Heats 3 & 4 sailed today 5th January


Day 2 of the Australian B14 National championships got underway in a shifty, North Easterly breeze of about 8 to 10 knots. Whilst the breeze settled in from Northerly to North Easterly the fleet settled in by checking the course out in the new wind direction. Unfortunately for Rocketship some of the freshening pressure caught them unaware resulting in a quick swim before the first race. The fleet had a clean start in heat 3 with the left side of the course being favoured as a general trend. In strengthening breeze Bonus Bone, sailed by Guy Bancroft and David Grace managed to get through to the front after a tight tussle with Cole Dabner and Clare Cromarty sailing on Cromarty Engineering as well as Robbie Hunt and Ben Price on The Hitcher (who were first round the top mark after the first upwind)and held the lead to take the win with Cromarty Engineering 2nd and The Hitcher 3rd. Sailing another solid race was Ian and David Cunningham sailing on Bone Work finishing 4th right up in the action. Just back at the next bunch a Rocketship, sailed by Adrian Beswick and Jono LeBis was doing their best to nip on the stern of Snatch, sailed by Craig Garmston and Paul Newman, despite best efforts from Rocketship, Snatch held their final downwind challenge off to take out 5th and Rocketship come through in 6th. Right up there in heat 3 was Bondi Tram who ended the race with a 10th overall, their best result for the championship thus far and newcomers to the class, Nick McElwee and James McIndoe managed a 12th place.

Race two started in a wind of around 15 knots after the wind had strengthened during race 1. The fleet again hit the left early with boats diving right on the first sign of a knock out left to get across to the top mark. Playing the shifts was critical to getting a good placing, as big gains were available to those who played it right. Unfortunately for frontrunners, Bone Work, they managed a capsize right before the start of the 4th heat. Looking good early was Snatch along with Richie Reynolds and Lissa McMillan sailing in The Nude, by the top mark, Canberra crew, Allan Graham and James Reynolds, sailing Toxic rounded in first after a sensational first work, they were closely followed by The Nude and Rocketship after they also picked some good lines to keep in the front of things.Kingston legend Robbie Hunt and his gun crew Ben Price on The Hitcher were looking a glamour after catching some good gusts down the course with Bonus Bone and by the bottom mark The Nude were leading from Snatch who also had a great downwind followed by The Hitcher, Rocketship, Toxic and Bonus Bone. In the next bunch, Kelvin Boyle and his Ring in local crew, Lucas Upton on Flipper were having a tight tussle with Nick Richardson and Mark Padgett on Get Nicked. Chris Wells and Rani Dabner on Epic were also looking the part until they hit spinnaker trouble in lap two.

Following another challenging upwind leg the placings again changed with Snatch taking the lead from The Hitcher and Rocketship with Bonus Bone not far behind, close on their tails. The Nude managed to slip back a little after a tough upwind saw them loose out on a couple of knocks on the way up. With little separating the top 3 boats, it was down to the last lap to see who would be going into day 3 with the wind in their sails. Sailing flat and fast was the order of the race with good pace to be carried through the pressure on the course. Playing the middle left saw Rocketship manage to pull through from 2nd into the lead after the second downwind by the top mark. It was all down to the final hoist of the spinnakers and staying in the pressure to make the line before a fast Snatch could catch them. After everything going to plan and the breeze remaining consistent down the final downwind, Rocketship managed to secure their first heat win for the regatta. Snatch came in a close 2nd with Bonus Bone managing to take 3rd from The Hitcher who ended up 4th and The Nude 5th. The next finishers saw Cromarty Engineering getting in a gybing tussle with Get Nicked. After a couple of tactical decisions, Get Nicked managed to take out 6th with Cromarty Engineering 7th. Of note after heat 4 was Usain Boat sailed by Nathan Reynolds and Sarah Simonds coming through to grab 9th position, their best result for the regatta, Richard McMinn and Lucy Rees sailing Catharsis (Definition:  the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration) also had a good race finishing 14th and Steve Miller and Lauren Bird also had a great race, finishing in 11th position, also their best for the regatta thus far.

Currently without drops, Snatch leads on 11 points from Rocketship 2nd on 16 points and The Hitcher 3rd on 17 points. Races 5 and 6 are scheduled for tomorrow starting at 1330hrs, with a stronger 15 to 20 knot southerly breeze forecast; the racing should be great for spectating. Get along to the Midway Point Yacht Club for great food and a room with a view of the racing and take in the sights.


Photos courtesy of Lynn Keil and the MPYC facebook page


Results at the foot of the page


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