Dave wins the raffle

J24 Nationals 2009 062

Last night’s Mexican hijinx was a night to remember. The Mexican spirit flowed liberally and stick on moustaches ponchos and sombreros were all the rage. Live music, Mexican accents and margaritas all combined to make sure that the night was a huge success. Dave off Wetty Gripper won the major prize in the raffle of a hamper donated by Hamper Creations of Melbourne and is seen in the picture carrying off his prize !

When left is right

It’s rumoured that Dougie McGain must have gone home after the first day and written lines – ‘I must not go right, I must not go right, I must not go right, I must not go right, I must not go right, I must go left’. And clearly it worked because he came back with a vengeance yesterday, he didn’t go right at all, just banged the left corner every time and came home with 3 bullets.

Of course 3 wins helps every time and he has moved up the leader board from fifth to second. Sean Wallis had an almost equally consistent day with two seconds and a third and still holds a 9 point lead from Doug on current points score without the drop. A pretty clear picture you might think, but look again. Factoring in the drop changes the picture dramatically and gives Doug the chance to win if he gets another clean sweep.

This means that the Wetty Gripper guys will need to stay sharp and get another win or two if they want to take the trophy home. If Sean continues his current consistence he should just win the championship although some poorer placings than thirds and wins by Doug will make the points table as tight as Sean is likely to get after the presentation.

Doug already has his drop with a 10th in the first race so he has nothing up his sleeve there and can’t afford another bad one, Sean is dropping a 3rd at this stage so has a little margin for error.

If Doug does have another bad one he risks having a battle for second with David Suda and Hugo Ottaway and both these skippers still have the chance of being the bridesmaid this year if they can keep their noses clean and stay in contention for race wins or a second placings in the next 4 races.

The battle of the Seans is now a fizzer, with Sean Kirkjian although putting in some good performances yesterday now being 13 points behind allowing for the drop at this point. He will have to work hard and bring in some good finishes to get the money as he also already has a drop in his current results. Dave and Hugo can afford to have a bad one and still be in the race for 2nd and third.

Once again the ‘Hyper Girls’ are doing well, currently lying 6th although they have a 12 point gap off the back of Starpac.

The weather for the last two racing days looks good with forecast winds under 20 knots on both days and mostly sunny skies. Temperatures on Friday are forecast to get into the mid 30s so it will be a hot finish to a hot regatta.


Ron Thomson and crew are sailing like demons and are now guaranteed to be the first green boat in this years regatta

My first race!

Mel Hawkes

Story of Day One of the Nationals by Mel Hawkes, sailing on Starpac

When my legs had finally stopped shaking and after I had stuffed a roll in my face I headed for the bar. Not normally a drinker I am finding I am quickly making up for that in the last few days. Still in a bit of a daze I found myself being asked how we did. I had no idea so was very surprised to find not only had we come fourth overall but we had been leading for a while on the first race.

The whole experience has been a steep learning curve and another one  I found was probably how to annoy everyone by me piping up I had no idea where we were I was too busy concentrating on my  two little lines that were my job. The correct terms for them would be the topping and the kicker line.

I must confess to shutting my eyes at each start as it looked more like a pack of bumper cars about to attack and judging by a rather loud thud at one point I think that theory was correct.

I have an absolute respect for all skippers especially mine as how they manage to pick their spots remains calm is a new mystery to me. I also have to rethink the theory that men can’t multi task as our skipper apart from helming and trimming the boat prevented me from hanging myself on more than one occasion and hoisting up the bow girl with the pole and that’s just the parts I had my eyes open for.

My goal tomorrow is to try and look up at one point. Baby steps! I started sailing with Pacific sailing school a few months ago after a holiday in st Lucia and I managed to flip a hobbie cat which I am told is pretty hard to do. Few months later I find myself racing in the Nationals way out of my comfort zone. Hank at the school reassured me that girls can be very good sailors let’s see what our skipper has to say at the end of the week.

Enter Online for the 2010 Nationals

Entry is now open for the 2010 Nationals. Entry is done online by clicking on the link on the Nationals page to the Top Yacht Online Entry System as used by Sandringham Yacht Club.

This system allows you to enter, change your details and pay online. Paperwork requirements for Insurance Certificates, Measurement Certificates and Measurement Compliance Certificates, Cat 6 Certificates and any other paperwork required will be done separately. You may be contacted by SYC and asked to fax these to the club, or if not, you will be required to supply these at registration on 2/3 January.

If you have any questions you want to direct to the club please ask for Monica Tonner on 03 9599 0999

Click here to go to the Nationals Page

There is also a link on the home page of the SYC site, look for a J24 button at the bottom right of the page.


Save money on your regatta souvenirs. Vests, shirts, hats and stubby holders are being produced with a striking regatta logo for you.

If you pre-order your requirements now you will save 10% on your purchase. This helps us gauge the demand and enable us to have enough stock on hand without wastage.

Click here to go to the Apparel page.

Two Months to the Nationals

Two months from now the J24 Nationals will come alive at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne. The new clubhouse is a fantastic building right on the water with balcony views over the sailing area, members bar and social sundeck all overlooking the water and hardstand area. So gather your crews and families and come and enjoy this new venue, the Sandy team is planning a big regatta.

The Nationals page has new information on it and more will be coming very shortly, with online race entry, regatta clothing pre-order info and the many FAQs you will want to know the answers too. Click here to go to the Nationals Page

Nationals flyer thumb

2010 Nationals Page

A new page specially for the 2010 Nationals is now online. Over the period leading up to the Nationals this page will contain information and links to help competitors enter and prepare.

Click here to go to the Nationals Page

President's Message

This year has seen a renewed interest in the class with many new people involved both on the sailing and the admin side. Certainly it has been a steep learning curve for your new president.  ….  More (click here)

Six months to the day

The view over the J24 hardstand area and pond from the new clubhouse balcony

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.

The new Sandy clubhouse - right on the breakwater !
The new Sandy clubhouse - right on the breakwater !

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

If you want more information contact Simon Grain on grain@smarketing.com.au or Hugo Ottaway on portstarboard@hotmail.com