2009 Asia Pacific Winter Championships – A fantastic Regatta

Top mark - first race

Wetty Gripper once again showed a disappearing transom to the fleet at the 2009 Asia Pacific Regatta in Adelaide over the Queens Birthday weekend.

In an even more totally convincing display of dominance than the Nationals in January on the same racetrack, Sean Wallis from Perth cemented his current position as the top J24 skipper in Australia.

Twenty Js made the start line for the newest series on the Australian race circuit, braving conditions that were at times extreme at both ends of the wind scale, and cooler than the brochure suggested. The only thing hot was the competition. Sean Wallis, Ben Lamb, Vladimir Borstnar from Singapore, Dave Suda and Alyn Stevenson made up the top 5 in that order. Leaving luminaries such as Hugo Ottaway and Sean Kirkjian to help fill in the top ten – such was the depth of talent and competition in the fleet.

The fleet was made up of some of the countries best skippers visiting from NSW (2 boats), Victoria (5 boats), TAS (1 boat), WA (one boat), SA (9 boats). From Singapore we had Vladimir Borstnar and his crew and from Korea we had Park Ki-Cheol and his crew (of 8, we think), as with some of the interstate crews, both using a loan boat from SA. We have to thank the untiring efforts of Alyn Stevenson and Peter Stevens and their helpers, the race officers and crews of the CYCSA for organising loan boats and crew billeting for making this first Asia Pacifica Regatta an amazing winter success.

Racing on the Saturday started in a light northerly wind, shifty and threatening to be stormy, it provided an easy entry for the competitors to winter racing in Adelaide – much like the brochure said it would be. Wetty Gripper set the pace in the first race early with Armed and Dangerous and Make My Jay hot on his heels at the first mark and with the race steadied, the major placegetters finished in the same order.

Race Two was sailed in softening and shifty conditions, pleasant sailing saw some fleet changes during the race with the final placings being Fun, Pacemaker and Wetty Gripper. Race three on Saturday was abandoned due to lack of wind – quite a popular decision judging by the cheers on the radios around the fleet.

Day Two and the wind had gone round to the SW – cold and windy with a few comments about ‘not in the brochure’ going around. The first start was a general recall, a sure sign that the fleet is getting serious in the new breeze. Sean Wallis didn’t have it all his own way at first and had to fight through the pack to win from Pacemaker and Fun 2. However a solid win all the same. Race four saw 3 of the Victorian boats OCS with all but Pacemaker going back and this was to cost them dearly in the overall results as the series ended up without any drops. Another win to Wetty Gripper with Armed and Dangerous second and Fun third. Adelaide was now showing its SW weather with strong upwind sailing and exciting downwind surfing, with many places being won and lost on the long surfing rides, a reward for the ‘downwind workers’. Race five was very hotly contested with a logjam of boats on the top mark the first time around, being a disaster for several boats arriving on port and having to gybe away to find a spot further back in the queue. With the wind gusting strongly this race provided exciting sailing, however once again although Sean Wallis had to fight to get to and stay at the front, he clinched another strong win with Pacemaker and Armed and Dangerous close behind.

Mondays racing was to provide an interesting day for not only the minor placings but also the sailing finesse of the fleet. The first race promised a very strong SW blow, very cold conditions and it was touch and go with the race committee whether the day would be held at all. The start boat had a terminal engine problem and so eventually another was found. The conditions were found to be sailable and even borderline between jib and genoa at times. Sean Wallis clinched his 5th win from Pacemaker and Armed and Dangerous. Race seven started under foreboding skies and with the first two legs completed the fleet was on it’s second beat when it was hit by a squall of around 50 knots, rain, hail, zero visibility and flogging sails and screaming noise meant that many boats pulled down sails or ran for shelter leaving a smaller fleet to come out the other side into an almost oily calm and brooding light, only to find that the race had been abandoned. And that became the end of the regatta, no drops and plenty of good and hard luck stories as usual.

