Windy start for 47th Mirror Nationals at Montrose Bay
by Grant Atherton on 30 Dec 2012
The 47th Mirror Australian Championships got underway yesterday with the Cliff Scott Memorial Invitation Race followed by heat 1 of the National Championships. The championships are being held at the Montrose Bay Yacht club on the River Derwent upstream from Hobart.
Foxy Lady II (John and Tim Andrewartha) representing Tasmania finished 8th on day one - International Mirror class Australian championship 2012 © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
The weather conditions ranged from fickle breezes to full on conditions, with PRO Garry Kennedy noting 28 knots recorded on the committee boat, and that stronger gusts were coming through.
This wind strength and shiftiness caused many capsizes, and the field was well spread in the invitation race, with only two boats able to finish within the time limit: defending National Champion Bob with Victorians Anita Scott-Murphy and son Ben Cruse taking the gun ahead of previous National Champion Kamikaze, helmed by Tasmanian Jessie Atherton.
Jessie’s father Grant filled in as crew for day one while regular for’ard hand Katherine Maher was sailing in the Launceston to Hobart Race aboard Moonshadow, which is provisional PHS division winner of the 285 nautical mile offshore race.
Heat 1 of the Nationals had a different outcome, with all boats that did not retire able to just finish within the time limit.
The race looked similar to the invitation race with Bob again getting the gun ahead of Kamikaze. Storefresh, sailed by Masters Division Tasmanian sailor Ken Barnes with Alex Kingsley from the Montrose Bay Yacht Club showed good local knowledge to be third over the line/
They were followed by Bulletproof sailed by Western Australia’s Simon and Sidonia Barwood, and Stealth from Victoria, sailed by Andrew Keil and Hayden Green. There is a protest hearing today, with Bulletproof protesting Kamikaze.
The Championships comprise eight scheduled races, with sailors able to discard their two worst result should more than six heats be sailed, or only their worst result if five or six heats are able to be sailed. Heats 2 and 3 are scheduled to be sailed today from 1:30 pm.