration event but the sense in the decision was more than obvious. They missed out on the sailing but not on the socialising.
The start of race 5 was only meters from the beach, which looked rather easy timing for a late beach start take-off. The only problem was the take-off itself from the lee shore, waves pounding relentlessly, boats having to be held by parents neck deep in the water whilst crews put rudders on and centreboards down. At least the water was a cosy 23.5deg, warmer in than out.
All systems were go at around 1230hrs. Someone had left the gate open and the cattle bolted twice before “Bagdad” reached into his pocket and introduced his signature move – the black flag. Cloaked in darkness, the fleet behaved admirably and we were off for a great start to Round 2 with 1373 Hammer Time Sam Ellis and Kurt Hansen B16’SC only a gnat’s from the line powered up at the pin and off to the favoured left to hook into the tide.
The right wingers were led by 1305 Lethal Blonde Chris Fay and Emma Knighton B16’SC, edging around the corner of the bay and along the beachfront towards the St George SC whilst the communists punched into the chop on the left, jumping on the magic carpet from mid-stream, many of them underestimating the powerful tidal influence and overlaying the top mark, the latter end of the fleet having to drop down through the fleet leaders reaching down to the wing mark.
At the top mark, 1305 Lethal Blonde led from 1366 Protagonist Declan Reilly and Ira Dubrey M16’SSC weaving through the fleet overstanders, with 1373 Hammer Time, 1334 Ace Matthew Mayall, 1355 Ninja Nina Long and Mitchell Webb B16’SC and Lucy Marshall ASC and 1324 Frustration brothers Shaun and Julian Hannan ASC amongst the vanguard to the wing mark.
1366 Protagonist managed to shine on the downwind legs and rounded the leeward mark ahead of their national’s rivals 1305 Lethal Blonde, with 1305 Lethal Blonde gaining more height after the rounding, immediately stealing the limelight once again over at the crossing from the beach on the right hand side.
The wind continued to build throughout the race, gusting at 30kts plus, which cause a few upsets or rather upheavals, shuffling the deck on quite a number of occasions.
By the end of a rather quick and exhausting race 5, the red eyes of 1366 Protagonist aimed for the line to take the honours from 1305 Lethal Blonde in second place and 1373 Hammer Time over in third place. 1388 Zephyr Angus Buick and Daniel Nugent M16’SSC put in a glamour performance during the race to sneak over next ahead of 1391 Bolt Tim Forbes-Smith and Jim Colley ASC with another stellar performance and PB from 1324 Frustration with their sixth place.
It was back to the beach and a grab at some lunch whilst the RC discussed the merits of running another shorter than usual race out the front, resulting in only having to do one race tomorrow, the last day of the series.
With no discernible reason not to run another in the afternoon, the breeze still pumping in from the south, the RC had the fleet re-enter the water for race 6 again just meters from the beach for a scheduled start at 1530hrs. The parents support crews having had just enough time to drip dry were again in the water doing a great job, many forewarned and donning their speedos this time to suit the task at hand. Unfortunately, no bikinis were noted in the mix but there was plenty of waving from the girls up in the restaurant and bar areas of the club! Maybe it’s the girls’ turn tomorrow.
The big stick from Bagdad worked from the earlier race and a very well behaved fleet commenced the start of race 6 in the now 24kts from the south, but seemingly a little softer conditions due to the run in tide this time around. No need for a second attempt and once again the fleet split fairly evenly to either side on their work up the river.
Stalwart first timers at the top mark Lethal Blonde did it once again just ahead of 1366 Protagonist with 1355 Ninja working the left perfectly arriving just astern, 1370 Checkmate Anna Kendall and Hannah Lanz ASC, 1373 Hammer Time and Xlr8 Murray Jones and Harry Morton B16’SC and 1324 Frustration making up the next frontier to the wing mark.
Fresh squalls arrived at the same time the leaders did at the gybe mark, bowling the two front contenders over with many of the following crews lifting off the water with gusts over 30kts. Sparing very little time in the water, the leaders re-emerged from the deep and took off to the leeward mark still ahead of the somewhat disarrayed following fleet, many also finding the gybe difficult and coming unstuck there too.
With similar conditions to the previous race, the fleet leaders remained in their positions generally throughout race 6, not separating by any great margins. A steady game of cover and break cover was played out by the weary crews revelling in the heavyweight conditions, tired and red-eyed but having some of the best rides of their lives off the wind. Even upwind running with the tide produced some thrilling boatspeed from the top crews of the Flying 11s.
By the turn to the finish, 1366 Protagonist had created a comfortable lead to cross ahead of a very happy-faced 1355 Ninja crew and much deserved third place going to a greatly relieved 1370 Checkmate who really just had to have some good luck eventually in one of the races this season without some natural disaster to endure.
After six races and with one more slated for the last day of the regatta, 1366 Protagonist lead the points with four bullets and a second on 6 points, 1391 Bolt on 17, 1305 Lethal Blonde 21, 1340 Xlr8 27, 1373 Hammer Time 32 and 1370 Checkmate 36 points in sixth overall.
|Results Race 5|
|Results Race 6|
|Results Race Overall - after 6|
|Results Race Handicap - after 6|