2016 MONJON J24 Victorian State Titles – The Balmy Regatta


'Stompin' John Neville rounds ahead of the Black Prince
‘Stompin’ John Neville rounds ahead of the Black Prince

True to recent form, the real regatta results centred around who would come second, sad really, but the Black Prince is supreme, almost untouchable. I say ‘almost’ because he is, ‘Mr J24’ Hugo Ottaway creamed one off him and ‘Stompin’ John Neville almost did.

In the challenging lighter conditions National Champion ‘Pacemaker’, skippered by David Suda (aka The Black Prince of Sandringham’), sailed what could be described as his best ever regatta. Despite an uncharacteristically larger number of average to poor starts, the Prince silently slipped through the fleet to record a perfect score after the drop. Many thought it would be game over from a position like that however, with great boat speed and excellent tactics it didn’t seem to matter. “Did you see him go past?”, asks my crew, “no, must have gone the other way up or down”, “which way was that?” they ask, “well not the way we went, that’s for sure”. We had a bad regatta.

So who did come second. Well he isn’t a J sailor, none of the crew are J sailors, but they are all bloody good, 49er and top dinghy sailors. Michah Shuwalow is the SYC club coach – seems he knows his stuff. Simon lent his spare boat ‘Make My Jay’ to get him on the water and told him to sail it like a dinghy – looks like that worked !  MMJ might be worth just that little bit more – better rewrite the ad !

Michah Shuwalow  - 2nd overall in Make My Jay
Michah Shuwalow – 2nd overall in Make My Jay

And third, collecting the bronze medallions was a resurging Hugo Ottaway ‘Mr 24′, consistent across the regatta and absolutely blitzing Dave in race 3, could have made the Princes’ pedestal a bit wobbly right there Hugo.

This year’s 2016 Monjon Victorian State title saw 20 entries including two from South Australia and two from New South Wales. The depth of talent included past national champions and multiple runners up all vying for a top finish. In true J 24 spirit the regatta began with many boats not passing the maximum crew weight of 400 kgs, (the Jet crew lost 10kg in the last week before) of particular amusement was Brendan Lee running up and down Beach Road wrapped in a plastic garbage bag.

Day one and I was somewhat alarmed to see the measurer (Mr J24) walking down the marina armed with a pair of bolt cutters and blatantly cutting the life lines off an offending yacht – not as alarmed as the owner !  However it was quickly fixed and then ready to sail, despite the concerns of the owner.

The weather range was from 0 to 15 knots with direction the full 360 degrees, fortunately this settled, however there was no consistent pattern making it a fresh challenge every race. With lighter winds, some awkward slop at times and an often tight 20 boat fleet, clear lanes were not easily found, so back in the pack quickly meant further back.

This year we saw new faces in the front pack with Michah Shuwalow second overall and Stephen Byrne in ‘Code Violation’ scoring a 2 & 4 in the last two heats. The race for the minor places was tight with one point between second and third and three points between fourth and sixth. Of special note was the performance of ‘Stompin’ John Neville and crew on Vice Versa, finishing 5th, who made a rush just to get to the start line after repairs from a major collision several weeks prior. They were a regular appearance at the front of the pack only losing one race to Suda on the line. John has become a class stalwart in Melbourne, always with a quip and a smile and soon to take on the running of the Vic Assn from ‘Wee Dougie’ who has done an immense and amazing job of running the association for the past 3 years. We will miss the briefing and presentation speeches from Doug. but as you all know, ‘Stompin’ John has his own brand of humour and presentation. Never a dull moment in Melbourne !

Who could have imagined a couple of hours waiting for wind on Sunday morning at the ‘Balmy Regatta’. Don’t know who started it but we have a new light weather sport – ‘Boat Ball’. With all the boats milling around a small ball is being thrown from boat to boat, some catch it and some don’t, which means a boat scramble to pick it up. Hours of aimless fun in the sun with many dipping into their attitude adjuster supplies – well what the hell, we may not even get to race. But we did.


Boat Ball is in full swing as we wait
Boat Ball is in full swing as we wait

A light SW came in and we got away to two smooth water races in the sun and warm conditions – purrfect sailing. Even yours truely put in a better one. He who chose to win banged off another two bullets, visiting ‘Other Dougie’ on the three legged donkey ‘El Fideldo’ and Dave ‘Westie’ West sailing local boat ‘Fly Away Jay’ cemented their 4th and 7th positions. Thanks for coming guys- always a better regatta with you here. Brendan Lee was in there at 6th after having just weighed in finally.

