|Wet And Wild F11 Fun Park At GRSC Finishes Off Flying Season
Sunday 7th February 2010 Georges River 16ft Sailing Club
Wild and wet conditions ranging from 20kts to 32kts could not douse the flames at round 2 of the 2009-2010 NSW Flying 11 Championships hosted by Georges River 16ft SC this weekend.
This past weekend cracked a few milestones for the fastest growing youth sailing class in Australia; the introduction of a green fleet (latter fleet dwellers, first timers to our regattas etc), the crowning of the new NSW Champions this season and the attaining of the magic figure of one hundred entrants to an Australian made class - something not seen in the class since the nineties when youth sailing was all the rage.
Hughie (not to be confused with our Bagdad Bob) dished up a treat for the young sailors on Saturday with a full bodied southerly booming across Sandringham Bay at the mouth of Georges River. Upon arrival at GRSC, you struggled to stay upright as the wind whipped the cherries off the cake across Sandringham Bay at the mouth of the 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, tails we wagging and there was a real buzz amongst the open fleet who had recently returned from their national's campaign in Tasmania a few weeks before.
RO Hugh 'Bagdad Bob' Leicester's shooting range looked a bit suss' back around in the bay off Monterey with the lee shore becoming the rocks at the end of runway 2. After conferring with Iain Murray and his Race Committee on where best to give it a shot, either out the front of the clubhouse in Sandringham Bay with nice soft sand forming a catcher's mitt for the unwary or sticking to his guns per the SIs, the sand won - despite a shorter work scenario. A great view from the upper level (restaurant and bar area) of the clubhouse too!
With such conditions sticking around for the day, the green fleet of over fifteen boats were given a stay of execution for the day with a promise of their inauguration now postponed to Sunday. It made obvious sense as the act of even getting off the beach with the take-off 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 was confronting for even the most seasoned. At least the water was a cosy 23.5deg, warmer in than out.
The start of race 5 was only meters from the beach with all systems go at around 1230hrs. Someone had left the gate open and they bolted twice before 'Bagdad' reached into his pocket and introduced his signature move – the black flag. Under the cloak of darkness, the fleet behaved themselves and we were off for a great start to Round 2 with Hammer Time Sam Ellis and Kurt Hansen B16'SC only a gnat's from the line all powered up at the pin and off to the favoured left side to hook into the tide.
The right wingers led by Lethal Blonde Chris Fay and Emma Knighton B16'SC edged 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 onto the magic carpet from mid-stream. Many of them underestimated the powerful tidal influence and overlayed the top mark; these latter end of the fleet having to drop down through the leaders now reaching down to the wing mark.
At the top mark, Lethal Blonde led from Protagonist Declan Reilly and Ira Dubrey M16'SSC weaving through the fleet overstanders, with Hammer Time, Ace Matthew Mayall, Ninja Nina Long and Mitchell Webb B16'SC and Lucy Marshall ASC and Frustration brothers Shaun and Julian Hannan ASC amongst the vanguard to the wing mark.
Protagonist dominated downwind and rounded the leeward mark ahead of their national's rivals Lethal Blonde, with Lethal Blonde immediately gaining more height after the rounding, stealing the limelight once again by the crossing at the beach on the right hand side.
The wind continued to build, 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 exhilarating race 5, the red eyes of Protagonist focused upon the line to take the honours from Lethal Blonde in second place and Hammer Time over in third place. Zephyr Angus Buick and Daniel Nugent M16'SSC put in a glamour performance during the race to sneak over next, just ahead of Bolt Tim Forbes-Smith and Jim Colley ASC with another stellar performance and a PB from 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, leaving only one race outstanding for 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 sent the fleet back out on 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 from the earlier race were again in the water doing a great job, many forewarned and half smart 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 to support the boy's efforts! Maybe it would be the girls' turn tomorrow.
The big stick Bagdad brought out from the earlier race paid dividends and a now mindful fleet commenced the start of race 6 first time in the now 24kts, 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 to the top mark Lethal Blonde did it once again just ahead of Protagonist with Ninja working the left perfectly arriving just astern, Checkmate Anna Kendall and Hannah Lanz ASC, Hammer Time and Xlr8 Murray Jones and Harry Morton B16'SC and Frustration making up the next frontier to the wing mark.
