Gill(R) 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship - Races 6 & 7
The fourth day of competition in the Gill(R) 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship once again started with little to no breeze and the balmy humid conditions had everyone guessing what just might be dished up for the scheduled races 6 and 7.
Thursday 20th January 2011
The fourth day of competition in the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship once again started with little to no breeze and the balmy humid conditions had everyone guessing what just might be dished up for the scheduled races 6 and 7. The series as per the notice of race would be complete after six races and today would also be where a drop of a crews worst scored would be invoked where the positions for many crews would dramatically be rearranged and perhaps a glimpse of the eventual outcome would be exposed.
1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield M16SSC have enjoyed a relatively comfortable margin as leaders of the fleet to date however the drop would narrow the margin from some of the crews considerably. Yes, the tension was humming along nicely in the boat park. Today would be the start of the sprint to the finish of the series.
The forecast weather was for an easterly system of around 15kts from 1100hrs, this equating to a day of unsteady pressure with oscillating winds and a fair deal of lucky dipping for crews with such a large fleet and start line. Well, they lied again haha.
START RACE 6
There were numerous large fluctuations of wind across the course and it took a number of attempts to try and serve up a fair go for the fleet before the RO Col Chidgey managed to get race 6 underway at 1120hrs in 6kts with 60+deg fluctuations. The previous attempted starts had heavily favoured the right side from the boat end but Mother Nature dished up a swiftie and those on the left working up to the top mark clearly had a clear and distinct advantage over all on the right.
1373 COVERS FLEET R6
Local crew 1373 Hammer Time Jack Buchan and Tom Grimes B16SC looked mighty impressive over to the left and crossed back nicely over the top of the fleet on their way to try and protect their gains with half the fleet far off to the right.
It was more than evident by the first mark that those who stuck with the left kicked a goal and 1276 Predator Paddy and Finn Gilbert HHSC were the first to get the cheese and rounded 15secs ahead of series leaders 1352 Boris closely followed by 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike B16SC, a little further back to 1380 Missleading Kanya Raj and Sarah Jones HHSC, 1237 Geedub Matthew Lang and Sam Booth GSC and 1343 Vendetta Louis Halford and Lewis Molloy ASC.
Whilst many of the money makers within the fleet positioned themselves up the left, an inordinate number of others were still hanging out to dry in virtual nothingness on the right, suffering an everlasting realisation that race 6 was obviously going to be their drop of the series notwithstanding those that already carried an alphabet prize from any preceding races. “Cruel but fair” – not! as some would say but that’s the great nature of this sport.
The four leading boats managed to embellish their riches along the reaches and up the next work, ever so carefully creeping up the hill, banking any advantage when possible with 1352 staying out to left the longest whilst 1276 cut back over the other two on port back to centre.
R6 SECOND ROUNDING
By the second top mark rounding, the crowd could not determine even 100m out whether 1352 Boris out on the lay from the left had done the deed over 1276 Predator who was busily covering their advantage up from underneath the mark in the centre.
1352 Boris in the end snapped a very close tack at the mark just half a boat length ahead of 1276 Predator with 1263 Oscar seemingly tied to the transom of each these other two, 1380 Missleading following 20secs behind and the rest of the pack some 40secs behind her.
At 1240hrs, 1276 Predator crossed the line in a soft easterly 6-8kts about 30secs ahead of 1263 Oscar with 1352 Boris only a whisker from their stern.
The fleet returned to the beach for a lunchbreak with many of the scalded preying for some sturdier breeze to negate the morning’s session, obviously many also revelling in their success too from the morning’s race in the soft and varied conditions.
Race 7 was lined up and ready to roll at 1500hrs in a slightly better seemingly infilling breeze of around 11kts however the cloud mass just off the coast to the east played its part in dampening a steady breeze that was forecasted. The fleet mucked up the first attempt with half the fleet over the line and the I flag unfurled for another go, again too many too eager and jumping the gun once again.
BLACK BEAUTY IN FLIGHT
Black beauty was released from the kit bag which did have the desired effect for the fleet except for the runners-up from last years nationals local crew 1305 Lethal Blonde Kris Fay and Emma Knighton B16SC who lamped onto the hammer 2secs too early from 20secs off the line at the pin, their bemused faces a storybook of “oh well – it was worth a try” and with nothing able to stop the charge fell off the cliff and returned to the beach with another alphabet award and an early mark from school. It looked like a good idea at the time perhaps!
1382 MWD Ashley and Daniel Heyworth M16SSC fared well up the first work and rounded the top mark clear ahead with a 20sec advantage over next boat 1365 Whatever Angus Williams and Jesse Lilley M16SSC, 1327 Cheeky Sam Holmes and Daniel Nugent M16SSC, 1276 Predator and 1263 Oscar off on their ride to the wing mark.
1382 MWD SOLO FLIGHT
By the second reaching leg down to leeward 1382 MWD had bolted, 1276 had snuck through ahead of 1369 The Whammy Michael Koerner and Joshua Ponton ASC, 1392 Oh Ryan Ryan Wilmot and Tristan Bongolan M16SSC, 1327 Cheeky and 1365 Whatever.
1382 MWD continued to find some god cards and rounded the top of the course on the second lap 1min15secs ahead of 1276 Predator, 1369 The Whammy, 1392 Oh Ryan and 1327 Cheeky.
The breeze, the sunshine, the leader remained the same and 1382 MWD crossed the line for their second win ahead of 1276 Predator and 1393 Wave Runner Malcolm and Harry Parker from ASC snapping up third spot.
With a drop now in the series after seven races, 1352 Boris 21pts have a reduced lead over 1276 Predator 28pts followed by 1365 Whatever 53pts. The Junior competition leader is 1392 Oh Ryan and 1st All-Girl leaders are still 1374 Fired Up.
All the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship news, live blog, results and over 1300 photos so far can be viewed via the Flying 11 class website www.flying11.yachting.org.au