Victorian State Champs 2010

Jeanette Syme skippers Scott Salisbury into 3rd in the Vic States

Good things come in small packages, just ask Jeanette Syme. She helmed Scott Salisbury into 3rd place at this weekend’s Victorian State Champs at Sandringham YC in Melbourne.

Jeanette couldn’t have seen much of the race out in front as she is only half the height of Pete Stevens who spent the weekend right in front of her doing the trimming, but she is beaming. Big brother Ron, sailing Kicking Bottom and sailed very well and although the green machine was up near the pointy end of the fleet a lot of the time, he could only manage 5th.

We suggested she should rename her boat “Kicking Ron”.

In fact the whole Kicking Bottom / Scott Salisbury relationship is an interesting tale. The Melbourne fleet is undergoing something of an explosion of interest and in the last few months we have seen two new boats join the fleet and we have another 3-4 people genuinely interested in buying boats. Warren Campbell who has been sailing on Kicking Bottom for the last two owners, jumped out and bought Scott Salisbury from Adelaide a couple of days before the regatta. Peter Stevens very kindly brought the boat over and sailed on it with Arthur Crothers and Jeanette Syme and crew who came down from Sydney. So Warren, still sailing on Kicking Bottom watched his new boat sailed by his skipper’s sister fly by to finish ahead.

Got all that!  Need more?

Simon Grain was the bridesmaid again and Dave Suda, who didn’t even make double digits in his series score was very clearly the winner and deservedly so. He had an almost clean sweep with 5 wins and a second – guess to who – Yep “Kicking Ron”.  Good things do come in small packages, although she did say the crew were brilliant too.

Of course the “Kicking Ron” crew stayed at Warrens!

What it does very clearly show is that you can take an older boat, set it up in half a day and be very competitive in the fleet.

A very noticeable change this year was the calibre of the fleet, with close racing, and boats that have been out the back, now right up in the pack. Boat speed was generally up on last year and so Ron Thomson’s “Kicking Bottom”, Mike Lewenhagen’s “Excite Your Senses” and Doug MacGregor’s “Crackerjack” all lifted themselves into 5, 6 and 7 respectively. The Hyperactive Babes had an up and down regatta and finished fourth.

The weather co-operated with 5 – 15 knot northerlies, a little shifty and patchy at times but great sailing and with this sort of weather for many of the last years comps, the Vic States really is the “Balmy Regatta”

Although we had expected 4 interstate boats, it turned out to be two and the other boat was Terry Wise from Sydney who brought down Starpac with a very keen sailing school crew who really enjoyed the glamour Melbourne weather experience, flat water and warm sunny skies.

The tail end of the fleet was rounded out with new owners Andrew and Chris Hely on Vertigo, Jack Crawford’s Sanguine and another new owner Rowan Pollard on Two Dogs.

Glam weather also allowed the social side of things to go very well indeed, with a huge BBQ at Lisa Simonov’s house (thankyou Lisa) and virtually the whole regatta crowd were able to have a great night outside in the warm weather. Terry Wise gave a presentation on the upcoming Gosford “Legends Regatta” that is shaping up to be a very big event.

You’ve probably picked the name missing from the results. Hugo Ottaway was unable to make it this year due to his son doing the big 21 party and the bleary eyed master did struggle down on the Sunday to say hi – “lights on, but no one home” look !

The class is on fire and next year at the rate we are going we could very well have 20 boats on the start line, so book early if you want a bed in Melbourne!

Place Ties Sail No Boat Name Skipper From Sers Score Race 6 Race 5 Race 4 Race 3 Race 2 Race 1
1 4792 PACEMAKER DSuda HLandes SYC 7.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
2 4787 MAKE MY J Simon Grain SYC 19.0 2.0 4.0 2.0 5.0 3.0 3.0
3 2632 SSS Jeanette Syme MHYC 24.0 6.0 1.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 8.0
4 5246 HYPERACTIVE Kirsty Harris SYC 28.0 8.0 8.0 3.0 2.0 5.0 2.0
5 1324 KICKING BOTTOM Ron Thomson SYC 29.0 3.0 3.0 6.0 6.0 7.0 4.0
6 1636 EXCITE YOUR SENSES Michael Lewenhagen SYC 37.0 4.0 6.0 5.0 7.0 6.0 9.0
7 5086 CRACKERJACK Doug Macgregor SYC 39.0 10.0 7.0 7.0 4.0 4.0 7.0
8 5247 STARPAC Terry Wise CYCA 45.0 5.0 5.0 8.0 8.0 13.0O 6.0
9 5.0S 4436 VERTIGO Andrew Hely SYC 54.0 9.0 11.0 11.0 9.0 9.0 5.0
10 4470 SANGUINE Peter Moulang SYC 54.0 7.0 9.0 9.0 11.0 8.0 10.0
11 4464 TWO DOGS Rowan Pollard SYC 64.0 13.0F 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 11.0

A Strange Paradox

In a world that is constantly changing and becoming more expensive, one keelboat class offers you the opportunity to cruise and race for under $20,000.

A class that offers fleets all over Australia and an international fleet of over 5,500 boats.

You guessed it – the J24. And it’s making a big come back as people realise the unique potential of this little boat.

24 ft with a main, jib, genoa and kite, five crew, 4 bunks and an icebox. 24 ft of competitive excitement. And they are everywhere and compared to Etchells, Sportsboats and other similar sized keel boats – they’re as cheap as hell.

Some call it old – it is, same age as the Etchell.

Some call it slow – it isn’t, Div 3 of this years Spinnaker Cruising (Racing class) at Geelong Audi Week (the biggest class available), 56 boats and J24s gained 3 First places and a Second over the line in the 4 races held, even though it was the smallest boat in the fleet (beating boats 12ft longer over the line). It isn’t a sports boat speedboat, but it is a one design that doesn’t get out designed and out dated.

Some do call it outdated – it isn’t in fact, in a handicap or measurement class it rates so well they hate us entering – we tend to win. We still put 90 odd boats on the start line at most world champs.

So what other one design keelboat is there for under $20,000 with all these benefits you can get into and race competitively (or cruise), in a fleet around Australia?

You’re right – there isn’t another one.

Some people call it all sorts of names…… But we call it the J24

We’re putting stars into …. reasonably priced … boats !

Doug MacGregor, a new skipper competes at the Nationals in Melboure 2010