Bitter Sweet SERIOUS SATURDAY - Report Race 7 and Wrap-Up of the F11 Nationals 2010
It was all to do with numbers now. ........
Saturday 16th January 2010 TYC, Beauty Pt, Tasmania
It was all to do with numbers now. 1305 Lethal Blonde Chris Fay and Emma Knighton B16’SC had led throughout the regatta so far, fending off their nearest rival 1366 Protagonist Declan Reilly and Ira Dubery M16’SSC who had only beating them on two occasions prior to race 7. There was an eight point separation between these two competitors which presented a real challenge for both in the last race. Furthermore, if 1373 Hammer Time Sam Ellis and Kurt Hansen B16’SC were able to drop their black flag from race 1, they were only five points in arrears of 1366 Protagonist and certainly not out of the picture.
The first warning signal had been moved to 1030 hours and the breeze was already in at about 10kts when they went off to the battlefield one more time.
The only fly in the ointment really was the breeze which fluctuated back and forth from the nor-east up to 60deg and varying intensity too causing some concern. We had until 4pm to get the race started although no-one wanted to even contemplate such a nasty thought, all now feeling the strain from the week past. RO “Bagdad Bob” Hugh Leicester was more than ready to cater for a long day and had been to the shop already and replenished his supply of shotgun cartridges after almost running out of ammunition the day before with only 3 shells left in his belt. We ultimately used 216 shells during the regatta equating to an average of 27 shells a race.
True to form, the RO got going on time at 1030 hours, rather expectantly upon previous fleet behaviour pulling it up with a general recall. We battled a number of wind variations and starts to inevitably get going by 1105 hours with the breeze pattern all but steady; right and left handers dished up at random and some eerie quiet locales scattered across the racing area.
1366 Protagonist started down at the pin, with 1305 Lethal Blonde choosing the middle of the line to defend their cherished leading position to date. 1366 Protagonist got off with relatively clean air compared to 1305 Lethal Blonde who became bedded in by their surrounding boats and unable to get up to speed off the line.
The conditions were all but easy, with the right offering some intermittent but strong pressure for the gamblers and the left hand side looking somewhat lighter but presenting a more regular feel to it.
By the first rounding, 1380 Missleading Kanya Raj and Sarah Jones HHSC were on fire and led 1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield HHSC and 1366 Protagonist off toward the wing mark in the softening breeze; 1373 Hammer Time, 1359 Frantic Keats Thompson and Tim Narborough CSC and 1386 Wet Willy Will Dargaville and Sean Watt ASC followed next.
1380 Missleading were doing a great job of defending their position ahead of 1352 Boris who pushed hard all the way to the wing and down again to the leeward mark, with 1366 Protagonist remaining close astern. 1374 Fired Up Nat Greentree and Harry Price M16’SSC too had dropped down low and “went, went, went” to arrive at the bottom of the course, 1295 Sparta Nicola Forbes-Smith and Alicia Watt ASC following a comfortable distance from the next pack led by 1373 Hammer Time.
Some spinnaker issue developed on 1380 Missleading forcing them to continue low past the leeward mark, with 1352 Boris grasping the chance to turn back up the course and become the new leader, 1366 Protagonist about 20 seconds astern and 1374 Fired Up 20 seconds astern of them.
As noted, 1373 Hammer Time was still in the game with a believable chance to have a crack at the series should the crews of 1305 Lethal Blonde and 1366 Protagonist have shockers in the last race.
Again, numbers were the key to this very interesting scenario with no real certainty of any result, given the conditions experience all week. There was also the issue of the black flag carriers from race 1 versus the clean skins amongst the front runners and the abacus was in overdrive calculating the many potential outcomes to a very interesting national championships.
Enjoyably, also worth noting at this stage of the regatta, 1374 Fired Up had a chance of disrupting 1373 Hammer Time’s third place currently held in the series, albeit Nat and Harry were 8 points behind Sam and Kurt, again a fairly onerous task but doable in context.
So, the abacuses on the various coach and spectator craft were out now and at full tilt and here is a brief summary of the game within at half time race 7.
After 6 races, current leaders 1305 Lethal Blonde on 18 points with a drop of 20 - 8 points ahead of 1366 Protagonist on 26 points with a drop of 9; both these crews clean skins with no black flags to drop as their worst scores.
1373 Hammer Time was now sitting on 31 points, 13 and 5 points behind the respective leaders above, but with no choice but to drop their black flag points of 72 from race 1. Looking at the third place scenario and in a similar situation for 1374 Fired Up presently 9 points behind 1373 Hammer Time on 40 points after dropping their black flag 72 as well.
All respectable challenges for these crews; nonetheless achievable given the range of conditions experienced throughout the preceding days on the water. The tension was building. Meanwhile, Rome was burning at 35th position for 1305 Lethal Blonde stuck firmly in the centre of the fleet and needing a good shot of Ventalin to rescue their campaign.
Back to the action they say. At the bottom mark, it was a big call but 1373 Hammer Time went off far right after seeing an approaching pressure line halfway up the next beat, the remainder opting to stay attached mid to left of the course where the gains had been made during the previous lap. Meanwhile, 1380 Missleading had rectified their drama and tacked back on to starboard at almost perfect timing to lift toward the top mark from the right and head back inside gaining considerably on the leaders on the left.
