On Saturday 2nd of April the Derwent Sailing Squadron held the Tasmanian J24 Championships. With a lot of work behind the scenes, Peter Bingham (Streetcar) managed to secure five boats to compete in the championships.
Racing was tight in the first two races, with Drumbeat (J. Cooper) taking the honours from Another Toy (G. Rowlings) and Divine Madness (C. Squires). After the first race the wind died and the DSS racing committee flew the AP flag. The wind must have had a numbing effect, as a number of boats miscounted the numbers of laps on the subsequent race!!
Race three was a tightly contested affair, with numerous lead changes over the course of the day. Newcomer to the class, Greg Rowlings (Another Toy) secured his first win for the series followed closely by Streetcar and Divine Madness.
After a short break, racing in the afternoon saw the wind pick up to 20 knots with numerous white caps in the Derwent. Another Toy (Greg Rowlings) showed a clean pair of heels taking out these two races and subsequently the series. Drumbeat and Streetcar fought it out until the end with Drumbeat finishing runner-up on a countback. What is more remarkable is that the owner of Drumbeat, John Lewis, donated his boat to the Cooper boys (Johnny and Tom) and fellow students from St. Virgil’s College, who displayed excellent boat handling skills in their first up regatta in a J24. Watch out for these boys in years to come!
A special mention must go out to the Derwent Sailing Squadron who continue to help support the Tasmanian J24 Association. They put on a magnificent series and backed it up with a great BBQ at the club afterwards.
Another Toy- Greg Rowlings AUS4431 – 5
Drumbeat- Johnny Cooper AUS137 – 10 2nd on countback
Those who have been sailing the J24 class in Australia over 20 years (yes unfortunately there are some), have seen three cycles of growth in the J24 class in Australia. These spikes in our numbers coincided each time with a pending World Championship.
Excluding the worlds in 1982, the first cycle was 1988, the second 1996 and third in 2006. The first two regattas saw our numbers increase by a minimum of 20 boats nationally, in 2006 we saw only a modest increase of about ten.
These World Cup Regatta’s whilst great for our class, created artificial growth, with class jumpers getting in to do a worlds then dumping their boats, often below market value and moving on.
This year we have seen a natural increase in J 24 sailing which I have never seen before.
The class in Victoria has grown by approximately six boats this season, with other boats also swapping owners as well. This growth is a result of a strong class with a dedicated team of owners and committee members, who have created a class structure that appeals to sailors, many who are interested in getting back into meaningful sailing. The competition is hot, high level, one design sailing at its best.
There are more potential owners out there, and space at SYC is an issue, however we also will run out of boats. We no longer have a builder, however I suggest the class start looking to the possibility of encouraging new and existing owners who may want to up-grade to look off shore. Our Dollar is super strong and in a weak international economy, I suggest some bargains may be had for those wishing to take the plunge. There are class associations overseas who would assist with information, and one only need look to the U.S. or Italy for a good yacht.
Alternatively, there are still some good J’s sitting around unused interstate, we should identify them and speak to our local boat builders about a information package to upgrade them to a competitive yacht that would appeal. We should know approximate costs so potential owners know how much to budget.
Our recent Victorian title, saw a influx of sailors from other classes. We had the current Victorian Laser champion sailing along with S80 Champions, SYC dinghy sailors and many others.
This new crop of sailors really liked what they saw and will come back again.
The point to all this back slapping is that the class needs to look forward to the next stage by appealing to the next generation and supplying them with competitive boats that are up to date and fast.
New owners look to the class for advise when making a purchase, and the class needs to be geared up to provide that information. Well done to those who have worked so hard to get this up to speed, lets help them keep it going.
The Victorian J24 State Championships sponsored by Lend Lease are done and won.
In the biggest state fleet seen in Melbourne for many years, 18 boats and around 100 yachties and race officials enjoyed great weather and sailing over the two day regatta.
Although Pacemaker sailed by Dave Suda had to settle for a 4th on the much lighter Sunday race, his clean sweep on Saturday’s four races meant the result was effectively all wrapped up on the first day.
