Photography by A J McKinnon Photography
A whiteout, caused by the almost opaque drizzle, greeted the sailors for the Etchells and 9er Victorian State Championships on the final day of racing.
The Race Committees were more inspired, however, and got the fleets out on the water pretty much as prescribed for racing at 1000hrs. Only a short stay under the Answering Pennant was required before the two courses commenced their racing. The 9ers began at 1020hrs, and the Etchells from 1100.
There was three races for the Etchells and four for the 9ers, with fleets contending with up to 15 knots of wind.
Sailors commented on how much fun they had enjoyed on the relatively flat track just in front of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.
By the time everyone was back ashore a de-rigging, it was shorts, sunscreen, hats and sunnies, and the temperature shot back up into the mid-20s
Mark Taylor, Race Officer for the 9ers, commented, “We were lucky. Day one offered perfect conditions, and we had four races out of four. Day two was a bit challenging. I saw 34 knots on the boat, and 41 was measured at one point, apparently. None the less we got two races in for the 49ers, and just the one for the 29ers. Today we got four races in for both, so that gave the 49ers 10 out of a possible 12, and the 29ers, 9 from 12, which meant they had two drops from their series total.”
Winning the Boys 29ers were Oscar O’Donoghue and Rupert Hamilton on HH, after they had been leading for most of the regatta. “It was a good regatta. We have not sailed here before, but they were nice conditions, especially the flat water”, said Oscar. “We came up here because our training partners, Zack and Ethan on Foamfast (who were second) are from here. It was good to put one over them and they are coming to Tassie next week for our State Championship”, said Rupert.
The Girls 29er went to Beth Tedstone and Allie Mclennan. They commented, “It feels pretty good. When we came here we just kept an open mind as to our chances. We’ll try our best from here, and who knows what will happen.”
Brothers Sam and Will Phillips won the Olympic 49er Class, and they will soon be off to race in Europe, trying to claim the coveted places on the Australian Sailing Team for 2020 at Enoshima.
In the Etchells, the crew of Graeme Taylor, James Mayo and Richie Allanson aboard Magpie came away victorious.
Taylor commented afterwards, “I have always loved sailing with James and Richie. We just seem to click. We enjoy each other’s company on and off the water, so when we go out and race it all just falls into place. We mostly agree with what we are doing, and remain objective about what we are doing well and badly, and try to improve. I am privileged to be part of this, as Richie does such a great job with the boat, and James who handles the logistics of it all so well. I am very lucky, and it is just a delight to sail with these two guys.”
“The next thing for us is Mooloolaba, then off to the Worlds in Texas.”