Port Phillip provides the usual excitement for Etchells
by John Curnow on 13 Mar 2011
Day two of the 2011 Etchells Victorian State Championships certainly started in interesting conditions, but they were nothing like the ones that finished the day.
All action at the top mark. - 2011 Etchells Victorian State Championships Alexandra McKinnon - copyright
Just the one race was completed today and even that took three goes to get underway. It started at 340 degrees in breezes of 6 to 13 knots and those pressure variations were the telling feature of the race. ‘After the first work, we moved the bottom gate to account for the change to 320 degrees and then re-adjusted the top mark to get it back out to 1.7nm’, said Simon Dryden, who is the Principal Race Officer from the host club, Royal Brighton.
‘Whilst the direction remained pretty true for the remainder of the race, the pressure variations allowed for significant losses and gains, with vigilant crews certainly making the most of it’, Dryden went on to add.
Honours ultimately went to Michael Hiatt, Matthew Johns and Ben Lamb in Extra Bad Doll. Jack’s Hut (Noel Drennan) got second place over Graeme Taylor’s Magpie in third. John Bertrand, Will McCarthy and Jake Newman posted a fourth, with David Clark’s, Fifteen, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, taking fifth on the day.
Mal Blom’s, On A Mission, were twelfth overall, but it was enough to give them the Grand Master’s win for the day. In second and third places respectively, were That’s Life and yesterday’s star boat, Bananas In Pyjamas.
Extra Bad Doll’s win on the day gave Michael Hiatt first place for the Masters, with second going to Noel Drennan, Peter Merrington and Ben Morrison-Jack on Jack’s Hut. John Bertrand’s Triad took third.
Whilst trying to set a course for the second race of the day, Dryden commented that ‘There was a nasty cell approaching that looked like it had a fierce initial bite, so we moved the fleet in behind the breakwater. 30knots arrived from the Sou’souwest thereafter, with spikes to 35knots and further study of the information showed that a large volume of water was also going to be part of the equation. We chose to put the crews ashore before it arrived, which definitely proved to be not only prudent, but popular.’
As a result of this, racing has been moved forward to 1000hrs on Monday, the final day, to allow for three races to be run. After the three races so far, Jack’s Hut have been the most consistent and the hold the lead for now. In second place overall is Magpie from the Mornington Yacht Club and yesterday’s leader, Bananas In Pyjamas is in third. Given all of that, it remains tight in the top ten and certainly in the top five, however, with just 11 points separating them. They need to get all six races in before there can be a drop, as well.
In the Grand Masters, BiP leads over That’s Life and On A Mission and in the Masters, Jack’s Hut leads from Extra Bad Doll and Triad. Both categories are very close, indeed.
Southerly freezes ranging from 10 to 20 knots are forecast for the course area, which should see crews needing all their strength. At this time, waves are not forecast to be a critical factor.
More information available at www.rbyc.org.au