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Flying 15 Australian Championships - Fleet stay on their toes

by Susan Thompson on 1 Jan 2013
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If yesterday’s conditions at the Flying 15 Australian Championships were perfect then today's could be described as magic! Racing started early at 11am with a 7-10kt SW breeze which fluctuated in pressure and direction enough to keep the fleet on their toes, or tearing their hair out depending where you were. But it was the wind pressure that made the difference as the fleet split, some heading straight for the shore, while others played the shifts out to sea.

In the first race it was local pair Mark Daly and Chris Schwarz who rounded first with Sue Thompson and Cameron Taylor in Ark close behind. With three windward returns to complete Mark and Chris crept back to mid fleet while WA combination Chris Paterson and Rupert Leslie in (aptly named) 'Storyteller' quickly worked their magic downwind and lead for the rest of the race. However, when there was no victorious hooter for Storyteller, it was Sue and Cam who took out the race as the WA pair were OCS.

Gippsland Lake brothers Craig and Ian Rainy did battle with Queenslanders Ashley Smith and Adam Kingston in the final stretch to the finish to complete the top three. Yesterdays clear winners, Adam Hawkins and Ben Jones, were not as comfortable in the lighter conditions but managed to work their way through to finish fifth just behind OK Dinghy Class stalwart Peter Milne and crew Phil Dubbin. There were plenty of stories of gaining 10 places just to lose them again, but it was Grand Master Bill Shand who made sure he moved up the fleet at the right time and finished 10th.

The second race started with a few more knots but it only lasted for the first lap. A gutsy port start for the Queensland pair of Smith and Kingston saw them at the first mark with Sue and Cam and the battle continued for the whole race. Dale Collings and Glenn Sheen in Aussie Falcon had a better race as did our international visitor David Tabb sailing with Davey’s Bay YC Commodore Scott Lidgett.

A couple of port and starboard incidents, touched marks and busy gate rounding’s kept the mid fleet amused while the Rainy brothers skillfully worked their way through the downwind pack to the finish narrowly beating Sue and Cam who had to settle for third. Aussie Falcon hung on to fourth but it was current champion Matt Owen who looked the most relieved when he crossed in fifth place after being in double digits in the morning.

Full results are available on the Davey’s Bay Yacht Club website.

Two races are scheduled for New Years Day.
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