It was with great expectation that 12 boats (11 Victorian & one interstate raider) hit the blue waters of Port Phillip Bay in what turned out to be glamour sailing conditions at the weekend.
A barmy 24-28 degrees, the water was flat & the wind was 6-10 from the south on Day 1 and then 6-12 from the North on Day 2…magic.
With newer skippers pressing hard and in good form and an intestate raider ACE attempting to take the spoils, interest was at an all time high
After the first two races on Day 1 it seems the script was written with ACE dominating Race 1 & 2 with two bullets taking with JAB and Baile de Luna filling the minor placings, the script seemed set with ACE by how far?
Huey obviously had other ideas, the more things change the more they stay the same!
This is exactly what happened next.
As if the clock was suddenly wound back a couple of decades the Title became an exclusive rumble in the jungle between two J24 Heavy weights.
To see Mr J24 himself, ably supported by Angels (& Bosley – James) take on the Grain Hermitage (apparently it’s a specially brewed bourbon) along with JET’s Flight crew, dominate and battle out the next six races was truly a sight to behold.
With the exception of a brief interlude in Race 6 where Baile De Luna took the chocolates, all other bullets were shared between Bruschetta IV (3 wins and nothing over a 4th to count) 16pts in 1st, and JET (2 wins and three 2nds, but carrying a 7th) 18pts in 2nd place, those two boats dominated the regatta.
Despite some blinding moments by Haywire, JForce and Joyride (winner of PHS) the rest of the fleet was lead in, many points behind, by the consistent JAB, the best of the rest finishing 3rd.
The Dogs made a late charge on day 2 slipping into 4th place and ACE battled hard at the end to finish 5th on count back
A heartfelt thanks to our outgoing President Warren Campbell on all his hard work over the last couple of years, to the SYC Race management crew for getting 8 superbly timed races in and of course to Kylie and Crew from Haywire for the wonderful catering, Nathan for the awesome drone footage and John Neville for his caring, empathetic approach whilst handing out trophies and raffle prizes.
Congratulations to our podium places:
1. Bruschetta IV ( 22 years between drinks, I bet this one tasted good!)
Big news for the J24 fleet at Sandy
Our fleet is growing ….. we have 5 new boat owners – three of them in the last 2 weeks. With over 20 boats our fleet is the largest in the country and is a strong and supportive community for both owners and crew.
We welcome our new owners –
Geoff Stuart AUS 2632
Daniel Drummond AUS 4474
Daniel Gallagher AUS 4457
Glenn Evans AUS 4470
Eduardo Sobelski AUS 4787
Sandy also has a busy racing calendar for the rest of this summer season
Upcoming Events are:
Sail Sandy 26/27 Feb
We have many local boats racing and Dave West from NSW will be racing with a hybrid ACE/Jet crew
AGM & New Boat Owners Welcome
Friday 1 April 2022 6pm
The J24 Committee would like to invite all new boat owners and the existing J24 Community along to the AGM
To be followed soon after by a new boat owners head wetting at SYC bar!
The J24 class is alive and well in Australia. Under threat of another Covid shutdown that has claimed the S80 and SB20 class regattas at Sandringham, the J24 class got away with a successful 12 race National Championship Regatta over 4 predominantly light and sunny (and stormy) days.
Our ‘new normal’ SE breeze stayed in for the regatta, with days one, two and four being in the 8 – 12 knot range with flat water and glamour sailing conditions, although extremely shifty, catching out many experienced crews. Day three was cloudy and a stronger 12 – 16 knot breeze that saw some competitors on jibs for the first two races, but most changed back to genoas as the breeze backed off in the afternoon.
The fleet did suffer a few covid losses in some crews and we had to find new people at the last minute and during the regatta to keep boats fully crewed.
Sixteen boats entered and finished the regatta, with a strong five boat representation from NSW and the balance being from our local fleet, the standard was as high as any we have seen in the last decade. At least six boats were sailing their first Nationals and were well represented across the finishing places, so yes the fleet is alive and well with a bright future.
