2010 VICTORIAN DINGHY CHAMPIONSHIPS_F11 REPORT
Flying 11s were welcomed back to Victoria with an invitation to sail in the Victorian Dinghy Championships last weekend....
2010 VICTORIAN DINGHY CHAMPIONSHIPS
MORDIALLOC SAILING CLUB NOVEMBER 13 – 14, 2010.
by Mark Long
Flying 11s were welcomed back to Victoria with an invitation to sail in the Victorian Dinghy Championships last weekend. The event was hosted by Mordialloc Sailing Club, and their Commodore / PRO were Garry Hosie.
Classes sailed included a 12ft skiff, 29ers, Musto skiffs, Tasars, Lasers in full rig + radials + 4.7s, Flying 11s, Flying Ants, Sabres, Minnows, Sabots, Optimists.
Weather on Saturday was cold & wet, with 13 – 18 knots from the south for all races. Racing got under way at 12:30pm immediately off Mordialloc Pier, with sailors braving the cold for 4 back-to-back races, held in 6 divisions. Trapezoidal courses were used to separate the fleets.
In Div#5 the Flying 11s were battling with the Laser 4.7s, upwind the Lasers seemed to hold the edge, but once around the windward mark the F11s speed under spinnaker kept them in touch. On VYC Yardstick the first race was taken by the Sabre # 1750 skippered by Peter White, but for the remainder of the day it was 1315 “OASIS” sailed by Lake Macquarie up & comer Jack Buchan & local crew Will Miles (MSC) with 3 consecutive bullets as the wind slowly built & the visibility decreased due to rain. He was closely pushed by 1324 Frustration sailed by another Lake Macquarie sailor Nina Long & local crew Alistair Williamson (MSC), taking the seconds.
Sunday proved warmer and drier, with the breeze swinging WNW … WSW. In the 4 scheduled races starting at 10:30am, the first and last of the day had strength of 8 knots, but this faded to about 5 knots for the middle two races. The two Flying Elevens ‘Oasis’ and ‘Frustration’ swapped first & second places equally between themselves over these 4 heats. In the last race of the day, Nina Long had what seemed like an unbeatable lead, but Jack Buchan duplicated the 12m Australia2 “come from behind – never say die” magic by taking a completely different square-run course to pass Nina by just two lengths at the final leeward mark and hold on for victory in Division 5. This gave Jack Buchan in his Flying Eleven ‘Oasis’, the same number of wins (5) in his division as Mark Tonner-Joyce in “Ruby” (Laser) had in Division 3. With Jack’s drop being a 3rd, compared to the Laser’s discarded 5th, the overall Championship Title was snatched by the Flying Eleven.
Division #1 was taken out by Jon Newman sailing the Musto Skiff “Poker Face” with three victories. Division 2 (Tasars) was won by Paul Ridgeway skippering “Ridgididgey” also with five race wins. Division 4 (Laser Radials) went to Simon Merritt sailing “Tangle Ferret”. Finally, Division 6 was claimed by Jack Graves in his optimist “Ozone”, competing in a combined Optimist / Sabot / Minnow group.
The Australian Flying Eleven Association has setup these 2 F11 boats on a double road trailer, to stay in Victoria and be used for demonstration purposes and promote the Class as an intermediate step between starters in Optimists & Sabots, and the lager 29ers, 420s or Lasers. They have extended an open invitation to all sailing clubs & classes to come and test sail this fast and exciting little skiff type boat.
Part #2 ….
In talking to various sailing groups in Melbourne about the plan to showcase the F11, all have agreed that there are obvious merits to this size & type of youth boat slotting into the youth 'pathway'. The next step is to have sailing clubs host the F11 showcase for a short time, so that their sailing members can view a potential option to help encourage & maintain 'participation' in our chosen sport.
At this time in F11 history, a few F11 sailing dads have decided that we still had a little energy left in us, to spread the gospel about the F11. We have all seen our kids enjoy the excitement that these little skiffs deliver, and felt it a little uncharitable if we didn't offer the F11 to other parts of the country. All the association dads (some mums too) have been with their kids starting in Manly Juniors or Sabots or Pelicans (Lake Macquarie only), then onto F11s, and now some on the path to 29ers.
There used to be F11 fleets in all states but for SA. But in recent years these dwindled, in VIC quite some time ago, and QLD about 6 years ago. Some 2 years ago we actively boosted the Tasmanian fleets, to the level where we they hosted the last National Titles in January 2010 at Beauty Point (Tamar). Earlier this year we rekindled the Qld fleet, by way of placing 2 showcase boats in Brisbane / Gold Coast, and supporting the class to race at the recent Australian Youth Midwinter regatta in July at Brisbane.
The Australian Flying 11 Association has decided that we direct our energies next to Victoria. We are proposing to offer a 'showcase' of 2 "ready-to-race” late model F11s on a double road trailer, to being hosted in Victoria by members of the youth sailing community. Those interested to help our Association in this endeavour, would be showing the sailing community an option for young sailors who may be coming to the end of their junior class, either because of age & / or weight, and may not be yet confident enough to take on a larger and faster youth boat. We have seen many juniors throughout NSW and TAS, enjoying a stage of their sailing development in F11s for 2 or 3 years as an intermediate step. These children may have begun their careers in a Sabot, Optimist, MJ or similar, then either start as crew or move straight into helming a F11, then ultimately transition into classes like 29ers, 420s or Lasers. Whereas we see total crew weight combinations between 75-115 Kg, the more common range is 90-110 Kg. We have seen great success in maintaining the interest of young sailors, by linking such classes in a 'pathway' of sorts, which not only benefits their sailing development but their social network also.
For most of the last 20 years, the Class has hosted fleets of 75-95 at Nationals, and almost as big at the major NSW State Titles. The F11 Showcase is available immediately, and we would envisage leaving it in VIC for the pleasure of young sailors until the end of 2010. We have an agreement to host some sailors from South Pacific island countries, with these boats at the next Nationals in January 2011. We would like to now offer to host 2 crews to sail in round #1 of the NSW F11 State Championships to be sailed in late November. This would be in 2 Association F11s, and conducted on Sydney Harbour. Later in the season, in mid February, is round #2 at Pittwater on the north side of Sydney.
We would like to foster a network of volunteers, who obviously have an interest in junior sailing, and be prepared to work in some type of network between clubs and classes along the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay, in offering the opportunity to test this fast & exciting little skiff type boat. The Australian F11 Association has prepared a tandem trailer with 2 fully insured boats on 'wheeled dollies', including enclosed storage for foils & gear under the boats, plus tubes for sails & spars along the sides. The 2 masts are secured above the top boat. The package is designed to be user friendly, with no preparation time needed. The package can be stored in the open, simply with a tarpaulin draped over the lot. I have arranged for the Showcase trailer of boats to move south, midway in October, and presently we are seeking an initial caretaker person / location or club to assist in our mission.
1st Place & Div 5 – OASIS 1315 Skipper: JACK BUCHAN (Belmont 16ft SC)
Crew: WILL MILES (Mordialloc SC)
2nd Div 5 - FRUSTRATION 1324 Skipper: Nina Long (Belmont 16ft
SC) Crew: ALISTAIR WILLIAMSON (Mordialloc SC)