2018 Gill Flying 11 National Championships
Manly 16' Skiff Club
Dates: 13th - 19th January 2018
Saturday 13th October saw Northbridge Sailing Club host this season's NSW Sprint Championships. Regatta director, Scott Lawson, masterfully lead a team of officials and volunteers, to successfully complete the entire eight race program in five hours.
Racing was rapid fire, with each heat lasting approximately 30 minutes. The record 32 entries represented 10 different clubs. The wind started softly but soon built from the ESE to ensure plenty of passing lanes as the array of wind pressure and direction found its way down onto the amphitheatre course.
PRO for the day was F11 Class stalwart, Jenni Bonnitcha, who started the day with a keenly followed lecture on 'race management & rules'. Once again, the master of 'sailing results' Nick Ward, kept the scorecard information streaming to the large spectator gallery on shore at the NSC deck.
Just as she had won this event last year, Greta Quealy, showed again her strong early season form to win the regatta for the second time, consecutively. Greta has teamed up this season, with new mighty little crew Max Parker, and the combination is prooving ultra competetive. Team 'Decoy' had only one race score outside the top four, including a victory in heat #4.
The contest between Belmont team-mates 1396 "Slick" sailed by Owen Long & Thomas Steenson, and 1380 "Hot Chilli" sailed by Jarrod Turner & Rebecca Hancock, went down to the last mark of the last heat. Hot Chilli lead onto the last short beat to the finish with Slick in second and Decoy in third. Over the final dash, Slick jumped into first place, and Decoy slipped inside to claim second, leaving Hot Chilli at third and so back to 3rd overall. If the finishing order had been different by only less than 5 seconds, the final placing would have been different. So is the nature of these "sprint" races.
Showing a continuation of last years improving form were the Costanzo sisters Clair & Juliet form Avalon SC. The "K" team finished clearly fourth after posting a victory in heat #1. This result saw them claim the "All Girl" prize from fifth placed team 1402 "Dirty Rat" sailed by Amelia Stabback & Lorane Gaborit from Middle Harbour SC.
The Teams Trophy was won by the Belmont 16ft SC team of 1396 - "Slick" & 1380 - "Hot Chilli" & 1275 - "Bluebird" sailed by sisters Sarah & Emma Jones. Second team came from Lane Cove 12ft Skiff SC, ahead of the Avalon SC team.
Handicap overall honours went to the team from Gosford / Manly, 1398 "Funnelweb" skipper Bradley Leicester and his new crew James Doyle.