NSW ACT 9er Championship 2013 - Thrilling finale at Wangi Sailing Club

A Solid 29er Fleet Start On Final Day - Zhik NSW and ACT 9er State Championships
David Price
The Zhik NSW ACT 9ers State Championship 2013 opened the final round of racing with scores tight in all three class categories. At the end of the day, Jim Colley, Haylee Outteridge and Dave Gilmour collected enough points to win their respective classes.

Entering the final day of competition at the inaugural Zhik NSW ACT 9er State Championships, incorporating round two for the 29ers, the scores were very tight amongst the leaders of each of the three classes.

Only four points separated the top three teams in the 29er class after a reshuffle of leaders following their earlier round one held during Sail Sydney in December. And after the first of this two day series for the 49ers and 49erFXs state titles there were only five points separating the top three 49er teams and in the 49erFXs were two leaders on equal points to make it a tense atmosphere in the boat park.

The breeze had dropped out from the preceding day of 12-15 knots to a light six knots, which had the tails of the lighter teams wagging as they sailed out off Wangi Point to start their final set of three races for the 29ers and four races for the 49ers and the 49erFXs.

At 1100hrs the 49er/FX fleet crept off the start line and split equally across the course with yesterday’s leaders AUS 1261 Dave Gilmore and Sam Phillips neatly bearing away at the top mark ahead of their nearest rivals AUS 1142 Peter Kendall and Bryce Waters, AUS 7 Harry Bethwaite and Rhys Mara and AUS 1062 George Davies and Jack Lloyd. The leaders were never headed and went on to win the race.

The FX battle off the start line was a little disjointed with AUS 1 Olivia Price and Caitlin Elks attempting to dip the start line only to receive an ocs after getting caught out returning from a practice run up the course, leaving AUS 4 Haylee Outteridge and Michelle Muller to claim the race with relative ease from AUS 3 Anna Kendall and Tom Koerner.

The start of the 25 boat fleet for the 29ers also had the same light breeze to contend with and it was evident early on that the young light teams were taking full advantage of the opportunity to put some gains on the 29er stalwarts. AUS 1851 Jim Colley and Shaun Connor who had commenced round two as leaders but were one point in arrears beginning the final day, showed their heals in their preferred breeze to win the first race of the day ahead of new teams AUS 2132 Beynon Telford and Murray Jones followed by the rejigged combination of AUS 1929 Charlie Wyatt and Scott Siganto, both pedigree skippers of youth graduated crew members in the 29ers prior to this last round two series.

Throughout the day, the conditions teased the fleets as if a sea breeze would arrive before the expected southerly, only to remain light and it began to produce a bit of a hole in the centre of the course with varying wind strength and direction on the fringes.

The 49ers teams all had mixed results over the four races of the day, but with two bullets on the final day the visiting VIC team AUS 1261 Dave Gilmore and Sam Phillips finished the series in triumph on nine points followed by local NSW team AUS 1142 Peter Kendall and Bryce Waters and another VIC team AUS 1062 George Davies and Jack Lloyd in third place.

In the 49erFX fleet it was a different story with local Wangi skipper AUS 4 Haylee Outteridge and Michelle Muller on eight points dominating the day’s racing with four bullets to cement the title from AUS 1 Olivia Price and Catlin Elks on 13 points followed by AUS 3 Anna Kendall and Tom Koerner.

In the 29ers, the talented young junior team of AUS 1851 Jim Colley and Shaun Connor revelled in their favourite conditions with a set of bullets and a second to ultimately restore their leadership of the two round series’ and win the junior, youth and open divisions in the 29ers, finishing on a healthy 38 points from second place getters AUS 2060 Henry and Grant Makin on 49 points and AUS 2134 George Stent and Daniel Barnett on 60 points taking third place. The best Female Skipper award went to AUS 1696 Nina Long with her crew Nathan Edwards and the best All Female team award went to 29er new-comers Talia Watkinson and Deidre Stewart.

The 9er format of a combined 29er, 49er and 49erFX regatta again worked extremely well and the benefits of the 29er youths being able to be a part of the senior 49er/FX classes’ regattas will pay dividends for many years to come. Also, the emergence of many graduated newbie 29er teams at this series from their respective junior classes such as the Sabots, MJs, Optis and especially the Flying Elevens after their nationals was also extremely beneficial, allowing these sailors to experiment with a new and more senior class enabling them to become familiar with it prior to arriving otherwise cold-turkey into our next 2013-2014 season in September.

The initiative of a three year plan, implemented by the AUS 9er group and supported by our principal partners Zhik to create tangible experience and opportunity for our graduates of the Australian junior training classes through to the exciting 29er youth skiff, and for the 29er youth graduates to be amongst the two Olympic49er/49erFX class fleets at these combined regattas, has now been adopted world-wide. So too has the concept of an open 49erFX class (mixed) been introduced and announced in Europe to facilitate the jump from the ISAF Youth 29er skiff to the powerful 49er or 49erFX skiff, whilst creating fleet volume in the 49erFX class for both female and mixed crews.

After such world record breaking success of our Australian Sailing Team at London 2012, the Aussies are certainly being watched to see what we do that is ‘different to the rest of the world’. It is very pleasing to be a part of the vanguard of change with a fair modicum of success to back us up. Here’s looking at a fresh and prosperous future for our young sailors in this wonderful sport in Australia.

49er FX State Championship 2013 Results [Class ET] up to Race 8 (Drops = 1)

1. AUS4 - H Outteridge (8.0 points)
2. AUS1 - O Price (13.0 points)
3. Yeah Buoy - A Kendell (19.0 points)

49er State Championship Results [Class ET] up to Race 8 (Drops = 1)

1. HMAS Vegemite - D Gilmour (9.0 points)
2. Like a Boss - P Kendell (15.0 points)
3. Wilverine - G Davies (19.0 points)
4 Frank - H Bethwaite (22.0 points)

Series Results Top-10 [Class ET] for 29er up to Race 12 (Drops = 2)

1. Objective -J Colley and S Connor (38.0 points)
2. And Then - H Makin and G Makin (49.0 points)
3. Vendetta - G Stent and D Barnett (60.0 points)
4. Nitro - N Long and N Edwards (64.0 points)
5. Crunchie - H Price and A Williams (65.0 points)
6. TBA - F Grech and C Gundy (70.0 points)
7. Sir Lunch A Lot - J Buchan and B Robinson (72.0 points)
8. Seriously Guided - J Turner and F Hagan (78.5 points)
9 Gnarly - B Smith and C Hamilton (97.5 points)
10 AUS1941 - M Koerner and N Judges (101.0 points)

Australian 29ers
Australian 49ers