GILL 2011 F11 NATIONALS REPORT - Races 3, 4 & 5
Racing on the second day of competition in the Gill(R) 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship was again delayed whilst the RO scoured the internet and juggled a number of phone calls from up and down the coastline in search of a breeze....
Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th January 2011
Racing on the second day of competition in the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship was again delayed whilst the RO scoured the internet and juggled a number of phone calls from up and down the coastline in search of a breeze. The previous month’s weather on Lake Macquarie of sturdy nor-easters and likewise sou-easters seemed to have run out as the fickle easterly taunted the fleet back ashore.
Despite many areas of differing pressure with some black and heavy clouds drifting overhead, there was enough wind from the east to get the ball rolling at 1300hrs. Understandably the fleet were a bit frisky and it required a general recall of the first attempt to get race 3 underway with the fleet spreading out all over the course area in search of some pressure.
It was the middle that paid well, leaving the strong of the fleet scattered at the top mark, many of the top guns bleeding profusely from near mortal wounds, facing a comeback of their lives through the one hundred and three Flying 11s.
1374 FIRED UP - All-Girls ALL SMILES!!
This of course gave opportunity for a number of the lightweight crews to show their wares and profit from the light conditions. It also meant that those expected front-runners that suffered a blow in the fickle conditions had considerable difficulty climbing through the enormity of the fleet mass ahead of them. A very interesting national regatta was in the making.
Race 3 produced new blood across the finish line with 1382 MWD Ashely and Daniel Heyworth from M16SSC 1374 scoring a win followed by all-girl crew Fired Up Madeleine Clancy and Chelsea Connor M16SSC and locals 1373 Hammer Time Jack Buchan and Tom Grimes B16SSC forming the top three placings.
Race 4 commenced at1530hrs in a little stiffer breeze of 8-10kts, still flicking 80-125deg and another lucky dip for some of the crews to prosper and score well.
1352BORIS - WINNERS RACE 4
At the top mark on lap one 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen and Linsay Pike B16SC led the charge with 1361 Do Geese See God Rob Wojcik and Grace Triglone M16SSC and 1394 Whomp Nick and Shaun Connor M16SSC snapping at their heals.
By the second work it was current series leaders 1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield M16SSC seizing the lead from 1263 Oscar and lightweights 1392 Oh Ryan Ryan Wilmot and Tristan Bongolan M16SSC entering the fray.
1352 Boris maintained the lead during the final climb up the work to reach the finish line ahead of 1361 Do Geese See God followed by 1392 Oh Ryan who sailed a very tidy race to claim a valued third place.
With the outlook appearing a bit dodgy for Saturday, the final day of the regatta, the RC announced that one race would be moved to the following afternoon of the lay day. A few groans were heard about the boat park by all digested the news and hurriedly derigged to head over to the Lake Macquarie YC for a session of model yacht racing followed by pizza and Roscoe’s Nautical Trivia.
The FX Party turned out a huge success with over 250 F11 family members enjoying a great night together, some perhaps enjoying it a lot more than others!
With a few sore heads from some of the support crews looking somewhat blank on day 3, the crews headed out in a traditional Belmont nor-easter of 20kts, smiles from the gun crews absolutely beaming on their faces in anticipation of a real stoush ahead with consistent healthy winds to play with.
Start Race 5
Race 5 got underway at 1500hrs with a few boats ocs. No-one returned however and the fleet put the foot down in a spectacular display of skill and seamanship in the moderate chop on the long work uphill.
Within 15mins the first boat 1397 The Big Apple Matt Stenta and Simon Murnaghan M16SSC topping locals 1305 Lethal Blonde Kris Fay and Emma Knighton B16SC and 1394 Whomp taking on top of the windward mark after a swift journey up the left hand side of the course.
This was when the crews put the hammer down and flew off to the wing in a dynamic showing of the speeds these F11s can reach in ideal conditions.
It was the locals in charge 1305 Lethal Blonde that prevailed over the next work to lead the square run with 1394 Whomp driving over the top of 1397 The Big Apple right on the mark. These three continued to battle relentlessly throughout the next work with 1305 Lethal Blonde still heading the pack, this rounding 1397 pinching second place from 1394 Whomp by a boat length.
The front runners had now hit the tail enders by the leeward mark and so the last work involved a meandering of leaders weaving through the fleet towards the finish line, 1394 Whomp winning out in race 5 ahead of 1397 The Big Apple (ocs), 1373 Hammer Time awarded second place and 1396 Voodoo Matt Ivshenko and Chris Stenta M16SSC in third.
Series leaders 1352 Boris are still holding their position after day 3, 1394 Whomp slipping into 1st Junior place and 1374 Fired Up Madeleine Clancy and Chelsea Connor M16SSC 1st in the All-Girl crew competition.
Full details at the Flying 11 website www.flying11.yachting.org.au