GILL(R) - F11 NATIONAL TITLES - Day 2 17th January, 2012.


Mark Long, PSSAC - Pt Stephens, Thursday, 19 January 2012

Today we saw two races conducted back to back. Unfortunately the most perfect noreaster on the planet didn't quite build to expectations for the second day of racing, offering strengths in the range 10-15 knots...




Today we saw two races conducted back to back.  Unfortunately the most perfect nor’easter on the planet didn’t quite build to expectations for the second day of racing, offering strengths in the range 10–15 knots. 


Race 4 - Starting at noon in 12knts ENE within close proximity of the Soldiers Point shoreline, and the leeward mark just 250 meters off the beach gave friends and family an exceptional view of the action. 

Blue/Green Group:  Title contender 1365 Whatever Angus Williams and Jesse Lilley, returned in response to an individual recall, only to discover this wasn’t their error, then cleared to the right hand side of the course which proved to  be the winner in more pressure and slightly out of the current.  Whatever popped out first off the beat and went on to win by over 1 minute from 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike who charged from fifth at the first mark.  1388 MWD Ash and Daniel Heyworth were edged out of third place by his club mates 1327 Cheeky Sam Holmes and Grace Triglone who had their best place of the regatta so far.

Yellow/Red Group:  Regatta leaders  1373 Hammer Time  Jack Buchan and Emma Jones were tested all the way by new up and comer 1329 River Rat Amelia and Henry Stabback switching  leaders until the last windward mark when Hammer Time set their kite first and consolidated down the final two blistering reaches.  There was a significant gap to third placegetter 1392 Ryan Wilmot and Simon Murnaghan who recorded their best effort so far.   This race saw 1388 Zepher Daniel Nugent and  Liam Hazell demonstrate their PB for the regatta.

Race 5 – Race 5 began in slightly less wind of 10 – 13 knts, and a little more from the east.

Red/Green Group:  This proved to be the clash of the top echelon of girl skippers within the F11 Class.   The only boat in their way was the leading Green Group boat of 1357 Smoke & Mirrors Andrew Isles and Daniel Bromelow who lead all the way.   Both 1374 Fired Up Maddie Clancy and Simon Boardman and 1393 Waverunner Sarah and Harry Parker had their eyes on second placing, but Wave Runner did just enough to hold on to second.  Similarly, we saw 1391 Bolt Nicola Forbes-Smith and Natasha Bryant tussle hard 1290 Living The Life Nicole Barnes and Calvin Camacho.  However, Living The Life used her F11 experience to hold off Bolt despite this being their finest placing to date.

Blue/Yellow Group: For the second time in this regatta, we had the top two from the leader board going head-to-head, plus many of the other top ten aspirants.   It was also clear that this eventually developed as the closest and most congested race of the regatta with twenty boats crossing within just two minutes.  At the first mark both Hammer Time and Whatever were buried, but when they got within range of each other, the one-on-one tactics began to emerge.  These two boats had identified one another as the boat to beat in order to take the title.  Whilst this match was playing out, there were three others who were chasing their first win of the event.  Lightweight Sabot National Title runner-up sailor Kurt Hansen with Lindsay Pike in Oscar jumped early to lead at mark 1, chased by 1392 and MWD.  Eventually, it was MWD who triumphed over Oscar, but 1392 failed to hold back Whatever, who snatched third and secured a two point advantage over Hammer Time team back in fifth spot.

After five races, the Race Committee decided to conduct the final (sixth) race of the Qualifying Series at noon tomorrow, from where the fleet will be separated into their Gold / Silver divisions for the Finals Series.  The first of these Finals races will follow in the mid afternoon to set the stage for the following three days of competition.

All eyes will be on the developing east coast low pressure system which has confounded national championship racing fleets even as far north as Brisbane, and is expected to track southwards over the next four days.

After the last two days of solid nor’easters, there doesn’t look like being any respite for the fair wind sailors, with winds changing to the south-east and south and strengthening through until the weekend.  Nonetheless, the obvious competency of this youth fleet, should deliver some exciting racing in conditions which will show off the little skiff speed these boats achieve.


Other Links
 RESULTS - Qualifying Series


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