by Mark Willson
Open Fleet shortly after the start - Manly Junior Nationals 2008
On Monday 7th of January the sixth heat of the Manly Junior National Championships were held in a moderate 10 to 15 knots South East breeze. After the light wind and large swell of Sunday the competitors were greeted with slightly less challenging sailing conditions but with the close competition the challenge of being up the front of the fleet was no less intense.
In the Open Fleet before the beginning the day the top three boats were separated by nine points, but by the end of the race these same boats were separated by only two points!
In catch up mode the chasing boats did exactly what they needed to do....close the points gap. But it did not all go to plan as a fast finishing Seaya - Harvey Bates and Henry Coleman of CSC utilised the relative freedom provided by the leaders (who were focused on covering one another) to grab a well deserved win. A disappointed Another Dark & Stormy - Billy Ditmarsch and Sam Holmes of M16ft SSC, who had been in the lead on the last leg and covering close points competitor Too Hot to Hoot - Robert Wojck & Grace Triglone also of M16ft SSC, finished second and third respectively in a tight finish.
The points leader since early in the regatta Spiked - Paul Darmanin and Lucy Copeland, recovered well after a slow start to finish fourth.
After six races completed and one race to sail it seems that the championships has come down to a three 'Manly' boat race for overall honours.
Points with a drop for the first five boats are:
BOAT 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points
Spiked - 2 1 2 4 2 4 11
Another Dark & S. - 3 5 3 2 3 3 12
Too Hot to Hoot - 1 6 11 1 1 2 13
Seaya - 8 4 6 3 7 1 21
Full Throttle - 7 3 4 7 9 12 30
In the Novice Fleet Scratch Result Two Chances - Ben Bannon and Kate MacDonald of CSC made it a double for Cronulla SC with a start to finish win. In second place was I Dunno - Jessica Angus and Isabelle Rufatt of Avalon SC and in third Panda - Hannah Lanz and Clare Costanzo also of ASC.
On handicap in the Novice Fleet the results after six races are:
BOAT 1 2 3 4 5 6 Points
Bahari - 5 1 5 13 3 4 18
Children Overb'd - 1 8 2 7 16 6 24
More Fear - 3 11 7.5 4 10 5 29.5
I Dunno - 10 3 6 8 11 3 30
G Brothers - 8 13 3 3 6 12 32
After five days of great sailing it all comes down to the last race to determine the overall winner of the Open Fleet. Who has the talent, the maturity and maybe a little bit of luck to win........ time will tell!