Racing on the final day of the Fantasea 2011 F18 Australian Championships, being sailed as part of Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011, commenced at 10.00am on Cleveland Bay.
Jason Waterhouse's Team Wildcat Australasia were the team to beat going into the final day. Coming into the championships after competing in various events on the European circuit, the 19 year old skipper's recent competition experience was clearly showing.
RO Stewart 'Jock' Ross was aiming to complete four races on the final day and right on time, at 10.00am, Race 9 of the Series commenced.
With the wind registering eight to ten knots and in bright sunshine, 21 F18s lined up eager for the start.
Ian Simpson (Cruel & Heartless) claimed the pin. Just up from him sat Katie Spithill (Team Harken), Adam Beattie (Nacra No 1) and Michael Guinea (Nacra NQ) with Grant Rogers (Bent & Twisted) further up the line.
It was a clear start and the fleet headed to the top mark for the first time.
Adam Beattie led them around followed by Warren Guinea (Team Magic Marine), Series leader Jason Waterhouse (Team Wildcat Australasia), Michael Guinea, Dale Mitchell (Ullman Sails), Luke McMullen (Overdrive) and Katie Spithill.
Jason Waterhouse cranked up a notch and was never headed, finishing ahead of Warren Guinea and Rob Lattimore (Gash).
By the start of Race 10 the conditions had built to around 16 knots with increased chop. The Race Committee set the race leg length to 1.2 nautical miles.
Michael Guinea, Adam Beattie, Jason Waterhouse and Leigh McNally (Sneak 'N' Round) were well placed off the line.
Waterhouse took the lead and continued his domination of the championships by taking the win from Michael Guinea and Adam Beattie. Leigh McNally was fourth, then Warren Guinea, Rob Lattimore, Dale Mitchell, James Ogilvie and Luke McMullen. Katie Spithill finished tenth.
After ten races and with the second drop coming into play, it was clear Team Wildcat Australasia had a vice-like grip on the 2011 Australian Championships holding a thirteen point margin over Team Nacra NQ.
By Race 11 of the Series the breeze had increased to around 18 knots.
Waterhouse was six boats up from the pin at the start. Further up the line sat Adam Beattie, Ian Simpson and Dale Mitchell, all well placed.
Adam Beattie got the best start and mid way to the first mark held a good lead over Jason Waterhouse.
The two leaders went left and rounded in an increasingly choppy seaway.
Down the run to the finish Beattie cleared out and was well ahead of Waterhouse. Third placed Dale Mitchell took a sudden swim, a nose dive into a wave ending his chance of a podium finish. Leigh McNally seized his opportunity and came through ahead of James Ogilvie (Durepox Paints), Grant Rogers (Bent & Twisted), Gary Gornall (Goose Marine) and Warren Guinea (Team Magic Marine).
Adam Beattie took the gun from Michael Guinea, Dale Mitchell and Luke McMullen. Jason Waterhouse finished fifth. James Ogilvie, Warren Guinea, Grant Rogers, Gary Gornall and Rob Lattimore completed the top ten.
The battle was on for second place on the podium with just four points separating Michael Beattie and Adam Beattie.
17 starters lined up for Race 12, the final race of the championships.
Grant Rogers was closest to the pin with James Ogilvie and Adam Beattie next. Michael Guinea sat six up from the pin, then Dale Mitchell, Warren Guinea and Gordon Beath (Edge2Edge).
At the gun most of the fleet went right, six F18s went left. Shortly after the start Rogers retired from the race.
At the top mark for the last time Adam Beattie led the fleet with Mick Guinea close behind. Dale Mitchell followed, then Luke McMullen, Warren Guinea, James Ogilvie and Katie Spithill.
Just 15 F18s headed to the finish after Peter Lane (Silver Fox) also retired from the race.
Adam Beattie took the final race from Mick Guinea with Luke McMullen third. Dale Mitchell was next, from James Ogilvie, Rob Lattimore, Katie Spithill, Gary Gornall and Ian Simpson.
Jason Waterhouse (Team Wildcat Australasia) chose not to start the last race having already secured the 2011 Championship title.
The Fantasea 2011 F18 Australian Champions are Team Wildcat Australasia, Jason Waterhouse and Josh McNight.
Michael Guinea (Nacra NQ) held out Adam Beattie (Nacra No 1) for second.
Jason Waterhouse was smiling and commented ‘Overall it was a great series, an absolute glamour.
'We concentrated on making the least number of mistakes. We sailed conservatively on the first two days in the rough conditions, then we arc'ed it up as the breeze dropped.
‘Yesterday particularly, we pushed the boat in case and it was light and shifty today.
‘Adam (Beattie) sailed very well but without much luck, with gear failure costing him two races. We were very even; between us we won all the races but Mick Guinea was keeping us both honest too.'
Michael Guinea was happy with his championship and said simply 'Proud to make it into second place in such good company.
'Also representing the Townsville F18 group, we're proud that we were able to get 12 great Fantasea F18 Australian Championship races away at this great venue.’
RO Stewart 'Jock' Ross was smiling too. 'A good series with good racing. 12 races were completed and we had extremely well behaved crews. Never before have I had a regatta with no general recalls.'
Full results at http://www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/index.cfm?eid=1859
Results are provisional and subject to change.