F11 Nationals - Day 2 FINALS SERIES


Oscar SW
Oscar SW
Mark Long, PSSAC - Pt Stephens, Saturday, 21 January 2012

As expected souaEUR(TM)easter built just after the planned 12noon start time, so the postponement was some 30 minutes. Eventually the breeze built to 8 aEUR" 10 knots. Again 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...



As expected sou’easter built just after the planned 12noon start time, so the postponement was some 30 minutes.  Eventually the breeze built to 8 – 10 knots.  Again 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 3.

GOLD FLEET:   It became quite obvious early that the ebb tide would play a significant part in the sailing this afternoon.   After two general recalls attributable to the strength of the current, the expertise of the Race Officer, Col Chidgey in tweaking the startline made the third attempt a success.

At the first windward mark the leader was  1399  Nomad sailed by Michael Anderson and Yanni Papadopoulous, just ahead of the very consistent team in 1382  MWD  Ash and Dan Heyworth, then 1391  Bolt Nicola Forbes-Smith and Natasha Bryant in third.  1316  Jynx sailed by  Oliver Parker and Nathan Bryant was showing their first hit at a top five spot by holding fourth, then  1373 Hammer Time  Jack Buchan and Emma Jones were fifth.  The main missing player was 1263  Oscar  Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike,  stuck back in mid fleet.

The only boat to slip position on the first downwind was 1391  Bolt, being replaced temporarily by  1375  Outlaw  Beynon Telford and Ollie Reardon, just ahead of  1366  Protagonist  Jessica Isles and Barnaby Dowse.

The most significant change to the order up the second beat was  1263  Oscar, who had appeared from the pack to slot into fourth place, just in front of a recovering 1391 Bolt and  1316 Jynx.   The smaller team on 1263  Oscar slid up to second on the reach out to the wing mark, then proceeded to advance on the leader 1382  MWD.  The double crossing of the main Port Stephens channel going out to the wing mark and back, caused various degrees of difficulty to many competitors, who were confronting the current for the first time.  MWD  held on to record it’s second victory in the Finals, fending off the slippery  1263  Oscar.  1391  Bolt moved into third, displacing  1316  Jynx and  1399  Nomad from the fourth and fifth places.

SILVER FLEET:  There was a repeat dominant performance in an all-the-way victory for  1390  Intrepid sailed by  Felix Daverio and Maxime Dupont.  At the first windward mark and down the first run were two boats new to the top five ranks.  Second being 1351  Watch Me Wally  Carly Turner and Tom Steenson, and 1301  Frozen With Fear  sailed by  Ashley Atkins & Beth Davies. 

By the finish of this demanding race, 1390  Intrepid had maintained her lead, ahead of the improving  1301   Frozen With Fear.  The mover into the top ranks was 1271  Bad Dog skippered by  Harry Lawson and crew Nick Bennett from Northbridge.  1341  Top Gear  showed again her consistent like for the front-runners by claiming fourth, ahead of  1351  Watch Me Wally.


Finals Race 4.   The SE  had remained the same at 8 – 10 knots, and the tide was still ebbing. 

GOLD FLEET:  The starter got them away cleanly at the first attempt, with an even spread of Flyers across the entire course.  Given that there appeared to be some pressure lines from the right hand side of the beat.   Early regatta leader,  1373  Hammer Time  Jack Buchan and Emma Jones chose this option which eventually proved to be to their detriment.  At last, one of the season’s form boats  1393 Waverunner sailed by  Sarah & Harry Parker made it to the front.  Leading at mark one from the now hot form  1263 Oscar with team Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike.  Also showing regatta consistency were 1392 Ryan Wilmot and Simon Murnaghan in third, with 1382  MWD brothers Ash and Dan Heyworth. 

Hot on their heels was  1380 Hot Chilli skippered by Belmont’s Jarrod Turner and crew Katelyn Smith.  After training hard all 2011 with the YNSW Emerging Talent Squad, young Jarrod was struck down by a serious infection which required hospitalisation during mid-late December and resulted in loss of condition, only getting back into the boat at the start of this regatta.  This was a nice reward for him, and a double for the Turner’s with sister Carly’s fifth in the previous Silver Fleet race.

1263 Oscar and  1393 Waverunner then went on to wrestle position, with Oscar taking the lead on the downwind legs, Waverunner would counter with superior upwind results.  As the breeze softened late in the race, it was 1263 Oscar who had the advantage to claim her first win of the regatta and so take the top spot on the regatta leader board.

Boats in third to fifth positions switched around as well, but it was 1392  Ryan Wilmot and Simon Murnaghan who took third ahead of their clubmate  1382  MWD  Ash and Dan Heyworth.  Jarrod Turner and Katelyn in 1380  Hot Chilli kept the pressure on until the end, and recorded their best regatta placing of fifth.


SILVER FLEET:   What a way to win her first nationals race, with first mark leader  1295  Sparta sailed by Hanna Lanz and Islay Dumas from Avalon  showing a clear all the way win after a long day on the water for Silver Fleet.  This was more impressive in that she held off the Silver Fleet  front-runner  1390  Intrepid.  1390 had displaced  early second placed boat  1271  Bad Dog  Harry Lawson and Nick Bennett, who stayed in the top pack and ended up with a well deserved fifth placing.  New also to the racing top five was  1370 Checkmate  Jess Angus & Heidi Whitlock from Avalon, and they performed like a seasoned racer and notched their best placing so far in third.   1341  Top Gear  Kiah Hodgkinson and Patrick Dawson scored a hat-trick of fourth placing in this race which shows that consistency can result in good overall standings.

The new name we see after Fianls day 2 in the Silver Fleet, is leader  1390  Intrepid on 112 points, having displaced 1394 Knott Now skippered by  Caitlyn Walmsley and Jessica Lawson who hold second with 130 points.    As mentioned earlier, consistency rewards with overall good standing, seen by the third position held by  1271  Bad Dog and  1341 Top Gear in fourth.


Gold Fleet at the end of today sees a tight battle between two boats, which now has 1263 Oscar on  22 pts, followed by  MWD on 26 pts.  Previous front-runners  1373 Hammer Time  has now slipped further adrift but holds third on 44 points.  Closing in on the podium is  1392  No Name Yet  Ryan Wilmot and Simon Murnaghan in fourth place on 49 points.  The stage is set for an exciting last day of racing, with many places expected to switch about in the Salamander Bay arena.



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