by Harry Fisher
The Sharpie National Championship 2013 experienced a moderate sailing condition on Thursday, though it proved just enough for Sharpie veteran Vern Tidy in 'Blatantly Obvious' with Alan Tidy and Matt Jenkins to take race six while Chris Went in 'AREA Construction' with Tom Manhood and Karl Olsen ended up in second place.
Jason Heritage in "Bread Run" with James Davis and James Hughes - 70th Australian Sharpie Nationals
A 40 degree day was forecasted for race six on the third of January and upon arrival a 10 knot northerly was blowing down the gulf.
Many sailors thought that the breeze would try to swing south-west and die out in the process but it managed to swing around and a moderate sea breeze that oscilated between south and west at a strength of 5-10 knots was consistent all day.
We were also greeted by some visitors from Channel 7. Local television journalist Tim Noonan and his crew came down to see what all the fuss was about, interviewing some sailors and getting some great footage of the racing.
With such a hot day and the breeze changing a lot in strength and direction early on, there was a rather large lack of enthusiasm to start the day.
But all it took to get the race started was a few keen sailors pulling their boats down on the beach and before we knew it the fleet was on the water and enough wind was around for Principal Race Officer Tony Gold to put a race on.
West Australian Sharpie veteran Vern Tidy in 'Blatantly Obvious' with Alan Tidy and Matt Jenkins showed his experience in the moderate conditions taking the heat win by a considerable margin. Tidy led the race all day long and by the first windward mark he had it in the bag.
Chris Went in 'AREA Construction' with Tom Manhood and Karl Olsen has had an outstanding regatta thus far, and continued his excellent form from the last few days in to Race 6, taking a well deserved second place.
Robbie Deussen in 'Rage Factor' with Tim Ross and Andy Dyer remain in second place overall after sailing consistently in Race 6, finishing in third place.
Tonight, the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht club will host the traditional Chug-A-Lug beer sculling championship for the Sharpie Class and consequently, Friday the fourth of January will be a lay day.
The final Race of the regatta (Race Seven) is scheduled for Saturday the fifth and it should come down to the wire with many top sailors fighting for the prestigious honour of winning the Australian Sharpie National Championship.
Sharpie Nationals 2013