The commencement of the final day’s racing in the 2010 J24 Australian Championship saw NSW sailor Doug McGain sailing Code Violation one point ahead of Sean Wallis and his team from WA sailing Wetty Gripper, and with two races scheduled it was to be a battle to the end to decide this years Australian Champion.
The forecast was for light winds and what little breeze there was faded as the fleet headed to the starting area resulting in a postponement in racing before a 10 knot Northerly filled in and race 9 commenced.
With Wallis needing to beat McGain in both races to win the title neither crew let the other have any breathing space which saw both head off from the start and stay no more than a boat length apart up the first windward leg with McGain ahead of Wallis at the first mark.
The downwind leg saw them split with Wallis down the right side of the course and McGain to the left. The right paid and saw Wallis round the leeward mark a boat length ahead but the battle continued and by the time the boats reached the windward mark the second time Wallis was third behind Alyn Stevenson (SA) and Sean Kirkjian (NSW) with McGain less than a boat length behind in fourth position.
In the mean time the battle for third position overall was being played out between Hugo Ottway & David Suda both from Victoria.
On the downwind leg to the finish Wallis once again headed to the right side of the course with McGain & Kirkjian to the left.
At the finish line it was Alyn Stevenson first, winning his first Australian championship heat followed by Wallis, Kirkjian and McGain respectively.
Going into the final race the tables had turned, Wallis now lead the championship with a one point lead from McGain while Ottaway had beaten Suda in race 9 to secure a two point buffer in third place.
The final race saw McGain start at the boat end with Wallis about five boat lengths further down the line in the company of Suda.
McGain tacked immediately after the start and headed to the right side of the course while Wallis and Suda sailed to the middle of the course before also heading to the right.
Slightly better pressure saw Wallis and Suda come from the left and lead the fleet to the windward mark.
The positions remained unchanged at the front of the fleet with Wallis finishing ahead of Suda with McGain third.
With Ottaway back in the fleet David Suda claimed third overall, Doug McGain second and Sean Wallis retaining his title with back to back championship wins.
The handicap championship was won by Adam Evans and his youth team from Victoria sailing Two Dogs while the first female skipper was Kirsty Harris and her all female team from Victoria sailing Hyperactive.
With a field boasting numerous state champions and four past Australian champions the competition was extremely fierce with any number of sailors in a position to win the championship.
The Sandringham Yacht Club has recently built a new state of the art club house and the facilities are excellent. Along with a professional approach to race management by the race committee the club is one of the world’s best venues for yacht racing.
J24 Australia wish to thank the members and management of the SYC for their support in hosting this event.
Next on the J24 calendar is the 2010 Asia Pacific Championship to be sailed in Adelaide in June 2010 and with the inaugural championship held in 2009, this years event is expected to be bigger and better and is to welcome sailors from Singapore, Korea, Japan, Australia and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
- Sean Wallis, Wetty Gripper (SA/WA) – 1,2,1,2,3,2,8,4,2,1: 18pts
- Doug McGain, Code Violation (NSW) – 10,4,3,1,1,1,2,2,4,2: 21pts
- David Suda, Pacemaker (VIC) – 2,3,5,4,4,4,1,6,9,2: 31pts
- Hugo Ottaway, Vice Versa (VIC) – 4,1,2,7,2,7,3,3,8,13: 37pts
- Sean Kirkjian, Starpac (NSW) – 6,6,4,11,5,3,7,1,3,8: 43pts
- Alyn Stevenson, Fun2 (SA) – 3,5,14,12,7,6,4,5,1,4: 47pts
And I couldn’t let this one past, congrats to Kirj for his 3rd on h/cap – trophy should look nice on your lounge room wall!!!