While the tall ships and Naval fleet descended on Sydney Harbour ,a fleet of Sydney based J24s made their way to Gosford for the annual long weekend regatta. 2 days, 6 races, 10 J24′s, no wind and lots of fun – an AP each day until enough breeze kicked in to run light races, the Nor’easter finally filled in for the last lap of the last race on Sunday afternoon.
Despite light conditions the race committee got 6 races in and the regatta was won by long time regular entrant and consistently well sailed, Vortex… , Skipper Chris said ‘we’ve been here many times and won a few trophies but this is our first overall win!!’
Thank you to all boat owners for your efforts to bring the boats to Gosford and for all crews for a good spirited weekend of racing, and also huge thanks as always to Gosford Sailing Club for putting on a great weekend for us once again.
Famous last words do have to go to race regular David West bringing Ace into the marina after day 1. “I think its deep enough to spin around to tie up here”….
Doug McGain in Code Violation eventually won the NSW States in a seemingly convincing style with 3 wins, 2 seconds and a 10th finishing with 17 points. With no drops the regatta rewarded consistency and his 10th place nearly took him out of contention to Arthur Crothers also consistent Kaotic, steered once again by Ben Lamb finishing just 2 behind on 19 points.
John Crawford in Innnaminka came in 3rd with Steve Girdis in Convicts Revenge 4th. The regatta was significant for the return to competition of a number of boats and skippers and the interstate participation. Peter Stevens came from Adelaide to sail one of Terry Wise’s Pacific Sailing School boats, Pacatack and 4 boats from Victoria also made the trip.
Dave Suda in Pacemaker was the best of the southern boats with Hugo Ottaway making a welcome return to serious competition sailing in Peter Moulang’s new boat Duck for Cover. Simon Grain in Make my Jay and Ron Thomson in Kicking Bottom also made the trip.
Local knowledge and good sailing made the difference with the interstate boats finishing back in the pack. Conditions were I am told – unusual. Compared to the wide open spaces of Port Phillip, the harbor was jam packed with boats – our fleet, other fleets, power boats and ferries of all sizes. A constant vigil for all sorts of water craft, including the first ship to be anchored in Sydney for 3 years (I am told) was necessary. Saturday’s breeze was a shifty SE of around 10 -12 knots, and with a false start when the first race was stopped due to a major shift, Kaotic got off to a good start with the first win of the day followed by a 3rd and 5th. Due to the difficulty of the course area the start was shifted around Bradley’s Head with the top mark up towards Rose Bay. Conditions were still shifty and banging the corners seemed to work the best, there were many bangs and bumps at the top mark in each race in some very hard fought racing.
The hard work from Terry Wise (NSW Pres) and RANSA showed again with a fabulous Saturday evening function, a spit roast and many frivolous and hilarious prizes handed out made for a great evening.
Sundays racing was held in 40deg heat and gusty northerly winds, a start line set in Double bay and some short courses gave a hot summer feeling to the racing. Doug McGain produced an almost clean sweep with a 1,1,2 for the day. Kaotic was unlucky to lose a first place when the last race was abandoned, unfortunately this was to cost them the title.
Congratulations to our winner Doug McGain, thanks to Terry Wise for all the regatta organization, thanks to RANSA and the race management team. The efforts of these people and the great turn out from the NSW fleet and the visitors made this tough regatta a resounding success and a good work up for the Nationals to be held in Melbourne in the first week of January.
Today, the 8th of July is 6 months to the day, of the 2010 Nationals prize giving – will you be there getting a trophy? Sean Wallis thinks he will.
The Victorian J24 Association is planning a huge National Championship in January next year. With the renewed interest in the class and the standard of both the local Victorian and the National fleets ramping up significantly in the last 12 months, we are expecting a strong fleet. At this stage over 20 boats have already indicated a desire to attend.
The Nationals program will commence on Saturday the 2nd of January with registration, measuring and an invitation race on Sunday. The championship will be a series of 10 races scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday being a layday with provision for resail. The prize giving will be held on the Friday night in the new Sandringham Clubhouse. In fact we will be the first National Championship to be held there.
The new building is amazing, located right on the breakwater for race area viewing and with the first floor bar, terrace and balcony overlooking the heart of the J hard stand and dockside area, we guarantee you will have a great time in these new facilities.
But it isn’t all fun – some of us will get serious on the race track and with the current high standard of our one design fleet, the race for first place will be intense. Can you knock off Sean Wallis who will be out to defend his Nationals Title, if you think you can, Melbourne is the place to try.
For those with less ferocity for the top spot, why not enjoy the class strength and go for the handicap trophy, this is winnable by anyone in the fleet. The race for this trophy is the place to learn more about the class, meet new and old friends, getting back into one design and it is fun. So if you haven’t sailed your J in a nationals for a bit and want to share in the experience, this could be your competition.
Well, there is a lot more to come in the next 6 months of preparation for the big one in Melbourne, so keep your eye on the website for NOR around the end of July, and info on just about everything from measuring to social programs in the following months.
Remember – the dates to put in your diary are the 2nd to the 8th January
Sean Wallis and his team sailing Wetty Gripper sailed a flawless regatta to win the first J24 Asia – Pacific championship. The Regatta was held at the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia and sailed over three days.
With eight races scheduled day one started in 7 knots from the NW and a tight dual between Sean Wallis W.A. Ben Lamb N.S.W. and Simon Grain Victoria ensured with Sean Wallis holding a tight finishing fleet. Heat 2 Saw David Suda from Victoria leading but Vladimir Borstnar from Singapore sailed deeper angles downwind to take heat 2 from Suda and Wallis.
Day 2 was sailed in 12 kts of steadier breeze and heat 3 saw Ben lamb lead from Alyn Stevenson S.A. with Wallis 3rd. Wallis worked his way to the lead to win the heat from Lamb and Stevenson. Race 4 proved to be costly for DavidSuda who was OCS and Wallis again sailed extremely fast up the first beat to lead from Lamb with Borstnar third.
Heat 5 saw David Suda from Victoria again mixing it with Wallis and Lamb and the trio led the Singapore team around the first leg. Wallis was just too quick and went on to win another heat from Suda and Borstnar.
Day 3 and the weather looked ominous. The Race committee boat blew a turbo so racing was postponed whilst another committee boat was prepared. The Race committee kept a close eye on the rain bands to the west expecting some turbulent weather. With only five races sailed David Suda was hoping for at least two races so he could drop his OCS. After a 90 minute postponement the fleet made its way to the start in 22knts of breeze.
Heat 6 Wallis was just too quick and bolted to lead the fleet around the course with Suda second and Lamb third.
Heat 7 started ok but a 35 knot rain squall came through half way up the first beat reducing visibility to zero, hence the Race committee abandoned all further racing.
The Regatta has some extremely close racing and all competitors were thrilled the standard of competition vowing to return next year with the fleet expected to swell to 30 entries.
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.
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
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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 ???
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.