Pacemaker was sailing without owner Herschel Landes this year after a health scare, but it didn’t matter and with a 15 – 18knot South Easterly blowing on Saturday, Pacemaker showed pure dominance in what must now be called Super Sudaday. With a marginal edge in speed and height and a clear edge in tactics and crew work, Dave and his crew put the work in to earn the 2011 State Title.
This year the fleet was like a pack of hungry wolves, tight and very competitive and plenty of hard racing with close and hard fought mark roundings, a fair amount of ‘one design’ banging together (no major damage) and quite a few protests. Exciting and fierce competition as the standard of the whole fleet was up considerably on past years.
With 14 boats from the Vic fleet and 4 interstate boats sailing, the fleet is one of many changes. Hugo Ottaway bought Bruschetta VI a week before the champs and was coming to grips with his new boat, Andrew Stefano has recently bought Gridlock back from Hobart, John Neville bought Vice Versa from Hugo and surprise package Brendan Lee bought ‘Hi’ (now called ‘By the Lee’) from Pete Stevens in Adelaide.
From interstate we welcomed Arthur Crothers with Dave West steering, brought Kaotic from Sydney, Terry Wise brought two boats from Sydney, Sailpac (Sean Wallis’ old ‘Wetty Gripper’) steered by current National Champ Sean Kirkjian and Starpac steered by Hank Beyer. Admiral Stevens brought his ‘newest’ boat, Code Violation over from Adelaide. For those who knew the boat when Doug McGain had it you just wouldn’t recognise it, Pete is a master of cleaning up boats.
If Dave blasted into first, Kirj quietly made his way into second place with an impressive and consistent score, reminding us all that you don’t need a win to be up there in the placings.
Third and fourth were the two surprise packages of the championship. Brendan Lee sailing in his first J regatta, put in a solid series to show us all that the new guys need to be well respected and with placings between 4th and 8th took out fourth place.
Some of you may know Adam Evans as occasionally part of the old Pacemaker crew. Most won’t have seen his 3rd place coming in quite the way Adam showed us how to sail this weekend. Like a breath of fresh air reminding the old guard of our pasts, Adam, crew, ghetto blaster, black cans and life turned up to loud, in my opinion stole the rest of the show. A very consistent and dedicated youth program trained sailor, Adam is now sure to follow Dave Suda as one of our most important role models for the attraction of a new generation of young J sailors. Only a tangle with yours truly at the top mark and an arbitration experience kept him out of 2nd place. I would confidently expect him to be a future Nationals winner.
Cam Dale and Adam Evans
David Suda and the Pacemaker crew
Rounding out the top 5 was Hugo Ottaway, who could have been 2nd or 3rd if you factored out a loss in ‘the room’ from the last race.
Another interesting battle with results in the middle of the fleet, was two of our newest owners stepping into the middle of their boats and having the two top Victorian S80 skippers and some of their crew come aboard to contest the series. Andrew Stefano had Gary Mackinven, twice a state S80 winner from Blairgowie, steer for him and between the two, won with a solid 9th, current S80 State Champion Luke Reinehr from Sandy jumped on John Neville’s Vice Versa for the first time on Saturday and although only finishing 12th overall sailed to an impressive win the Sunday’s race in balmy lighter airs.
I could go on, the results as usual are full of ‘if onlys’. However the fleet is now full of guys and girls at all levels doing their thing and getting amazingly better at it, Doug MacGregor on Crackerjack found himself at the pointy end of the fleet, scary stuff Doug ! Ron Thomson had a few tangles and left green in places and Make My Jay has a bit of stainless pipe bending to do as well. There were the usual didn’t see you last minute tacks, 720s, plenty of mark rounding shouting and heart stopping moments.
The Hyper Girls (and Rob) six up, finished in a tie for 5th with Dave West getting 6th, about a metre ahead and therefore one point ahead of Make My Jay 8th in the last race – could have been the other way around so easily!