Could 1373 Hammer Time pull this one off and jump ahead of the pack; only time and fingers crossed would reveal if their determination was to be rewarded. It looked very lonely out there on the right and the pressure was building once again on the left. 1366 Protagonist had rounded the leeward mark and put the foot down all the way to the port layline, another bold move from one of the leading crews, but with the remainder working up from inside left it was not such a long shot perhaps.
At the convergence of the first arrivals at the top mark for the second time, 1366 Protagonist had the lead from 1352 Boris, 1380 Missleading, 1374 Fired Up and 1295 Sparta.
The square run was uneventful for the front of the fleet, however there was building pressure descending upon the remainder of the fleet on the right hand side pushing them down the track a lot faster than the leaders’ trip to the leeward mark rounding.
1305 Lethal Blonde was doing all they could to claw back positions and were making some healthy gains now that the crowd had thinned out.
Meanwhile, 1366 Protagonist had rounded and put a loose cover over 1352 Boris and 1374 Fired Up heading off right while 1380 took off to the left to the approaching pressure line. The front three boats tacked back to receive the new pressure a third of the way up the work, 1380 now converging back on port to fit in between 1352 Boris and 1374 Fired Up.
Some close and skilful sailing ensued and by the last visit to the top mark, 1366 Protagonist had a comfortable lead from 1352 Boris with 1380 Missleading turning to the wing mark just ahead of 1374 Fired Up.
Positions remained steady by the bottom mark, 1366 Protagonist some 30 seconds ahead of 1352 Boris. 1380 Missleading dropped their spinnaker on an inside approach to the mark with 1374 Fired Up shooting in from the outside lane subsequently rounding with more speed to enable them to come back out above their immediate rival. A short but tense struggle ensued with 1374 Fired Up winning the battle to windward.
The final work up to the finish of race 7 and the regatta was played out with great skill from all the leading crews. By the time 1305 Lethal Blonde had arrived at the leeward mark, 1366 Protagonist crossed the finish line to the final gun fire of the week from the committee boat. A quick scan down the track confirmed there were more than enough boats between these two crews to hand the lead of the series and hence the 2010 Flying 11 National Championships to 1366 Protagonist’s crew Declan Reilly and Ira Dubery from Manly 16’SSC.
Second over the line were 1352 Boris and third place went to 1374 Fired Up,
who then had to await the arrival of 1373 Hammer Time. With the 8 point separation very much in their minds, and the tally of boats between them so far more than eight places, 1373 Hammer Time had to close the gap up this last work to retain third place overall. By 200m out, Hammer Time had a few places to swallow up.
Needless to say, it was a very close race for third place overall. As 1373 hammer Time tacked for the last time toward the finish, 1301 Frozen With Fear Harvey Bates and Ben Bannon CSC and 1356 Stroganoff Kajsa Doyle and Nathan Lilley M16’SSC converged with them, now just 30m from the line. Upon arrival at the line, 1301 Frozen With Fear managed to cross 2 seconds ahead of 1373 Hammer Time with 1356 Stroganoff 12 seconds astern.
More quick calculations and conferences between spectator boats determined these two were now on equal points in the series. Further discussion on the countback provisions eventually delivered third place to 1373 Hammer Time.
Our previous series leaders stoically accepted their position had moved back to second place after an intense week of competition and finished race 7 at twenty eighth place with respect and loud cheers from all the spectator craft assembled at the finish line.
Scratch Overall Awards
1 1366 PROTAGONIST Declan Reilly Ira Dubery Manly16'SSC 27.0- 1.0 9.0 6.0 [9.0] 2.0 2.0 7.0
2 1305 LETHAL BLONDE Chris Fay Emma Knighton Belmont16’SC 38.0- [25.0] 3.0 20.0 11.0 1.0 1.0 2.0
3 1373 HAMMER TIME Sam Ellis Kurt Hansen Belmont16’SC 43.0- 12.0 2.0 15.0 2.0 3.0 9.0 [72.0B]
4 1374 FIRED UP Natalie Greentree Harry Price M16'SSC 43.0- 3.0 5.0 5.0 19.0 4.0 7.0 [72.0B]
5 1391 BOLT Tim Forbes-smith Jim Colley Avalon SC 55.0- 7.0 7.0 3.0 1.0 8.0 29.0 [72.0B]
6 1364 A LITTLE PSYCHO Angela Bates Simon Boardman Cronulla SC 62.0- 14.0 [28.0] 13.0 7.0 16.0 4.0 8.0
1st All-Girls Crew - 1327 CHEEKY Sam Nugent Maddie Clancy Manly16’SSC 79.5- [28.0] 12.5 18.0 6.0 10.0 8.0 25.0
1st Junior Skipper - 1301 FROZEN WITH FEAR Harvey Bates Ben Bannon CSC 95.0- 11.0 33.0 22.0 [42.0] 18.0 10.0 1.0
Handicap Overall Awards
1 1296 MISS BEHAVIN Emma Willson Thomas Willson Middle Harbour16’SSC 96.5 10.0 19.5 17.0 8.0 [41.0] 22.0 20.0
2 1338 INTERGALACTIC COOKIE MONSTER Alexandra Paton Jacqueline Smith Lane Cove12’SSC 105.0- 17.0 21.0 18.0 24.0 8.0 [44.0] 17.0
3 1320 NOTHING TO LOSE Cam Gundy Zac Tatham Land Cove12’SSC 107.0- 6.0 26.0 23.0 17.0 7.0 [39.0] 28.0
|Photos Race 7|