Photography by Nic Douglass @sailorgirlhq
07 February 2023
Three-time running MC38 National Champions Lazy Dog skippered by part-owner Quentin Stewart out of Middle Harbour Yacht Club proved too consistent to be beaten at Act 1 of the MC38 Season over the weekend out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
Infotrack skippered by Indy Beck matched the winners for points on day two, which secured second place overall, also reinforcing Lazy Dog’s command of the westerly on day one.
Steven Proud’s Swish was the boat of the day on day two with a 4, 2, 2, but it wasn’t enough to make the overall podium, finishing behind Leslie Green’s Ginger who won Race 2 on day one, on a countback.
On day two the breeze was out of 90 degrees varying from 10 to 12 knots with up to 15 knots at times when the breeze tried to go further north.
With an outgoing tide, and the start line set just east of Garden Island, the aim of the game was always going to be to get to the escalator off Bradley’s Head as quickly as possible.
Lazy Dog punched off the pin favoured start line in Race 4 for Act 1, and picked the layline perfectly for the top marks, which were located underneath Point Piper. Some were sucked into going too close to Bradley’s Head, and ended up overlaying the top mark on the port tack approach.
At the top, Lazy Dog just led from Infotrack GO (Christian Beck), however, Leap (Katie Spithill) moved into second soon after the hoist when Infotrack GO were unable to hoist and sent someone up the mast. They were unable to recover during the racing and did not finish the race.
By the bottom, Lazy Dog had extended their lead by some margin, with Leap the first in the pack that followed. Thor dropped exceptionally early, and Ginger was able to round in front from behind and to leeward. Thor eventually rounded inside of Swish, with Infotrack close behind.
Rounding the second top mark it was the three red spinnakers in a row, Lazy Dog, Leap and Ginger who finished in that order.
Race 5 kicked off with a General Recall with a group of boats very antsy at the pin end of the line fighting for the Bradley’s Head advantage. For the second attempt, Infotrack GO got the pin returning in full-force post their breakage in the first race of the day, however, overlayed the top mark with Lazy Dog and Leap from the left.
Infotrack were on the money for the layline, and slipped into an early lead at the top mark over Infotrack GO, Hooligan, Swish and Ginger.
By the bottom it was Infotrack, Hooligan, Ginger and Swish who had gapped the rest of the fleet. LawConnect was left to do turns when they infringed on Leap and the on-water Umpires awarded a penalty and they trailed the rest of the fleet up the second work.
At the top, Infotrack had a massive lead over Hooligan, Ginger and Swish. Swish made massive gains downwind with an early gybe, and finished in second behind Infotrack, with Ginger in third, Hooligan in fourth, Thor in fifth, Infotrack GO in sixth, Leap in seventh, and Lazy Dog with their worst score of the regatta in eighth to keep in interesting.
The third race of the day, Race 6 of the series was led by Infotrack GO from start to finish, Swish continued their form of the day to finish second and take boat of the day, and Lazy Dog successfully sailed through the fleet to finish third and secure their win by seven points over Infotrack who finished fifth in the final race.
At the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia after racing, Steve Kidson, the Race Officer thanked the fleet and the volunteers for such a successful regatta and Christian Beck, the class president, awarded prizes to the top three, and made mention of the all-female team Leap, skippered by Katie Spithill who finished in sixth on countback out of the nine boat fleet.
Quentin Stewart commended his crew for their sailing, a mix of the Nationals winning team with some new members, and also paid tribute to his co-owner Shaun Lane, who was absent for the regatta. Shaun is stepping back from sailing, and consequently the boat is for sale.
“He [Shaun Lane] put in a lot over the last few years, so if you could all raise a glass to Shaun as our campaign comes to an end, that would be great” he toasted.
The next event for the MC38 circuit will be sailed from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron 11-12 March, full calendar available here.
Full results here.
Lazy Dog, Quentin Stewart – 17
Infotrack, Indy Beck – 24
Ginger, Leslie Green – 26
Swish, Steven Proud – 26
Infotrack GO, Christian Beck – 33
Leap, Katie Spithill, 33
Hooligan, Marcus Blackmore – 36
Law Connect, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (replacing Rachel Beck) – 37
Dye & Durham Thor, Matthew Hanning – 39