by Murray Dyer
The 48th edition of Hartley TS16 Australian Championships provided all kinds of sailing conditions and challenges to the sailors, but in the end, Bucky and Godfrey Smith simply showed their class above the rest to win the championship after a week long competition at Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club in Queensland.
999 Decepticon - Hartley TS16 Australian Championships 2013
Race one was postponed due to strong winds. The race was rescheduled to day three and started in 15 to 20 knot south-easterly wind with 14 boats facing the start line.
Decepticon sailed by Bucky and Godfrey Smith from the Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club lead around the first windward mark and continued to extend their lead as the race progressed. Uncle Roy sailed by Eric Partland and Daniel Grilk from Drummoyne Sailing Club gave chase followed by Once a Knight sailed by Hamish Urquhart and Jerry Griffiths from Lake Cootharaba. However, The Matrix sailed by John Horler and Gary Bowles from Saratoga Sailing Club managed to overtake Once a Knight to finish third.
Race two started with 15 to 20 knots and once again Decepticon lead at the first mark from Uncle Roy with Jackpot sailed by Robert Huckfeldt and Robert Fletcher from Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club in third place. Decepticon once again sailed to a convincing two minute plus win from Uncle Roy and Jackpot.
Race three was scheduled for a 10am start, but after a shifting breeze the race committee finally got the race underway with a light five knot easterly. Uncle Roy was the leader at the first mark closely followed by Decepticon and Jackpot. The Uncle Roy crew managed to fend off numerous challenges from Decepticon who briefly took the lead at the bottom of the downwind leg. However Uncle Roy resumed the lead on the upwind leg and prevailed by the narrowest of margins at the finish line. Jackpot held on to third spot throughout the race.
By the afternoon the breeze had increased to around 10 knots for race four with Jackpot gaining a clear start and rounding the first mark with a comfortable lead over Uncle Roy, with The Matrix in third. Decepticon managed to find her way back to challenge The Matrix and salvaged third place and maintained that position to the finish line.
For race five a solid southerly had developed overnight and the race committee decided to check the wind strength before any boats left the beach. The race was started in around 16 knots with gusts to 22 knots. Decepticon revelled in the stronger conditions and lead the fleet to the first mark rounding, followed by Uncle Roy. Once a Knight suffered a broken boom on the downwind run and retired.
The placings at the finish line were Decepticon from Uncle Roy and The Matrix after a severe test of crews and equipment.
The breeze was expected to ease slightly but a number of competitors opted to sit race six out on shore. The race started in around 18 knots and Black n Blew picked the right side of the course and with a favourable shift had a handy lead at the first mark ahead of Decepticon and Murphy’s Law. Murphy’s Law suffered a broken traveller and was forced to retire. Decepticon bridged the gap across the first reach and was able to gybe inside Black n Blew with Uncle Roy in hot pursuit. Decepticon continued to blitz the opposition with some excellent reaching techniques and went on to win from Uncle Roy and Black n Blew.
Those that remained on the beach missed out on some spectacular sailing conditions with many saying it was the fastest they has ever sailed in a Hartley.
Race 7 start - Hartley TS16 Australian Championships 2013
The final race of the series was started in 15 knots from the south-east with a few boats that had suffered damage on the previous day missing from the race course. Once again Decepticon was first to round the windward mark followed by Uncle Roy and Kurdi Magic Sailed by Brenton Rowney and Hugh Longbottom. There were gains and losses across the first reach with wind gusts favouring some boats. Decepticon went on to win with Jackpot managing to secure second place but was being hotly pursued by The Matrix who finished ten seconds in arrears.
Bucky and Godfrey Smith sailed the series with confidence and won convincingly with five wins, one second and a third on their scoresheet.
|2||1468||Uncle Roy||Eric Partland||11.0||[4.0]||2.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||2.0||2.0|
|3||1544||The Matrix||John Horler||22.0||3.0||4.0||3.0||4.0||5.0||[6.0]||3.0|
|5||1592||Kurdi Magic||Brenton Rowney||38.0||6.0||[15.0C]||6.0||9.0||8.0||4.0||5.0|
|6||1400||Murphy’s Law||Ron Johnston||41.0||[15.0C]||8.0F||4.0||5.0||7.0||9.0||8.0|
|7||1393||Black n Blew||Greg Russell||43.0||8.0||3.0||5.0||11.0||10.0||[11.0]||6.0|
|11||1001||Once a Knight||Hamish Urquhart||57.0||15.0C||[15.0C]||13.0F||6.0||9.0||10.0||4.0|
|1||1393||Black n Blew||Greg Russell||25.0||6.0||1.0||3.0||[10.0]||5.0||8.0||2.0|
|3||1400||Murphy’s Law||Ron Johnston||27.0||[15.0C]||8.0F||2.0||2.0||3.0||6.0||6.0|
|5||1592||Kurdi Magic||Brenton Rowney||31.0||5.0||[15.0C]||5.0||9.0||7.0||2.0||3.0|
|6||1544||The Matrix||John Horler||33.0||4.0||2.0||7.0||7.0||9.0||[12.0]||4.0|
|11||1468||Uncle Roy||Eric Partland||50.0||8.0||3.0||8.0||12.0||[12.0]||9.0||10.0|
|12||1001||Once a Knight||Hamish Urquhart||51.0||15.0C||[15.0C]||13.0F||4.0||8.0||10.0||1.0|
Hartley TS16 Class Association website