F11 Nationals - Day 3 FINALS SERIES
Again, the expected sou'easter built just after the planned 12noon start time, so the postponement was some 30minutes. Eventually the breeze built to 10 knots. There were two races programmed for the last day...
PORT STEPHENS SAILING & AQUATIC CLUB.
Again, the expected sou’easter built just after the planned 12noon start time, so the postponement was some 30minutes. Eventually the breeze built to 10 knots. There were two races programmed for the last day, to achieve a full twelve race regatta, with the Gold Fleet start ahead of the Silver Fleet.
Finals Race 5.
GOLD: Similar to the previous day, the ebb tide current contributed to two general recalls, before the ‘black Flag’ kept the majority of flyers compliant.
Boats getting off the pin end of the startline and heading left, gainded the advantage. At the first windward mark the leader was 1399 Nomad sailed by Gosford crew Michael Anderson & Yanni Papadopoulous, repeating their race 3 performance the previous day. Well ahead of their Gosford team mate 1398 Funnel Web Bradley Leicester & Samantha Gray. Third was a new player into the sharp end of the fleet, 1379 Firefly with the Northbridge team of Max Richardson & Bas Ewington, but unknown to them being scored as BFD for a premature start. Fourth was regatta leader 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen & Lindsay Pike from Gosford, who had recovered from a bad start, but sifting through the middle of the course. At last some joy for 1290 Living The Life and Nicole Barnes & Calvin Camacho, holding fifth spot at his first mark.
Slightly buried at this first mark was 1382 MWD Ash & Dan Heyworth from Manly, which began to make Oscar’s chances of taking the title somewhat easier. The credentials of the two top boats on the leader board, Oscar & MWD showed clearly as both boats surged forward within the fleet. By the second windward mark Oscar had moved into third place, and MWD recovered to make seventh. Also chasing and having their best finals race was 1371 Playbuoy Nathan Judges & Jack Cuthbert who had slipped up to sixth.
The fading subplaning pressure out to the wing mark, the tactics needed were to know when to soak against the current and when to generate heat. This was perfectly executed by 1263 Oscar, who rounded the wing with a commanding lead over 398 Funnel Web who had held onto second since the first mark. 1382 MWD had moved into fourth, and 1371 in fifth.
The final run was nose-on into the current, and using some fine steering, we saw 1382 MWD manage to secure second then hold this until the finish. 1371 Playbuoy likewise advanced to third, for their best regatta placing.
By the finish, the minor placing were 1393 Waverunner Sarah & Harry Parker in fourth, and 1398 Funnel Web holding onto fifth, which was his highest placed result in the regatta.
The washup in the overall standings has 1263 Oscar on a gross finals score of 23 points including what might otherwise prove to be a drop of (4). 1382 MWD has amassed a nett score of 24 points after dropping a (4), which meant that 1263 OSCAR had a points advantage that was unassailable…. 2012 National Champion ! ….. with one race to spare.
SILVER: Unfortunately for the silver fleet starting second, that after two general recalls, they were faced with the gold fleet coming back square downwind into the start area, so they were placed on hold until the course was clear. The softening wind and ample current were certainly challenging for these newer Flyers.
In a dominant display we saw an all-the-way ‘maiden’ victory for Cronulla’s 1301 Frozen With Fear sailed by Ashley Atkins & Beth Davies, which was great reward for a fantastic week of improving performances. Similarly, their Cronulla team mate, 1389 Vite Zac & Ella Davies solidly held onto second place for the entirety of the race. Next in third was 1341 Top Gear Kiah Hodgkinson & Patrick Dawson, continuing their rise towards the top of the fleet, followed by points leader 1390 Intrepid Felix Daverio & Maxime Dupont. Fifth position saw new joy for 1359 Frantic sailed by Cronulla team Kate MacDonald & Cassandra Piggott, recording their regatta highlight!
Finals Race 6:
GOLD: PRO, Col Chidgey got the fleet away cleanly at the first attempt, with an even spread of Flyers across the entire course, and for the first time in many races, the right hand side started to pay dividends. Places were changing at an amazingly rapid rate.
Fabulous reward for new F11 skipper, Max Richardson & crew Bas Ewington on 1379 Firefly to be a clear leader at the first windward mark. Ahead of the pack of seasoned racers, being 1382 MWD brothers Ash & Dan Heyworth second, 1393 Waverunner Sarah & Harry Parker third, 1373 Hammertime Jack Buchan & Emma Jones fourth. Regatta gold for 1358 Decoy Greta Quealy & Thomas Smith, who were firing in their best race at last chance, holding fifth position starting the first downwind.
1382 MWD wasn’t done with their thirst for victory, and tactically surged to the lead to begin the second windward leg.
Despite having already secured championship victory and not being under any pressure, 1263 Oscar that had early difficulties and was behind in tenth place at mark 1, advanced by the end of the second beat into seventh, then further improved to fifth by the finish.
1382 MWD sailed flawlessly to record her third race win of the finals, leaving 1393 Waverunner and 1373 Hammertime to fill the other podium positions. 1379 Firefly stayed with the leaders and finished their regatta with a highlight fourth place. 1358 Decoy owned sixth position by the end of the race, giving them a well deserved personal best result in the regatta.
SILVER: Not just content to win her first nationals race victory in yesterdays fourth finals race, first mark leader 1295 Sparta sailed by Hanna Lanz & Islay Dumas from Avalon again showed a clear ‘all the way win’ after another long day on the water for Silver Fleet.
1341 Top Gear Kiah Hodgkinson & Patrick Dawson, showed yet another higher place result by battling hard for second at the finish, so continuing their rise towards the top of the fleet. Top Gear’s overall regatta performance claimed for them the award as ‘Most Improved Emerging Talent’ which earned them a new F11 jib from Chapman High Performance Sails (CHPS) and presented by Andrew Chappo at the presentation function.
Silver Fleet front-runner 1390 Intrepid Felix Daverio & Maxime Dupont consolidated their silver fleet leadership with a fine third in this last race. Likewise, 1271 Bad Dog Harry Lawson & Nick Bennett, recorded a fourth place to make up for their black flag result in the morning heat, and help them to hold a top overall placing.
The highlight of this last race was the performance of one of the youngest skippers, James Doyle in 1220 Jimmy Buoy and crew Jacob Taranto from Manly. Possibly the crew with one of the shortest careers in the F11 Class, these lads put it all together in a spectacular showing of tenacity to take fifth placing. This was just one of the many instances of personal best results and skill development witnessed during a perfect week of youth sailing in a resort location.