Out the back this time, but just as important to the fleet were Chris Hely (a good 14th overall), Peter Moulang (Jack’s just married and Pete is probably thinking about golf), Michael Lewenhagen (best place a good 12th) and Warren Campbell (best place an excellent 9th). These guys are also improving and spending on their boats, which shows that the interest is there right to the end.
Once again (and thanks) Lisa Simonov gave us her house for another great party on the Saturday night, the class association buying a liberal amount of food that was not only enjoyed on the Saturday but enough for leftovers to be enjoyed again at the club BBQ on the Sunday presentation. Thanks also to the hard work put in by the Victorian J committee, the club and the race team headed by Graeme Watt for running a faultless regatta. We again appreciate the effort made by the interstate guys bringing their boats.
The ‘Hard Luck Wheel’ award must surely go to its’ originator Pete Stevens for burning out the clutch on his car less that 50 clicks out of Adelaide in the middle of the night. Alan Stevenson didn’t make the regatta, but in a late night show of support for Pete, his Jeep did.
For those of you that didn’t come – and you know who you are (Wal) – don’t make the same mistake at Gosford in October, because it just keeps getting better. You can bet the NSW guys don’t want the best regatta of the year to be the Vic States.
Doesn’t the J future look bright !
See Herschel Landes top mark on sunday video here:
On water photos courtesy of Steb Fisher, people shots Simon Grain
To Contact Steb Fisher for photography of your boat, please email or call: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 0438 16 07 53
Four races have been completed in the Victorian State Championship sponsored by Lend Lease being sailed at Sandringham Yacht Club this weekend.
David Suda sailing Pacemaker has started well and holds a commanding lead in the series after winning all four races sailed today. With only two races remaining Dave and his team look like adding another title to the collection.
Adam Evans sailing SDM is currently in second place after finishing the day with two thirds, a second and sixth and is just one point ahead of current Australian Champion Sean Kirkjian from NSW.
Eighteen boats are competing in the event with fourteen from the host club, 3 from NSW and one from SA. The huge local contingent reflects the strength of the class in Victoria where continued growth is predicted over the winter months.
Fun2 pulled off a remarkable comeback on day 2 to clinch the South Australian State Championship which was held at the Cruising club of South Australia.
2011 will go down as one of the most unusual and bizarre State Championships held.
The Championship had six heats and no drop, and ended up with 6 different heat winners
with racing sailed in 5 to 20knots breezes on both days.
Championship favorites Lunatic Asylum did not start heat 3 due to crew problems and Fun2 did not compete in race 3 as they lost a crew member overboard prior to the start. No Eye Deer retired from race one.
This left it wide open for Jumping Jack Flash (Doug Watson) who had a fantastic first day with a win and 2 seconds to finish day 1 on 5ts from Vertigo on 10 pts and Code Violation on 13 pts.
Lunatic Asylum started the day with a win but the day went sour from there.
Day 2 Heat 4 saw No Eye Deer and Fun2 clear out from the pack to take first and second with Good Company in third spot.
Heat 5 was extremely tight and anyone of six boats were lining up to be first around the mark , but while they all jostled with a bit argy bargy going on Fun2 slipped through to take the lead and finish first with No Eye Deer having another good result and Lunatic Asylum in third spot.
When heat 6 started Peter Stevens was determined to win as he knew he was close to winning the series but didn’t realize that Fun2 was his biggest threat. Code Violation led from start to finish with Fun2 in second and Vertigo in 3rd.
As Code Violation, Fun2 and Lunatic Asylum sailed back to Port Adelaide no one knew who had won, only that Code was close.
As we arrived back at Port Adelaide Sailing Club the news came through that Fun2 had beaten Code Violation by 1 pt to take out the State Title for the 5th time.
Special mention to Doug Watson and his team showing they are a real force in the S.A. J24 fleet and will only get better with more Regattas sailed. Congratulations to Peter Stevens who gets closer to his first State win, on both Codes performance but also for the magnificent work on his boat which now looks like new.