Back in the pack the normal fun loving, hard sailing J crews battled it out, better in some races and down in others – there have to be lots of stories that I don’t know about, I think there was a man overboard somewhere and I know there was plenty of mark yelling at times. Ron beat Janette on points, but Janette won the Thommo Cup – not sure how that one worked out, maybe it was done on PHS this time. Warren Campbell on ‘J Force’ was suddenly fast, blitzing the starts, seems he discovered a huge amount of ‘long time’ water in his forward buoyancy tanks – goes better without it. Nothing wrong with the boat now!

There’s the usual people who get in the same people’s way – you know who you are – there’s the little races within a race actions, the fight for second last place, the younger crews on youth boats and the older guys hanging in there. Once again the women sailing in our fleet is running at about 40% (a much prettier fleet than some), we have female skippers and crews with incredible talent enjoying competitive racing in the J24 fleet. Eat your heart out skinny boat class !

Massive thanks to the sponsor MONJON, SYC race officials who only flew one Black Flag and the interstate competitors who travel thousands of kilometres to make our regatta, of national standard. Thanks also to Luis Ferreiro for taking the most amazing pics out of a less than visually exciting regatta. I will be doing another article featuring more pics from Luis. To see his pics go to www.sportsnap.com.au

Pacemaker wins, Dave, Herschel, Sam, Damo, Rachael
Pacemaker wins, Dave, Herschel, Sam, Damo, Rachael


Victorian Title: 1st Pacemaker – David Suda, 2nd Make My Jay – Michah Shuwalow 3rd, Bruschetta VI – Hugo Ottaway.

Handicap: 1st Vice Versa – ‘Stompin’ John Neville, 2nd Code Violation – Stephen Byrne, 3rd Gridlock  – Simon Pickett.

Full results here

Contributions to the article above from Hugo Ottaway (thanks), you know who the ed is.


Dave Suda re-crowned

With a final score of 5, all bullets, it is no surprise that the Black Prince of Sandringham is once again crowned Victorian Champion.

Day 2 got off to a slow start with the fleet drifting around playing ‘boat ball’ whilst waiting for the wind to settle. Finally two races were held in perfect light balmy conditions. The Prince ran away with the day’s races and that was game over. Well done Dave and crew.

Michah Shuwalow edged ahead of Hugo Ottaway by one point to take second.

John Neville had a great regatta taking out 5th in OD and first in Handicap from Steve Bryne and Simon Picket.

Full report and pics to come. Results on SYC site.

Half way in the Vic States

Not surprisingly the Black Prince of Sandringham is once again stamping his mark on the ‘balmy regatta’.

What is surprising is John Neville sailing Vice Versa showing a turn of speed that nearly took a race off the Prince, only losing the lead just before the finish in race 4. John is currently in 5th place.

Mr J24 himself, the old master in the class, Hugo Ottaway is back and in a tight second place overall after the first day.

J24S can be a tough gig to step into, but SYC coach Michah Shuwalow racing Make my Jay with a crew put together at the last moment is running second equal on points with Hugo. Must be the reason he is the coach.

The ever present Doug WatSon in El Fideldo from SA is 4th.

Racing today was tight with 20 boats competing, conditions ranging from 12kn through to 15kn by the end of the 4th race.

For full results go to www.syc.com.au/ raceresults

Non-Stop AUS 4435 for sale, Bashford Boat built in 1989

  • The boat was built in 1989, by Bashford Boats.
  • It was stored on a hardstand from new until 2008, and since 2008 it has been sleeping in Sydney harbour on a swing mooring.
  • It has not been raced since 2008 and has only had two owners since being built.
  • It has had a number of repairs performed and navigation lights fitted, along with a mast respray in 2008.
  • It has been slipped and painted with 3 coats of hard race blue antifoul in Dec 2015.
  • It has 3 spinnakers in good condition, 1 relatively new mainsail, 2 genoas, and 2 jibs (of used quality).

j1 j3 j2

  • The reliable 3.5hp outboard has been serviced more than regularly with nearly all parts replaced.
  • There is no encumbrance on the vessel which is registered currently with NSW Maritime.
  • There is an original survey report commission for the 2008 purchase which can be supplied if requested.
  • A further survey report was performed sometime in 2013 for the purpose of insurance which was satisfactory.
  • The vessel has not been involved in any collision during the time of my ownership.
  • There are 2 dinghies inclusive of the price.
  • All in all it is a neat and tidy package – a maintained vessel that is to be reluctantly sold – $12000 neg
  •  Call Dominic: 0415 686 118