BAGDAD FRIDAY - Report on Races 5 & 6 F11 Nationals


We are not amused
We are not amused
David Price, TYC Beauty Pt Tasmania, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Today marked the real business end of the regatta, with a series now established and many of the top contenders carrying their black flags from race 1.....

Friday 15th January, TYC, Beauty Pt, Tasmania

 After the marathon effort exhibited by the fleet on Wednesday, a lay day on Thursday was well in order and a welcome relief for sailors and parents alike.  

It gave many the opportunity to repair damaged boats, officials time to rest after a frantic and anxious pace set from very start, and the sailors the chance to hit the fun parks – the flying fox, go-karts, etc or just chill out watching horrible movies (one’s you don’t know about and only find out when you too have a break at the same time). Of course, many adults went off to their fun parks too hitting the road to the local vineyards for lunch.

The forecast of no wind for Thursday as you travelled past the yacht club seeing a beautiful steady and true seabreeze was a little disconcerting for the RC, but all we had to do was just keep looking straight ahead and it didn’t hurt so much. It also meant we might have the chance of a similar set of conditions for Friday’s races.

Today’s AGM was held at the Tamar yacht Club at 9am came and went with little fanfare, the usual suspects in attendance; the boat park activity seemingly a little brighter with a day’s rest providing just the right pill to re-ignite the passion of our national championships once again.

The overcast conditions burnt off to allow a gentle seabreeze of 12kts to filter in from 310deg and the daily routine got underway for a scheduled start at 1330 hours on the aptly newly named “Bagdad” Friday.

Today marked the real business end of the regatta, with a series now established and many of the top contenders carrying their black flags from race 1, desperate to have another race at least to enable the drop. With the weather looking stable, the tension was wire tight and of course the start of race 5 saw many once again a little eager to make amends producing another general recall of the fleet.

The re-start of race 5 did not have tide to contend with and we got off under code flag P on the second attempt at 1343 hours. 1305 Lethal Blonde Chris Fay and Emma Knighton B16’SC were wearing the yellow jersey leading into race 5 and they went out pin end and continued left while their competitors started further up the tree then tacking back to protect the right latter in the work.

1336 Hydromattic Matt Stenta and Bradley Leicester M16’SSC blasted from the centre of the line and crossed back ahead of the fleet on port, continuing up the first beat showing great boat speed to arrive at the top mark only 15 seconds ahead of team mates 1288 Onya Mark Nick and Shaun Connor M16’SSC, 1276 Predator Paddy Gilbert and Nicola Elliot HHSC on their transom, followed by 1364 A Little Psycho Angela Bates and Simon Boardman CSC, 1388 Zephyr Angus Buick and Daniel Nugent M16’SSC and 1345 Bambino Oliver Hartas and Lucy Roper LC12’SSC.

By the leeward mark, the breeze had built slightly, and 1336 Hydromattic were looking comfortable leading 1288 Onya Mark, 1388 Zephyr, 1276 Predator, 1345 Bambino and 1374 Fired Up back out to the right.

By the next rounding at the top of the course, 1336 Hydromattic had extended their lead to 40 seconds ahead of 1288 Onya Mark, 1374 Fired Up, 1388 Zephyr from the right and 1276 Predator converging at the mark to commence the square run to leeward.

1336 Hydromattic had a 50 second lead from their next rivals by the leeward mark, the positions of the front pack changing with 1388 Zephyr around before 1276 Predator now in front of 1374 Fired Up.

Same deal again at the top mark falling off to the wing with the leader 1336 Hydromattic extending even further away from second place. Some new blood presented themselves at the wing mark for the final leg of the now shortened course to the downwind finish. 1391 Bolt Tim Forbes-Smith and Jim Colley ASC had snuck up to fourth position ahead of 1374 Fired Up, with 1366 Protagonist now in the play.

Matt and Bradley were never headed during the race and crossed the line well ahead of the rest of the fleet, 1288 Onya Mark retaining second place, 1391 Bolt third.

A quick on water lunch ensued and race 6 was presented to the fleet at 1530 hours in a softer and now varying breeze. This became the beginning of yet another extraordinary or rather just ordinary set of start attempts by the fleet.

With the amount of gunfire out on the water, the scene on the starting line for race 6 was akin to a Bagdad wedding this afternoon with all three shotgun barrels glowing white hot. Everybody on the committee boat this afternoon is now deaf. Out of 200 shotgun cartridges on board from the start of the week, there are only three left! After the race, both the RO and National President could not recall how many attempts were required to get the fleet off to a clean start. And…… there are now apparently no ducks left in northern Tasmania.

Nightfall was fast approaching, and so too the breeze disappearing when eventual success was delivered to the starter at 1700 hours. All the RO could do was laugh – it was certainly not the right time to sign him up for another series in the future you could say.

In the twilight of the afternoon, the fleet gingerly tacked up the right to the first mark rounding with 1373 Hammer Time Sam Ellis and Kurt Hansen B16’SC scoring the hit ahead of 1305 Lethal Blonde, a few boat lengths back to 1378 Slick Nick Williams and Chris Holmes M16’SSC, 1292 Whip It With Style Siobhan Hayes and Laura Fletcher HPCYC, 1382 MWD Ash and Daniel Heyworth M16’SSC and 1276 Predator.

At the wing mark, rookie F11 lightweights 1382 MWD had jumped up to third place and by the bottom mark, 1373 Hammer Time was fending off 1305 Lethal Blonde and 1382 MWD, then 1378 Slick slipping inside of 1374 Fired Up on their way to a dying breeze trip north.

An eerie calm was descending upon the fleet as they tip-toed up the second beat, 1373 Hammer Time successfully defending their front position by the top mark to lead 1305 Lethal Blonde, 1382 MWD, 1374 Fired Up, 1380 Missleading Kanya Raj and Sarah Jones HHSC and 1366 Protagonist M16’SSC back down the course on the leeward leg.

The leg was a drifter and by the turn back uphill, 1382 MWD had floated to a narrow lead from 1305 Lethal Blonde, 1373 Hammer Time, 1380 Missleading and 1374 Fired Up now separated from the following fleet.

With the committee now scampering to get the S flag from the cupboard to finish them before the doomed breeze died altogether, the front pack took to the right once again. 1382 MWD made the most of their advantage skilfully covering with increasing gain and crossed the line with a convincing 30 second win from 1373 Hammer Time, and 1305 Lethal Blonde rescuing their overall lead claiming third place.

The leaderboard after 6 races has 1305 Lethal Blonde's Kris Fay and Emma Knighton from Belmont, NSW retaining their series lead with eight points ahead of 1366 Protagonist M16'SSC and 1373 Hammer Time. 

The final day’s racing will be moved forward to first warning at 1030 hours. We had to delay a 0900 hours start due to the fact the ammunitions store does not open until 0900hrs !



Other Links
 Photos Race 5
 Photos Race 6
 Overall Results After 6


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