Audi Victoria Week - The Goat spins gold in Sydney 38’s

The crew of The Goat execute some neat work on the foredeck today - Audi Victoria Week 2011
Audi Victoria Week - Sydney 38 National Championship day 1.

Bruce Foye from NSW sailed The Goat to a solid victory in the opening race of the Sydney 38 One-Design National Championship at Audi Victoria Week today and backed up with a third place to lead the nine race series.

Foye and his crew, which includes Olympian Bobby Wilmot, consolidated on their big lead at the first bottom mark of the windward/leeward Race 1, as a bunch of nine entangled in a mess behind him, fighting it out for the minor places.

'It’s a pity the first two attempts at the first race were abandoned, because we were in a good position for both, but our result was a fine result to start the regatta, especially since it’s our first time here,' Bruce Foye said at Royal Geelong Yacht Club, host for Audi Victoria Week.

'We’ve got great boat speed and I’ve got a solid regatta crew, not my usual ocean racing crew, so I expected we’d be up there,' Foye said.

'We were buried in the second race start, but we managed to get back up to speed and finished third and now we lead the regatta by three points to Challenge,' he said. Chutzpah is third overall, a further two points adrift.

Second and third places in Race 1 went to two well known Victorian yachtsman Bruce Taylor (Chutzpah) and Lou Abrahams (Challenge) respectively. Zen (Gordon Ketelbey, NSW) and Another Challenge (Jonathan Neate, Vic) shared a win in Race 2.

Originally to start at 12.30pm, the 13 Sydney 38 one-designs competing for the 2011 National Championship were away to a slow start, waiting under a hot sun on glassed-out waters, waiting for the breeze to fill in.

Eventually, in a light 5-6 knot breeze came to greet the yachts and officials got racing started, only to abandon the race, just before Ian Beer’s Adrenalin from Sandringham YC neared the top mark from the right hand side of the course in first place.

Once again, the yachts milled around the pond, chomping at the bit to get a race in and once again, a second attempt was abandoned. When a race did eventually start, it was with a general recall. 'It was like doing five races,' Foye said.

Finally, in a 10-12 knot shifty east-sou-easterly breeze that came storming across the bay, forcing competitors to shake themselves free of their miasma and keep their boats under control, racing began.

It was not long before the breeze faded to around 8-10 knots and the fleet settled in, although race official were kept busy changing the top mark as the southerly breeze swung in 20 and 30 degree shifts to the left.

Originally, three windward/leeward courses were planned on Corio Bay’s Outer Harbour, but with a late start, officials were only able to put two to bed, so the series is one race behind its schedule.

The Sydney 38 National Championship at Audi Victoria continues tomorrow. Officials plan to set the fleet on a further three windward/leeward races.

Audi Victoria Week website