There were the usual amazing stories in boat preparation and delivery, with one of the Sydney boats having to change drivers when Terry got called home with too many Coronas in the family and then Gardo having some night-time nav problems running into a tree and wiping out the pulpit and foredeck on the second half of the trip south. Still it was repaired urgently by JP, one of our excellent shipwrights at Sandy. Jack Felsenthal keenly preparing one boat only to find out it needed major work, so changing to ‘Sidetracked – Bandit’ and then finally succumbing to Covid in the family house after the first day. A great young skipper and keen, taking out a 4th in the 3rd race on the first day. Sometimes the luck just isn’t with you ! Despite this ‘Sidetracked – Bandit’, along with many other boats suffering from crew being ‘pinged’ as close contacts, the true ‘J24 Community spirit’ shined through where swapping/drumming up additional crew allowed all boats to see out the regatta!
So, how did it all turn out?
Tight, very tight and not sorted till the last race. For most of the regatta the top five were within five points of each other, so it could have gone a number of different ways right up till the end. Of course, there are some hard luck stories, mostly from second place down you might say, but in reality three first time competitors finished in the top five, with a total of 3 race wins going to two of the top three newbies. A real sign of up and coming and new talent to the class. Another sign of commitment was the number of new sails being pulled out. Investment in the class !
With some of the old guard finishing down the list a bit, and the competition being fierce all the way to the back, the podium was finally taken by new National President and sometime contender to the throne Steve Wright and crew on ‘Tinto’. Only three points behind was long time and multiple national champion Sean Kirkjian with the very recently damaged and repaired ‘Sailpac’. Third place was the very aptly ‘Covid’ named ‘Jab’, sailed by the very able Warren Slater and crew.
Places four and five were taken by newbies Adam Keys-Tilley in ‘Baile de Luna’ and Jack Fullerton in ‘Two Dogs’, with the long-time Victorian ‘Mr J24’ skipper and multiple nationals winner Hugo Ottaway in sixth on ‘Bruschetta VI’. Newly crowned NSW State champ Dave McKay in ‘Stamped Urgent’ only came in 7th. See how tough it was !
OK, so the rest of the rabble fought it out somewhere back there. Probably got hard luck stories and showed flashes of brilliance or good luck. Not covering them here in the OD placings, except to say they are the stuff of future or past champions and we love and respect their engagement and good company. They are the vital strength of the J24 class in Australia. Yes, I am one of them this year !
Of course, this all changes in the Zimmer frame competition where the accent is on providing a level playing field for the fleet. Richard Taylor has done a maaaagnificent job of preparing his boat ‘Haywire’ and rightly took out the PHS section with four wins out of the twelve races. Somehow Dave McKay contrived to fall into second in between drinks and Mark Foster, a long time Sandy skipper in ‘Gridlock’ took out third.
On behalf of the Vic Assoc, John ‘Firecracker’ Neville once again conducted the prizegiving in his usual inimitable, enjoyable and politically incorrect style. Great job John ‘well played you’ – don’t go anywhere !
The race management team led by RO Chris Waters did a great job in the shifty breezes to get 3 races in on the first day before a huge thunderstorm, one race on the second day just before another huge thunderstorm trashed the racecourse and then four races a day on the remaining two days. Twelve in all.
Off the water, we had to make allowances for the corona problem again with staff shortages, so most of the action was held outside in the newly updated Ken King Centre. But with a bar and cold drinks at the centre of the action it wasn’t too hard to endure.
These Nationals were the qualifying regatta for the Worlds in Corpus Christi in Texas this year, but it doesn’t look like anyone wants to brave the covid travel problems. However next year’s Nationals are the qualifying regatta for the Worlds in Greece in 2023 and it looks like there is a large amount of interest to travel to there. That means the next Nationals at Cronulla in January 2023 will be a huge regatta. There are around seven boats with trailers in Vic and I think we would see most of those boats making the trip to the Shire for a little paddle in the ocean with the Med in mind. Woo hoo !
