Line Honours in the sixth annual Heaven Can Wait One Lap Dash on Lake Macquarie NSW was not decided until the last mile of the 28.5 nautical mile race this afternoon.
Nathan Outteridge & Scott Babbage battle side by side for 29 miles during the HCW One Lap Dash Oct. 1st, 2011.
Fifty eight boats started the One Dap Dash, on Australia's largest salt water lake, in a better than expected 8-10 knots, which gusted to 13 knots.
From the startline Mike Green’s Elliott 7 Evergreen with her D4 bright green square top main, provided plenty of power. Michael Babbage’ 505 Alvin Rides Again was fast, so too was Michael Cowan’s Stealth 8 Stealthy. With them was Peter Winter’s Buckle Up, a Boatspeed 23 with an oversized yellow and red 18 footer kite.
The most surprising starts were from 2011 Moth World Champion and One Lap Dash record holder Nathan Outteridge and another of Australia’s top Moth sailors Scott Babbage who were both caught on the wrong side of the line at the gun in the rapidly changing conditions. Both Moths had to sail round the pin boat and then queue behind the large race boats, such as the Radford 52 Lets Go, and some of more 'cruisy' keelboats, heading out from the pin.
But before the first of the big boats had reached Coal Point, Outteridge aboard Mothsquad, had flown to the front of the fleet battling it out with Babbage onboard the fast Gotta Luv It 7 Moth (not the 18 footer of the same name).
By the Wangi Mark it was a cloud of Moths, then two 505’s - Alvin and Jeff Robinson's ASAP.
Behind them was Buckle Up followed by Stealthy, then 470 Australian Squad member and HCW Friday night Dinner speaker Will Ryan, with his younger sister Sara in their 470, ahead of Evergreen. The balance of the fleet was strung out, most back to Coal Point.
At the front of the fleet Outteridge and Babbage swapped the lead 14 times. Outteridge led towards the final turn, the Kooroora mark, just half a mile north of the Toronto finish. But on approach he was a few lengths underlaid and while he tacked, Babbage found a nice puff and his Gotta Luv It 7 swept towards the finish line.
Behind him Outteridge was suddenly low riding in a wind hole. End of game.
Gotta Luv It 7 took the gun ahead of Mothsquad and Josh McKnight’s Flying Hellfish.
Scott Babbage commented ‘Today Nathan was quicker downwind but I seemed to have an edge upwind. From the first corner onwards the lead between us must have changed 15 times.
‘Nathan’s 2 Hour 7 minutes 31 second record was never in danger today. I crossed in 2 hours 45 minutes 54 seconds.’
Outteridge said 'A great sail ... mostly had just enough breeze and from a good angle. Scott sailed a very good race. He is much more current than I in the Moth and deserved the win.'
Slightly embarrassed Outteridge explained his pre-start issue with an assurance its not likely to happen again.
‘Before the start I was trying to get the selection on my iPod sorted, trying to get the play mix right.
‘There was plenty of breeze and I figured I was 20 seconds from the start but the breeze dropped and I got stuck behind a bunch of big boats and so that cost.
‘The forecast for Sunday morning is for much more pressure. If conditions look right I am keen to have a go at the Lap record.’
On handicap the Division 1 winner was Mike Green’s Evergreen from Alyn Ovenden’s Adams Radford 52 Let’s Go, with Paul Sharp’s John Swarbrick design JS30 My Kindy third.
In Division 2 Warwick Nichol’s and Stgeve Bull's Imagine took line honours from Adrian Williams Young 88 Forever Young and Alan Grover’s Bindaroo. On handicap Danny Gresham’s Di’sy took first place ahead of Imagine and Forever Young.
In Division 3 Graeme Vivian’s Viva la Vida won from Jim Gillan Spindrift with Rob Phillips Solar Mist in third place.