F11 Nationals - Day 1 ?FINALS SERIES?
The expected soueaster built just in advance of the 12noon start time, and the course was set in the center of Salamander Bay. The programme for the day was two races with the Gold Fleet start ahead of the Silver Fleet.
PORT STEPHENS SAILING & AQUATIC CLUB.
The expected sou’easter built just in advance of the 12noon start time, and the course was set in the center of Salamander Bay. The programme for the day was two races with the Gold Fleet start ahead of the Silver Fleet. The Gold Fleet comprised the highest placed 44 boats after the Qualifying Series.
Finals Race 1.
GOLD FLEET: It became quite obvious early into the first beat, that those that sailed left side from the pin end of the start line, won the double whammy of significant ebb tide current plus the 15 degree shift left in the wind. Unfortunately for regatta frontrunner, 1373 Hammer Time Jack Buchan & Emma Jones, the right side led to a disastrous first mark position.
At the first windward mark the leader was 1382 MWD Ash and Dan Heyworth, followed by their clubmate, 1327 Cheeky Sam Holmes and Gracie Trigilone, 1263 Oscar Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike from Gosford, then 1391 Bolt Nicola Forbes-Smith from Avalon. Also missing from the top group was the other regatta co-leader 1365 Whatever Angus Willams and Jesse Lilley.
Oscar was able to run into second on the first downwind, and later on the next set of reaches Bolt moved into third position. This was the order of finishing, followed by Cheeky, then 1340 XLR8 sailed by Matt Burke and Ben Carruthers.
Hammertime could only recover to 13th place, and his co-leader Whatever carded an 8th position, which opened up the overall standings for the regatta to date.
SILVER FLEET: There was a similarly dominant performance as seen in the Gold Fleet, where the race leader set up a substantial lead towards the end of the first windward leg.
From there it was an all the way victory for 1390 Intrepid sailed by Felix Daverio and Maxime Dupont. Consistently chasing from second place was 1293 Relentless Luke Alexander and Charlie Parry followed by 1394 Knott Now Caitlyn Walmsley and Jessica Lawson.
Finals Race 2. The SE had built to 14 knots, and the tide was slack now for the second instalment of Finals. The starter got them away at 1400 hours, with an even spread of Flyers across the entire course.
GOLD FLEET: 1391 Bolt sailed by Nicola Forbes-Smith and Natasha Bryant lead the fleet by mark 1, to be just ahead of her younger clubmates, the Costanzo sisters, Clare and Juliet in 1294 K, who have shown remarkable improvement during the racing so far. Then followed MWD, 1374 Fired Up sailed by Maddy Clancy and Simon Boardman, and Hammer Time. Now the charge was on, with Hammer Time moving up to third by the first leeward mark, and there appeared 1392 Ryan Wilmot and Simon Murnaghan jumping forward out of the main bunch. By the second windward mark 1391 Bolt had maintained her lead, with Hammer Time now second, and 1392 third.
Now for the screaming reaches ….. Hammer Time’s technique shot them to the lead before the wing mark, from where the race looked won. But as Bolt went into the wing, her rudder pintles failed and this resulted in a retirement. This opened the door for 1392 who kept closing on Hammer Time down towards the last leeward mark. Never giving up, 1392 split tacks immediately which chanced to find him two little favourable shifts and this proved to be just enough for 1392 to cross the finish line in first, closely followed by Hammer Time. The consistency of MWD and Oscar, resulted in them securing third and fourth placings respectively. The young Costanzo sisters in K maintained their improved form to hold onto fifth.
SILVER FLEET: Again, these newer F11 teams relished in their own race, as the fleet sailed in tight proximity. This played out as a three way duel, with first mark leader 1295 Sparta sailed by Hanna Lanz and Islay Dumas closely tailed by 1394 Knott Now Caitlyn Walmsley and Jessica Lawson, then 1389 Vite Zac and Ella Davies. Between these three boats the positions switched about, until the final two reaches, when Knott Now surged ahead to claim victory. Second place went to Vite, just ahead of Sparta in third.
The new name we see after Finals day 1 in the Silver Fleet, is leader Knott Now crewed by Caitlyn Walmsley and Jessica Lawson. Added to this list of emerging talent are six other boats that recorded a top five placing during these first two Finals races.
Gold Fleet at the end of today has a tight group of four boats which is now headed by Oscar on 19pts, followed by MWD on 21pts, then previous front-runners Hammer Time & Whatever still in touch just a couple of points behind. Stay tuned in for the next day of competition.