Later on Monday the presentation was held with Sean Wallis and his crew taking the honours in one design from Ben Lamb and Vladimir Borstnar from Singapore. In the handicap section honours went to Brian Walsh on Cookie Monster, Alyn Stevenson on Fun 2 and Simon Grain on Make My Jay. (Wetty Gripper gives up 3rd due to being the winner of the One Design series.

For the full results go to http://www.cycsa.com.au/results/2009/events/j24asiapac/series.htm

For more pictures go to  http://www.j24southaustralia.com/Asia-PacificChampionship.html

All the competitors expressed immense satisfaction and thanks to the efforts of Alyn Stevenson and his volunteers at the CYC for organising and running a brilliant first regatta for this series, which now has Intercontinental status. We are all looking forward to the next one !

Article by Simon Grain

Got a story about the regatta and want to make a contribution. Write a story or just a para or two and send it to Simon Grain : grain@smarketing.com.au and we’ll get your story online.


Hugo Ottaway collected some interesting quotes from the regatta !!!

1: Herschel: ” we didn’t bother going back when OCS……. we’ll drop that one”…………Oooops – No Drops.

Part 2: Herschel: Didn’t you hear the radio…….. “we turned it off”………. mmmmm.

2: Dave Suda: why didn’t you use the new mainsail you pulled up the mast and sailed out to the race area with?…………”no battens in it”.

3:Sean Wallis: Gees I thought Hugo’s and David’s J’s had good speed………”no they don’t, their shit slow”……….. Humble winner.

4:Doug McGregor: when trying to order from ‘Hurry Curry’, handed the phone over saying “the Scots have a language problem with the Indians”. (you had to be there).

5: Ron Thompson: ” I think I’ll miss today’s racing”…… good decision, 75% of the fleet flattened by a 40+ knot squall.

6: Angus McKechnie: on relationships: came home to find his new girlfriend (who had just moved in) had neatly cut up his worlds regatta tee shirts for cleaning rags………… relationship didn’t last !!!

7: Angus McKechnie: when asked to pass out the lunches…… pulled out bread sticks and fillings and began making them on the deck with 7 mins to the start……. not what was expected.

8: David Suda: when the race committee announced they may not get any racing in because they had blown up the start boat motor…….. (making no drops)…….” that’s f***ed”, (were f***ed).

9: Pete Stevens….. who proudly showed off his bow modifications……” she’s only a few kilo’s over…… that doesn’t matter…. does it ???”….. mmmmmmmmmmm.

10: Ron Thompson: “Get the spinnaker up”………………………………. crew…”NO”.

11: Ron Thompson: “Ready to tack”…………………………… crew…”NO !!….WERE TOO WET”.

12: Fitzy: “Simon needs to work on his starts”………………………….. Next race OCS.

13: Herschell: I think your car’s blowing a bit of smoke!!…..” that’s nothing! the transmissions slipping and the trailers lost its brakes”………He still had to drive home.

14: Fitzy: who cleated off the spinnaker for the run home and then went and sat on the pushput…………. boat rolled over in the next gust.

15: Peter Stevens…….. “what the f**k have the girls got against me……. they’ve hit me twice today”.

16: Fitzy: who was underneath the boat tying it to the trailer…… ” Simon, when do you want to get the rig down”……………………….. Simon….”its down, you helped me”………… senior moment.

17: The Korean’s ….. who sailed with 5 ….. had 8 at the presentation……… no room on deck ???

This year's World Championship is sold out with 82 registered boats.

Annapolis, Maryland will host one of the toughest fleets of J/24 racers ever assembled in the boat’s 30 year history.

