Gill(R) 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship - Races 8 & 9
The penultimate day of competition in the Gill(R) 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship brought sunny skies once again and - you guessed it - no wind. At least that was the early scenario leading up to the time the first warning signal was due to sound at 1100hrs.
Friday 21st January 2011
The penultimate day of competition in the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship brought sunny skies once again and – you guessed it – no wind. At least that was the early scenario leading up to the time the first warning signal was due to sound at 1100hrs.
RO Col Chidgey met with the Race Committee and it was unanimously decided to fly “where’s Wally’s Hat” to pull up the fleet and await some breeze. The abundant morning dew gave an indication that things could get better so long as the frustrating clouds kept their distance both inland and off shore.
Good decision that as the breeze slowly crept in from the east and the fleet was let loose in race 8 after a jump start on the first attempt at 1230hrs in a building 12kts from the east nor-east.
The majority of the fleet headed north to the shoreline and played the left side of the course. By the top mark, the crews from the left led the turn with brothers 1276 Predator Paddy and Finn Gilbert HHSC just a boat length ahead of 1373 Hammer Time Jack Buchan and Tom Grimes B16SC, 1397 The Big Apple Matt Stenta and Simon Murnaghan M16SSC, 1394 Whomp Nick and Shaun Connor M16SSC and 1333 Sudden Impact Mitchell Webb and Simon Hoffman B16SC making an appearance in the top five.
By now there was plenty of wind to get these dynamic little dinghies to dance on their aft-quarter to the wing mark to much delight of both the F11 crews and spectators alike. The high level of skill amongst this year’s fleet was more than evident and they arrived at the corner in no time at all.
1276 Predator returned to the top of the course 30secs ahead of 1397 The Big Apple followed by 1373 Hammer Time and 1394 Whomp, by now a distinct leader group off to the leeward mark.
It was the same order of ceremony for the first three crews at the top mark for the final rounding, 1276 Predator now a clear minute ahead of 1397 The Big Apple, 1373 Hammer Time with 1393 Wave Runner Malcolm and Harry Parker ASC and 1310 Twisted Harry Morton and Anita McCallum B16SSC in the mix at the front end.
It was no surprise to see 1276 cross the finish line all alone and claim their second win for the championship.
The fleet returned to the bottom of the course and racked up for another exciting start with race 9 getting the nod at 1500hrs, only 1397 The Big Apple having to return to the line after the individual recall was signalled.
The breeze now was a feisty 15-18kts, more to the left now that the earlier race and the short sharp chop was flying in the faces of the crews taking the brunt of the spray and wave action on their work up the first beat.
1394 Whomp just put their heads down and seemingly bolted up on the left hand side of the course to reach the top mark first, 1365 Whatever Angus Williams and Jesse Lilly M16SSC arriving next only to cut the corner too fine requiring a donut to redeem themselves whilst 1378 Slick Nick Williams and Chris Holmes M16SSC filled in the gap, 1373 Hammer Time and series leaders 1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield HHSC squeezing through a closely knitted arrival from starboard tack. By now 1365 Whatever had hit the drink and this created a log jamb that re-sorted quite a few of the following crews clambering for a lane to scream off to the wing mark.
1394 Whomp maintained their lead and led the leeward leg clear ahead of 1378 Slick, 1305 Lethal Blonde Kris Fay and Emma Knighton B16SC doing close battle with 1362 Guccii Harry Price and Simon Boardman M16SSC a boat length astern.
By the last rounding at the top of the course for race 9, 1394 Whomp had secured a very comfortable minutes lead from 1378 Slick who themselves was 50secs ahead of 1362 Guccii.
F11 ACTION AT IT'S BEST
The last reaches presented a wonderful display of F11s at their utmost best, the leading crew later remarking that they had never been as fast in the boat.
1394 Whomp conquered the last work and the race crossing the line and claiming their second win ahead of 1362 Guccii with a championship PB second place and 1373 Slick in their PB third place too.
And so ended indisputablly the most exciting race day of the regatta, the leaders bunched up for a do or die shot at the 2011 Australian Flying 11 National crown with one race still to be fought.