But before you all rush off to the travel agent, we have two great regattas happening at Sandy soon, Sail Sandy 19-20 February and then the Vic States 26-27 March, and with some NSW boats staying down and potentially more coming, you can bet it’s another couple of tough regattas. So put them both in your diary. The Vic Association usually puts on Coronas for that – the cold kind !
Our thanks to Sandringham YC for putting on the regatta under difficult circumstances, thanks to all the volunteers that made it possible, thanks to the Vic Association for getting it across the line and thanks to all the competitors for getting out on the track and making it a great and tough regatta. You know who you are – well done.
Just a reminder to those who have not completed the J24 membership application online already, you will be able to apply at registration 8:30 to 10:00 @ GSC. Please remember we are only able to accept CASH on the day ($60) & you need to be registered to take part.
The New Prince has gone, 70’s somewhere, the Old King will be there – Long Live the King !
Who will be coming to try to knock him off ?
Everyone’s pretty keen to get the regatta in after the little Corona problem. It’s quite possible we may have a few boats available to charter, but they will go quickly so if you want one get in sooner rather than later.
RACE PROGRAM A crew briefing will be held at the Ken King Centreat 0830on Thursday 6January2022.No more than five races will may be sailed on one day. Racing … Day 1Thursday6JanuaryNo earlier than 1030 Day 2Friday7JanuaryNo earlier than 1030 Day 3Saturday 8JanuaryNo earlier than 1130 Day 4Sunday 9JanuaryNo earlier than 1030 The Annual General Meeting of the J24 Association of Australia will be held on Saturday 8 January 2022 at 0830 in the SYC Auditorium.
No warning signal will be made after 1530on Sunday 9January 2022. There will be no resails after Sunday 9January 2022.
Organized social events will include:
Location and time
Ken King Centre at SYC, following registration
SYC Twilight Race
To be confirmed
No scheduled event
Venue to be confirmed
TRAILER AND CAR PARKING
Road trailers used to transport interstate boats to and from the regatta may be stored at the Sandringham Yacht Club for the duration of the event.
Each interstate boat will be provided with parking for one vehicle in the SYC member’s car park during the event. An access “key” will be required, subject to the payment of a refundable bond.
Car parking for Victorian members (boat owners and crew) will be subject to the normal rule of access at SYC. Car parking is available in Council car parks in Jetty Road or in nearby streets for those without SYC car park access.
Further to my email below, following the easing of Covid restrictions announced today and the promise of further easing probably on 25 October it looks like the NSW State Championship is ON, for fully vaccinated competitors. Skippers will be required to confirm that all their crew are fully vaccinated as part of the compliance with their online entry.
A reminder that the 2021 J24 NSW STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS will be held on the weekend of 6 and 7 November 2021. The event will be run by RANSA on Sydney Harbour in the vicinity of Clark and Shark Islands, and will comprise 6 WW/LW races over two days, with the first warning signal at 1025.
If you are planning to enter please now do so as soon as possible to enable us to finalise arrangements: be assured that if circumstances change and the event does not go ahead any entry fees paid will be reimbursed in full.
We will be able to arrange cranage and limited overnight berthing or mooring for non Sydney Harbour based boats if required by appointment, in the meantime please let me know if you need further information or assistance with your entry– by email please as the RANSA office is not attended full time.
The 2021 J24 NSW STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS will be held on the weekend of 6 and 7 November 2021. The event will be run by RANSA on Sydney Harbour in the vicinity of Clark and Shark Islands, and will comprise 6 WW/LW races over two days, with the first warning signal at 1025.
The Notice of Race and entry details are attached.
At this stage we are unclear as to what will be permitted under COVID restrictions in November, but the outlook is hopeful and this serves as advance notice so that you can begin preparation.
We look forward to seeing you on the water again, and in the meantime please let me know if you need further information – by email please as the RANSA office is not attended full time.