The 2009 World Championship, hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club, April 30th – May 8th, has 82 entries from eighteen countries. All competitors qualify through a regional, national or international event or nomination to represent their country in the World Championship. Entries close at 1800 hrs on April 8th.
The fleet includes five former J/24 World Champions together with five North American champions; a four-time European champion; two South American and five US Midwinter Champions. Chris Larsen returns to try and repeat his 1996 win in “ Writing Instruments”, while two-time World Champion, Mauricio Santa Cruz of Brazil wants the title back after losing to current World Champion, Italian Andrea Casale at Cannigione, Sardinia in 2008.
We have 2 Aussies competing, “Bob Hagan & Doug McGain”.

Bob Turner, International J/24 Class Chairman commented, “After 30 years, the J/24 Class continues to attract the best international competition to the prestigious World Championship event. The Class has maintained its position in providing affordable and highly competitive racing the world over.” Turner will be among the competitors in Annapolis, having been on the 2nd place world Championship team in 2008.

Visit the Worlds website here  http://www.j24worldchampionship2009.com

2009 Victorian State Championships

The Vic states will be held April 18-19 at SYC.

  • 4 races on Saturday, 2 on Sunday
  • BBQ on Saturday night, Prizes and drinks on Sunday afternoon
  • Billeting available for interstate competitors
  • Heaps of parking

Contact Simon on 0413 870 046 for more information. NOR to come.

Vic States Flyer

The Thrill of International Class Racing

The J24 Tasmanian State Titles will be run in Hobart on Saturday February 28th and Sunday 1st March 2009.These will be conducted by the Royal Yacht Club Tasmania. Racing will consist of up to 7 windward/ leeward races commencing each day at 0955am each day.

Hot competition is expected between up to 9 boats racing on the Derwent River over the weekend.dscf7215

Peter Gautschi on “Cio Cio San” will be bringing his boat from Cygnet, where he has been successful in summer racing.

John Lewis in “Drumbeat” will travel from his home of Geilston Bay to challenge the “Southerners”.

New owner Nathan Males in his “Storm Petrel” have shown much improvement over the summer season and are keen to take on the top boats. Gavin Adamson will swap his bigger boat “Fine Cotton”, to race “Poopseas” as the owner is overseas and unable to return in time to compete.

Craig Squires in “Divine Madness” has imported some interstate crew and purchased new sails for the Titles and is keen to do well.

Peter Bingham and his crew in “Streetcar” have been very consistent in their performances so far this summer and could be a strong contender for the title.

Gridlock”, last year’s winner, will this year be under the control of Rohan Clark, rather than his Grandfather Des Clark. This crew is on a high after winning the lead up Sprint series run by DSS. They will be hard to beat.

Kaye Roberts, the only female skipper in the fleet, on Kaos, will be hoping to break the run of “always the bridesmaid” having come second in the State titles for the last few years. The crew have sailed to success in the RYCT Summer Pennant Series and have purchased some new sails to replace the rather tried ones they have had for the last four years.

dscf7231Hobart has seen a rekindled interest in strict one design class racing by the International J24 keelboat class. This 24 foot keelboat has just celebrated its 31st anniversary as a class and numbers some 15,000 boats around the world and over 200 in Australia.

The strict one design class racing and affordability has lead to this revival of a formerly strong class in Hobart. Racing a J24 places strong emphasis on crew work, strategy and tactics. The boat is also an excellent day sailer and suitable for short overnight racing or long weekend regattas. The fleet in Hobart is sailed buy a wide ranging age-group. Some of the boats are owned by syndicates to make the boat even more affordable. The boats are usually raced with a maximum crew weight of 400 kg, for example four burly blokes or six petite ladies. The J24s are normally stored out of the water in cradles which ensures that even the older boats stay dry and remain competitive.

Class racing is conducted in Hobart by the Derwent Sailing Squadron and RYCT. The J24s also participate in racing held by other clubs on most days of the week proving the boats versatile nature.

J24 Tasmania can help anyone interested in purchasing a J24 for racing.

Anyone tired of arbitrary handicaps in yacht racing, looking for a cost effective strict one design racer and interested in participating in the class as either crew or even as an owner should contact j24tas@gmail.com or the class President: Kaye Roberts on 62435136.