An assortment of 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 just 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 surprisingly still ahead of the somewhat disarrayed followers, many also finding the gybe difficult and coming unstuck there too.
With these strong conditions prevailing, the fleet positions for the leaders remained steady throughout race 6. A steady game of cover and break cover was played out by the sodden 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 sailing running with the tide produced some impressive boatspeed from the top crews of the Flying 11s.
By the turn to the finish, 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 Checkmate who really just had to have some good luck eventually in one of the races this season without some natural disaster to endure.
Slightly less action was forecasted for Sunday's race 7, the last of the three races comprising Round 2 combining with the four races from Round 1 at Hunters Hill SC in November last year. With a steady 17kts to 21kts from the south, it was probably hovering in the upper ranges for the inauguration of the green fleet but an absolute dream in comparison to the previous day's punch-up on the water.
RO 'Bagdad' advised both fleets they were racing on time around and out in the bay as per schedule just off Monterey which meant the crews needed to allow a good 20mins to get there from the clubhouse.
With so much space to play with on Botany Bay and after two shorter length races from Saturday, BB went the whole hog and set a maximum length course to satisfy everyone who returned to play out the final episode. Entering the last race, Protagonist had 6pts, Bolt was next on 17pts, Lethal Blonde was sitting on 21, XLR8 on 27 and Hammer Time on 32.
With the start on time at 1130hrs, Hammer Time flew down the line to the pin, slamming across the start on the gun with Protagonist come from the deep to land right on their transom, both clearing the pack early and heading out to the middle of the bay on the left for more pressure. Lethal Blonde was two-thirds the way down the line and Bolt was up at the boat tacking off to get the lift off the beach.
At the top mark, Protagonist had a small lead over Decoy brothers Declan and Flynn Rohr HHSC who were finally able to exercise their demons in the series so far. SS Squill Wil Coxon and Oliver Bell ASC were showing form now in third spot ahead of Slick Nick Williams and Chris Holmes M16'SSC, Bolt and Hammer Time.
Protagonist and Decoy went off to the beach for a loose tacking duel whilst the rest of the front runners sailed east to pressure. Nonetheless, Protagonist were around the top mark the second time ten lengths ahead of Decoy, Bolt soon after with Slick and Hammer Time following close by.
Around the top mark for the last time was Protagonist 25secs leading Bolt who had taken over second spot from Decoy. By the final beat to the finish, Protagonist had fended off Bolt's attempts at a tacking duel and crossed comfortably to take line honours in race 7 and the crown of NSW Flying 11 Champions for the 2009-2010 season.
Bolt claimed second place 9secs ahead of Decoy who snapped third place from the finger tips of Slick just 4 secs astern.
The green fleet line honours went to Crash Ride Dominic Ellis and Nathan Illy from Middle Harbour 16'SSC, but the winner of the Green Division being a handicap event went to Sandfly Christie Wellaver and Layne Durrington from Cronulla SC.
Overall Results on Scratch
1. Protagonist Declan Reilly & Ira Dubery M16'SSC 2 (12) 1 1 1 1 1 – 7pts
2. Bolt Tim Forbes-Smith & Jim Colley ASC 1 4 4 3 5 (8) 2 – 19pts
3. Lethal Blonde Chris Fay & Emma Knighton B16'SC 3 (90) 10 2 2 4 8 – 29pts
4. XLR8 Murray Jones & Harry Morton B16'SC 6 7 3 6 (94) 5 7 – 34pts
5. Hammer Time Sam Ellis & Kurt Hansen B16'SC 8 1 (36) 14 3 6 6 – 38pts
6. Checkmate Anna Kendall & Hanna Lanz ASC 12 3 (21) 9 9 3 18 – 54pts
The NSW Junior Champions were Onya Mark Nick & Sean Connor from Manly 16'SSC, the All-Girl Crew Trophy winners were Checkmate Anna Kendall and Hanna Lanz from Avalon SC, winner of the Veteran Boat Trophy was won by The Cutting Edge Adam Cooke and Taylor Allen from Belmont 16'SC and the Handicap Trophy went to Slick Nick Williams and Chris Holmes from Manly 16'SSC.
Full report and results are available on the Flying 11 website /
by David Price 11:33 AM Mon 8 Feb 2010 GMT
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