The Spiral Nationals 2013 was held at Canberra Yacht Club on Lake Burley Griffin, from the 26th to the 28th of January. Chris Eddes, a product of the Canberra Yacht Club youth program, and recent winner of the MG14 National Championships, successfully retained his title in the light weather series.
The start of race five - competitors had to keep their momentum - 2013 Spiral National Championships
Chris Eddes on his home waters of Lake Burley Griffin - 2013 Spiral National Championships
The wind across the series was certainly challenging, resulting in tough conditions for the race committee, who somehow managed to put six races on the scoreboard for the 46 boat fleet.
In an almost replica of the 2012 regatta, Canberra representatives, Nicole Douglass and defending champion Chris Eddes were the pace setters for the first race in a light to moderate easterly. Nic led around every mark of the triangular course, as they gapped the fleet taking one, two for the Canberra Yacht Club in the first and only race for day one.
Day two proved to be an up and down day for every boat in the fleet. Three short windward-leeward races were sailed up past Spinnaker Island right underneath Black Mountain in the morning, in an exceptionally light northerly. This resulted in a snakes and ladders type day as the puffs hit the water from above. Alan Davidson won the first race of the day, before finishing in the twenties in the next two.
It was a tough, but not rough series for all involved - 2013 Spiral National Championships
Those watching from Black Mountain were able to view the bottom mark roundings, which were entertaining. There were often more than ten boats wide on the mark, followed up with a continuing obstruction of a smaller island immediately on rounding. Jonathan Talbot emerged as the master of the tricky track, finishing with an impressive two, one, one after a 10 in race one.
The fleet were sent in for a break, before heading out again for race five. For the afternoon session, the racing was held just off the club in the West Basin. The weak northerly gradient was now fighting with a potential easterly sea breeze, which resulted in periods of glass for the racers. Chris Loring and Chris Eddes pushed each other to take the one, two in race five. To make the results interesting, Jonathan Talbot who was leading at lunch time had some bad luck catch up with him, sliding back to nineteenth.
There was always a battle, regardless of where you were in the fleet - 2013 Spiral National Championships
The win in race four meant that Chris Loring, led from Jonathan Talbot and Chris Eddes, who were tied for second going into the final day of racing, three points behind. With the scores tight, and with all dropping a considerable score, no one could afford to make a mistake.
Racing was delayed for some time on the final day, as the southerly that was due to offer some relief for competitors (and organisers) came through earlier than predicted, the night before. Competitors waited for a small easterly to develop before heading out to race. A small triangular course was set in the West Basin, with the start off the club, and the top mark in between the Museum and Lennox Gardens. Half way through the race, Nicole Douglass again led from Chris Eddes. Nic had a handy lead coming into the final mark, only to be left with no breeze on rounding. Chris sailed around in new breeze to take the win with Nic Douglass finishing in second and fellow local Steve Leicester finishing in third.
Nic Douglass leads from Chris Eddes in the first race of the series - 2013 Spiral National Championships
With a cut off time of 2pm, by the time the first bunch had finished it was clear there would be no more racing of the day. Six races were completed for the series out of a possible seven.
Chris Eddes of Canberra, and Chris Loring of Concord Ryde, in repeat of last year took first and second, with Steve Leicester also of Canberra in third. Jonathan Talbot and Michael Nash both of Concord Ryde rounded out the top five.
Chris Eddes was proud of his defence of the Spiral National Championship on his home waters. 'I spent a lot of my youth learning to sail on the Lake in a Spiral. It was fantastic to defend my nationals, made even more special because it was here at the Canberra Yacht Club', said Chris. 'The conditions were not ideal, but we all had to deal with the ups and downs and I am happy I managed to finish on the up’.
Chris Eddes spent his youth developing his sailing in the Spiral class with the Youth Racing Squad in Canberra, and no doubt his success is thanks to the support of the Canberra Yacht Club and the CYC High Performance Coach, Craig Davidson.
It was a tough bottom mark rounding for races two to four - 2013 Spiral National Championships
Nicole Douglass, secured seventh overall after the last race, winning the Ladies division, and Shane Conly finished in twelfth overall to take the Junior division. Other divisional winners included Steve Leicester in the Masters, Michael Nash in the Grand Masters and Bill Jauncey in the Great Grand Masters. Chris Eddes also won the Senior division, and the inaugural Alan Warwick trophy, a new overall trophy for qualified as well as visiting competitors.
The race wins were shared amongst five sailors, with the first lady Nic Douglass taking the first race, and Alan Davidson taking the second. Jonathan Talbot who came fourth overall was the only multiple race winner, Chris Loring who finished second claimed one bullet, and Chris Eddes won the final race to secure the championship.
Canberra Yacht Club as always conducted a very professional regatta with a large team of volunteers to look after the sailors both on and off the water. With plenty of grassy rigging areas, easy launching, views for spectators from many vantage points and even a hornet and F1-11 aeronautical display, it was definitely a great place to spend the Australia Day long weekend.
Tight racing in race six, the decider for the championship - 2013 Spiral National Championships
Thanks to the Canberra Yacht Club for their efforts as fantastic hosts, and the Spiral Association for their behind-the-scenes efforts to put on yet another great regatta.
The next Spiral Nationals will be sailed over the Australia Day long weekend in 2014 on Wallace Lake near Forster.
Top Five finishers of the Spiral Nationals 2013 (Final Result after six races)
1.)Chris Eddes – Rogue Racer (15 points)
2.)Chris Loring – Rapid Pulse (18 points)
3.)Steve Leicester - Smelly Griffin (20 points)
4.)Jonathan Talbot - Public Anemone (23 points)
5.)Michael Nash – Slam (28 points)
Spiral Nationals 2013