Slam Dunk wins Elliott 5.9 National Championships at Marsden Cove
by Cameron Horne and Simon Manning on 13 Mar 2012
Cam Horne with Brett Elliott and Nick Bastow of Slam Dunk have again comfortably won the 2012 Elliott 5.9 National Championships. Sailed from Marsden Cove March 8-11th and run by the Onerahi Yacht Club, a great event was put on for nine boats in this highly competitive fleet.
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'It was an awesome event, a lot of fun and tight racing as usual,' Cam said. 'The event was just so well run.'
Despite trying conditions, Race Officer Paddy Simms managed to pull off a full series of twelve races. The regatta was kicked off on Friday with 16-22 kn of breeze and big rolling swell while racing in Bream Bay. Saturday was expected to be worse, so racing was held inside Whangarei Harbour near Parua Bay. The final races on Sunday were sailed in more gentle conditions back out in Bream Bay with flatter water, so the regatta saw all sorts of conditions.
'In this fleet you have to be able to handle all conditions' Cam continued. 'We just focused on staying clean on the race course and getting a good start'
Slam Dunk (RAYC + RNZYS) was a convincing winner with an assured performance. Rarely in trouble and never for long, Cam and his crew were able to recover from some mid fleet positions and never once finished a race outside the top three.
Meanwhile, several other contenders were scrapping out the top few placings but not quite achieving the same consistency.
Craig Coulam and his Flying 15 crew of Mark Puddick and Ben Howe (RAYC) made a real impact in the class, deservedly finishing just behind Slam Dunk in second place overall. Sailing in a proven performer (Vodoo, last year’s national champion boat) but with a crew unfamiliar to the class, Craig, Mark and Ben were a top quality addition to the fleet.
Only one point behind Craig and his crew on Vodoo were defending champions Simon Manning, Andy Robertson and Phil Quinn (RAYC) sailing on board Blurr. Unfortunately, they suffered some ripped sails and gear problems from day one.
'We had an erratic series by our standards' Simon said. 'Things improved as the series wore on. We never really captured that form that won us the North Island Champs and 2011 Traveller series'.
Gillian Williams sailed Brzo with Andrew Cooke and Nathan WIlliams to achieve fourth overall, just five points in front of the first local boat, Hobo the Butcher (Onerahi YC) sailed by Rob Ward, Bruce Yovich and 'Jenksie'.
Zoot Allures made a miraculous recovery from a collision with Ice Breaker on day two which put a massive hole in their starboard bow. Luckily a crew member was a builder and using his ‘Kiwi Ingenuity’ he was able to patch up with plywood for the boat to be sailable on the final day of racing.
1. Slam Dunk- Cam Horne- 17pts
2. Voodoo- Craig Coulam- 26pts
3. The Blurr- Simon Manning- 27pts
4. Brzo- Gillian Williams- 37pts
5. Zoot Allures- Dave Cochran- 40pts
6. Hobo the Butcher- Robin Ward- 42pts
7. Frivolous Fish- David Krebs- 72pts
8. Ice Breaker- Martin Clark- 77pts
9. Animal Crackers- Leo McCullough- 81pts
The New Zealand Elliott 5.9 racing scene is strong and showing resurgence, with regular racing in the main centres of the North Island on weeknights in summer, as well as the highly popular Travelers Series.
These regattas attract fleets of over twenty boats, and the first one of 2012 will be hosted by Opua Cruising Club in May. The racing format for these events and nationals is windward leewards. They attract top sailors and the racing is hotly contested. Off the water the Class Association is well organized, socially active, and very helpful to new members.
The Elliott 5.9 was designed by Greg Elliott and was first released in 1983. Conceived as a club trainer come match racer, the Elliott 5.9 boasts an efficient single spreader fractional rig, well balanced sail plan, practical deck layout and a performance hull that offers the response and manoeuvrability required for match racing.
A syndicate may consist of yourself with two of your mates - no rail meat - everyone has a job. Boats available from approx $NZD 8,000 upwards. Why not spend five weekends away with the North Island Traveller Series??
Read more about the 5.9’s here www.facebook.com/elliott5.9
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