by Mick Floyd
2011 Mosquito Catamaran National Titles were sailed from Sunday 2nd to Friday 7 January 2011, at Portarlington, Victoria.
Gary Maskiell - 2011 Mosquito Catamaran National Titles
The Australian Mosquito Catamaran fleet continues to grow, with thirty-four boats from three States competing this year at Portarlington Sailing Club, located at the southern end of Port Philip Bay, Vic.
There were twenty-three MkI (cat rigged single handed) and eleven MkII (sloop rigged double handed). Sailors included a good range of junior and veteran skippers, females and family crews.
The winds for the week varied from five to eighteen knots, sometimes swinging up to thirty degrees and very patchy at times testing both competitors and the Portarlington SC Race Management team who ran an excellent series despite the challenges. Spinnakers are not used at Mosquito titles but Tim Shepperd flew his for the practice race to celebrate the tenth anniversary of spinnakers being used as a regatta option on Mosquitoes, followed by a quick re-rig for the first race of the series.
Once the real racing began, defending MkI champion Gary Maskiell showed he was serious with two wins, but then started to be challenged by ex-champion Bob Wilson and Darryn Kopp. In the MkII fleet Warwick Kemp and Tomas Mason made a good start, winning three of the first four races, with Mick and Sarah Floyd never far behind. Defending champions Neil and David Joiner got off to a slow start, not posting a win until the fifth race.
On the third day the winds steadied and built to trapezing strength in the afternoon. Two races were run and Gary Maskiell and Warwick Kemp both posted two wins. This sealed the title for Kemp with no need for him to sail the final race on the next day.
There was some excitement at the promise of twenty knots for the final race but this evaporated as the fleet launched, and they were left with a challenging slop and about five knots of breeze. Gary Maskiell only needed to finish in the first nine to retain his title and for a while it looked as though he was going to post a bullet, but this was denied him by club-mate Tim Shepperd who led him to the finish. Bob Wilson made a fine final race bid, crossing the line first only to find he was OCS. In the MkII fleet Simon Hallsworth and Sarah Martin led the race from start to finish to confirm their third position overall.
Next year’s National Titles, to be held in SA, will be the fortieth for the Mosquito class since the first was held in Darwin in 1972/3.
Final results are:
1st Gary Maskiell - 1760 Thrice Bitten
2nd Darryn Kopp - 1782 Bullet
3rd Matt Stone - 1816 Unko
1st Warwick Kemp & Tomas Mason - 1788 Atreus
2nd Mick Floyd & Sarah Floyd - 1802 Totally...
3rd Simon Hallsworth & Sarah Martin - 1800 The Young Mariner
Best placed female (skipper or crew): Sarah Floyd - 1802 Totally...
Junior Skipper: Mitch Meade - 1747 Catalyst
Veteran Skipper: Gary Maskiell - 1760 Thrice Bitten
Encouragement Award: David Heynemann - 1695 Epimagic
Spirit of the Nationals: Di Floyd
Best Placed Heavy Weight Boat: Rick Verboon - 1676 Both Barrels
Best Presented Boat: Phillip Pearce - 1765 Aldebaran V
Best placed Wooden Boat: Phillip Pearce - 1765 Aldebaran V
State Teams Award: Victoria
Full results and information can be found on the National Mosquito Catamaran website here