by Andrew York
The opening day of the inaugural Magic Marine VX One National Championships brought 20 knots out of the south. The normally placid Lake Macquarie had a few waves courtesy of the eight nautical mile fetch to the southern end of the lake.
Wow Factor, The Beast and Weapon of Choice - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One National Championships
With eight Australian boats and Phil Quinn bringing his VX One over from New Zealand the crews keen to get on the water and have a blast! Up the first beat of Race 1 the fleet was tightly packed but Alan Moffat in Wow Factor had worked the shifts well to take a lead at the top mark. He flew down the run and held it together for another beat and run to beat the fast finishing Tachyon helmed by Andrew York. Some crews had a couple of issues having not sailed in that much breeze. Phil Quinn took advantage of this to bring his boat Sonic into third place.
The breeze increased for the second race with Yorky and Alan up the pointy end again. Alan damaged his jib up the second beat which allowed Yorky to take the race comfortably. Michael James’ The Beast with Peter Conde on the helm took advantage of Alan’s problems and took second just in front of Al.
Apart from winning the first race ever a the VX One Nationals Alan was stoked that he had recorded 23.9 knots on his Velocitek. This is only 0.2 knots off the recorded speed record for a VX One.
Day two saw a 12 to 15knot easterly and some welcome sunshine on the course. Yorky took Race 3 from Phil Tomkins in Rock Hard who had a blinder. Scott Lawson was third in Numero Uno with his son Harry and Harry’s 29er crew Connor up forward.
The breeze was a bit patchier in Race 4 which suited Michael and Peter in The Beast. They had great speed downwind and cruised to a good win from Yorky and Phil Tomkins. Scott and his crew showed that they also had some legs in the lighter air downwind in Race 5 to take win from Michael and Yorky.
Michael and Scott battled it out again in Race 6 with MJ taking the honours with Yorky bringing up third again.
Yorky took a two point lead over Michael and Peter into the final day with a bit of a break to the rest. The brought similar conditions to the day before with a bit of south in the easterly breeze. The Kiwis with Phil Quinn steering flew out of the blocks and went right to establish a good lead by the top mark. Michael and Yorky closed the gap on the first run and on the second Yorky took the lead. Within 100 metres of the finish Michael and Peter found a big gust which they rode down to be right on top of Yorky. With a final gybe to the line they were able to slip inside to take the win by one second.
Michael was now only one point behind going into the last race. The weather conditions would dictate who would be the national champion. If the breeze backed off it would favour Michael with good light air downwind speed. If the breeze increased it would favour Yorky who was going quick upwind.
The breeze increased to 15 to 17 knots for the final race and was more consistent downwind. The Kiwis mojo was back and Phil Quinn again had a good lead at the top mark.
Yorky and Michael closed on Sonic downwind and Yorky took the lead up the second beat while keeping a cover on Michael. With good pressure down the run Yorky’s lead was safe and he took out the race and the regatta. Phil Quinn sailed to the port tack layline and led Michael home from there.
A great feature of this regatta was that Brian Bennett the designer of the VX One ran briefing sessions each morning to help the fleet with their rig tune and technique. Brian who has been in Australia with his wife Rachel for a couple of months also took many pictures and gave more helpful tips to the fleet on the water. The top competitors also shared information freely to help those new to the class which added to the enjoyment and atmosphere of the regatta.
Lake Macquarie Yacht Club put on a great regatta with PRO Russell Cummins setting good courses in the shifty conditions and getting all of the boats off the line cleanly. The class would also like to thank Mark and Susie Long and Dale Sharp for all the work they did on the water.
Start - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Sonic crossing Tachyon - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Sonic - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Wow Factor reaching between the two top marks - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Wow Factor sailing upwind - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Race 7 duel with The Beast and Tachyon - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships
Results - Magic Marine 2014 Australian VX One Championships