So the June Queens Birthday long weekend in Australia welcomes the first weekend of snow skiing in the Australian Alps, however it is now firmly entrenched in the minds of all J24 sailors, this is the weekend you make a journey to the waters of Southern Sydney and race your J!
This year, crews from Sandringham, Cronulla, Middle Harbour, Double Bay and Taree Sailing Clubs came to race on the waters of Bate Bay for the Winter Championships organised by the Southern Sydney J24 Fleet.
First Race and WILDFIRE, Ron Thomson, the Mexican from Sandringham took the challenge to the New South Welshmen! Second was TINTO, Stephen Wright, 2018 World J24 contender and ACE David West from Middle Harbour. Conditions were cold with a light Westerly wind.
Second Race and WOOD DUCK from Cronulla, owned by Peter Edwards though skippered by son Bryce, one of the up and coming stars of the 18 Footer League. Second was WILDFIRE, you’ll see a pattern here soon! With third going to TINTO.
Third Race and INNAMINCKA skippered by J24 stalwart John Crawford current NSW J24 President and Class Measurer, a man of many hats. With WILDFIRE in second and WOOD DUCK in third.
The final race for day one was punched out in an even lightening breeze and WOOD Duck again came up trumps. Showing his local knowledge David Mckay (That’s Mr Magoo to you!) ex Moth World Champion 1969-70 and still celebrating, took second in STAMPED URGENT and WILDFIRE again up in the results took third.
All boats retired to the club for necessary refreshments and the now famous J24 BBQ!!! Tales of woe and bets where made for the following day.
Day 2 and the sun shone! Race Five and Mr Magoo on STAMPED URGENT rose to the top, WILDFIRE in second and TINTO in third.
Race Six and INNAMINCKA again returned to first, STAMPED URGENT in second, and again WILDFIRE returned to the top three!
Race 7 gave the starter the option for a three lapper, and the World Champion in the Fleet on STAMPED URGENT rose to the top, NOKONIS and Craig Steer after buying this boat on Friday, sailing down on the Saturday morning, second in his first J24 event, next event is the NSW States look out! And third saw ACE show some form, so where was WILDFIRE?
Final race and the starter opted back for the 2 lap format, WOOD DUCK took first, and in equal second was ACE and WILDFIRE.
So who won? Consistence is the key to success and this was demonstrated by WILDFIRE and J24 National Class President Ron Thomson, with a forth as the drop over an 8 race series. Ron was using this regatta as a preparation event prior to traveling to Miami for the 2019 J24 Worlds. Go you Aussie!!!!
On Performance, Craig Sheer with his new boat NOKONIS was first, a fantastic result on borrowed sails in a boat purchased the day before. With the NSW States in November, I wonder what some new sails and a little practice will achieve?
The J24 Southern Sydney Fleet would like to thank our sponsors for the event, the MySail Team, AUSSEA Sailing School, AFLOAT Magazine, Wet Tech Rigging, The RMYC Port Hacking Infinity Rigging and DOYLE Sails. Thanks again
Lastly we would like to thank the volunteers from the Cronulla Sailing Club Bruce Swane the starter, Rob Croucher BBQ Chief extraordinaire, Dave Witten Start Boat Scribe, Glenn Smith, Billy Neill, Bob Sagar on support boats, Michael Druce on results and lastly Brian and Kerry Elliot, who have supported this event at the club since we revived it in 2004.
Thanks again see you at the NSW States
All photos are available on the J24SSF Facebook page.