2011 F11 NATIONALS - Measurement and Invitation Race Day
Measurement and Invitation Race day for the two hundred and six Flying 11 sailors was a busy affair, the boat park bursting with activity....
Sunday 16 January 2011
Measurement and Invitation Race day for the two hundred and six Flying 11 sailors was a busy affair, the boat park bursting with activity as more and more boats arrived to be measured by the team of volunteers from the F11 Association and many of the NSW clubs represented here on the shores of Lake Macquarie.
Our majors supporters Gill® had their shop open for business located centrally in the boat park where many of the best looking crews emerged with their new gear, the F11 registration desks a hive of activity with the local B16’SC volunteers all in uniform green B16s tops coordinating the registration process and ticketing for the Welcome BBQ, the FX Party and Presentation Night, and some guy bellowing into the wrong end of a loud hailer mic in an attempt to steer the masses through their measurement ordeal.
It was a classic balmy, humid sunny day which inevitably cooked the fleet well and proper, especially those that “forgot” the sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, a number of them more than evident later on at the evening BBQ. Thankfully one of our supporters Aroona Spring Water had supplied the fleet with enough spring water to douse the flames and quench the thirst of even the hardest working volunteers and sailors so there were no really mortal wounds experienced, but OMG it was a stinker.
Time ran out per the program for a completion of some of the measurement procedures, especially the poor fellas doing the spars who looked like fresh fried eggs running all over the park, welcoming a respite until after the fleet were to return from the invitation race as the breeze crept in around the time of the compulsory briefing at noon where RO Col Chidgey welcomed the sailors and went over the schedule for the week ahead. This was followed by the on water support briefing and then everyone donned their new Gill® rashies and headed for the water.
The 103 strong fleet looked mighty impressive leaving the beach and soon there was a rainbow of coloured spinnaker cloth gently floating down to the start line off Cardiff Point. From the committee boat centred out in lake, the pin end looked like it was positioned half way up the hillside to the north it was that long, resembling more a leg of the course. Nonetheless it was in scale with the size of this year’s fleet, again an impressive array of brilliant crisp Dacron fluttering in the 6-8kts of easterly wind.
The start of the invitation race went off cleanly with a tentative fleet splitting in equal proportions a minute into the race, half hitting the nor-easter shoreline and the other climbing over to Marks Point. Whilst the breeze was fairly soft, the electricity was still buzzing amongst the fleet as they tack back toward each other nearing the top mark, the right seeming to favour those who tacked off from the boat end soon after the start.
1365 Whatever Angus Williams and Jesse Lilley M16’SSC climbed the first work to reach the top mark first ahead of 1371 Playbuoy Nathan Judges and Jack Cuthbert ASC with youngsters 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike B16’SSC bursting with excitement at being in front of soooooo many boats, the next wave of F11s 30secs behind them with 1359 Frantic Kate MacDonald and Meg Wellauer CSC, 1382 MWD Ash and Dan Heyworth M16’SSC, 1260 Verve Alexander Leslie and Tim Mercer MH16’SSC and 1361 Do Geese See God Rob Wojcik and Grace Triglone M16’SSC the spearhead of the next group through.
With very little breeze to work with, the rich just kept getting richer as the majority of the fleet tried almost impossibly to get clear air. The array of coloured spinnakers was spectacle to behold right in front of the beach viewers, quite a unique sight.
Well, the second work remained tight amongst the leaders with 1371 Playbuoy this time edging their way around first followed by 1365 Whatever and 1263 Oscar in hot pursuit. A newcomer to F11s 1260 Living The Life Nicole Barnes and Jameson Coombs A12’FS managed to punch through up the second work to round in fourth place about one minute ahead of the following fleet.
At the finish line, 1382 MWD had succeeded their competitors to gently cross over the line 9secs ahead of 1263 Oscar and 1290 Living The Life in third place.
1290 LIVING THE LIFE
An extravagant Welcome BBQ feast followed soon afterwards at the boat park to cap off a wonderful introductory day to the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship, Pricey presented with a grandiosely framed glassed in $100 crisp green note for achieving over 100 boats at the regatta, a side bet that F11 stalwart Andrew Kendall was only too please to accommodate on this occasion.
More to come when race 1 commences at 11am Monday 17th.