The sea mist, soft winds and then a late strong westerly change, all contributed to the abandonment of the final day’s racing in the Zhik Etchells NSW Championship being held off Pittwater.
The winning Mornington fleet Magpie team of Ben Morison-Jack, Graeme Taylor and Steve Jarvin - Zhik Etchells NSW Championship 2011
As a result Mornington Fleet's Magpie team of Graeme Taylor, Steve Jarvin and Ben Morison-Jack retained their solid lead at seven points overall and are the well-deserved victors for 2011.
In second overall came Roulette, with USA skipper Jud Smith and his Sydney Fleet crew of and defending NSW title champion, Mark Johnson and Nik Burfoot, finishing on 16 points. Smith also took out the Masters Trophy prize.
The third place went to another Victorian; the Triad team led by John Bertrand and crew world champion Moth class sailor, Nathan Outteridge, and Will McCarthy with 23 points. 'Mother nature looks like being uncooperative today. GT, Mothy and MJ have the series wrapped up. We are in third place, which surprises me,' Bertrand said before racing today.
Outteridge was pleased with his first time Etchells experience. 'I have sailed a lot of different classes. I normally sail boats that are pretty fast. But the Etchells racing was good. It was really close racing and sailing with John was amazing. I learnt a lot this week. The Etchells are the type of boat where it is really finely tuned. You have got to play all the sheets a tiny bit to make the difference. He was teaching me all the time about how to play the main and the backstay to get the boat in the groove. When you get it right it makes a huge difference.
'We made a bad decision in the third race. We were a bit late off the start and had to do a turn at the top mark and we ended up coming 33rd. But every other race we were in the top eight and we were pretty happy with that,' Outteridge said.
The Grand Masters winners were the Lake Macquarie Iris III team of Peter McNeill, Simon Reffold and David Gleadhill.
The Pacesetter Etchells Fleet prize went to the Sydney Fleet.
The boats were off the dock this morning by 0900 hours and there was an air of anticipation that at least another two races would get completed today. Shortly after the lines were dropped the Race Committee called all tow boats to stop inside Barrenjoey Heads as the sea mist, the major program disruption yesterday morning, was again hanging around offshore with visibility down to about 200 metres.
It took until just after mid-day for the mist to disappear, which it did rapidly. It was then a mad scramble to get outside of Barrenjoey Heads and onto the southern course of the Palm Beach Circle.
The sea looked good; low swell and a pleasant eight to nine knot north-easter. But not long after the fleet hit the race track the breeze softened, swung and slipped into a south-south-east. There were various wind calls from around the course, from Barrenjoey and from north of there. The sick southerly continued to soften.
Just as everyone was starting to wonder what would happen next a warm westerly gust blew past the fleet. By 1345 hours the westerly was settled in and freshening.
Many of the fleet spoke to the race committee by picking up their bat and ball and heading back towards Barrenjoey.
PRO Stephen Merrington in the meantime made the prudent decision to abandon racing. 'We had all sorts of wind from all sorts of wind directions from all sorts of areas around the coast. There were various directions being promised, being forecast to us and eventually when it came in, it came at about 20 knots from the west. It built slowly to 25 knots. I couldn’t see any reason that it would lessen and so, after discussion with the race director, we decided to can it. We would not have been able to get a true course in because the breeze was going every which way,' Merrington said.
MORISON - JACK, Ben
|Iris 111||1325||28||NSW||LMYC||(19)||4||18||5||9||55||36||Grand Masters|
COLLINGWOOD, John Cuthbert
|The Hole Way||1306||27||NSW||RPAYC||16||11||(36)||1||20||84||48|
|This Will Make Her Scream||1392||45||QLD||SYC/RQYS||4||24||3||(31)||21||83||52|
|Are We There Yet?||1358||37||NSW||RPAYC||(20)||20||4||13||15||72||52|
|Ticket Of Leave||831||23||NSW||RPAYC||10||(21)||21||8||16||76||55|
|20||BEASHEL OAM, Colin|
|24||VAN DER STRUYF, Dirk|
|Why Be Flat||1084||41||NSW||LMYC||40||27||(56)|
|J for Jig||941||17||VIC||MYC||29||39||30||(56)|
|Men's Shirts, Short Skirts||1141||16||VIC||RBYC||45||47||(51)||37||35||215||164||Grand Masters|