Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship on Lake Macquarie, NSW.
Another balmy morning enveloped the boat park for the start of the Gill® 2011 Australian Flying 11 National Championship on Lake Macquarie, the one hundred and three crews all there early to set their boats up for the first race and warning signal at 1100hours.
All the remaining measurement tasks were completed and coaches were running through any potential dramas on all boats whether their charges or not in preparation for the first battle. Last calls for the FX Party on Tuesday night at the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club were made and all that was need was some form of a breeze, noticeably absent and causing some angst amongst the F11 community at large.
The Where’s Wally hat was hoisted at 1100hrs and an impromptu briefing tidied up some loose ends the committee had in their craw from the previous day which allowed the breeze to fill in from the south eventually for a call to arms by noon.
Anyone who spotted the 10deg boat advantage prior to the start suffered intense heartache, many of the F11 heavyweights getting nailed by the late shift and having to plough through the fleet to reassert their rightful positions.
By the wing mark, 1263 Oscar had extended their lead to 30secs ahead of 1290 Living The Life with 1386 Wet Willy and 1276 Predator biting each other 20secs astern and 1361 Do Geese See God a further 10secs behind snapping at their heals.
1263 Oscar were on fire in the light breeze and rounding the leeward mark were a healthy 1min ahead of the pack. The positions of the other leading crews had remained fairly similar at this point in the race but the breeze was building a little as it continued to settled toward the nor-east.
Rounding the top mark for the square run saw 1263 Oscar over a minute ahead of 1290 Living The Life who were just 5secs ahead of 1361 Do Geese See God closely followed by 1276 Predator.
START RACE 1 - Gill® 2011 Australian Flying Eleven National Championship - David Price
1263 maintained their strong lead by the top mark rounding for the last time 45secs ahead with 1276 Predator and 1361 Do Geese See God in a tight battle together and another minute passing before 1386 Wet Willy and 1290 Living The Life turned for the wing in another close stoush.
The leading positions changed from here in dramatic style and 1361 Do Geese See God usurped the first race a comfortable 32sec ahead of 1276 Predator pinching second place from 1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield only 2secs apart in third place.
Race 2 ran back to back and again a second start with the I flag was required to get the race effectively underway in a still unsettled 12-14kts from the east-nor-east at 1534hrs.
Only one boat over the line left the crews to drag race out of the line, clean air as always the most prized possession.
1352 Boris pounced upon the top mark first with 1290 Living The Life 7secs behind and 1395 Omniscient Ira and Matt Dubery M16SSC, 1368 Solid Bryce Tamsett and Beynon Telford B16SSC and 1365 Whatever Angus Williams and Jesse Lilley M16SSC grouped together only a few boat lengths in arrears.
Ideal reaching conditions of 14kts produced big smiles whilst they sped away in a massive multi-coloured display of spinnakers and by the leeward mark, 1352 Boris had a big lead over the remainder of the fleet who were still tightly grouped almost a whole minute back up the second reach. 1290 Living The Life, 1368 Solid and 1362 Guccii Harry Price and Simon Boardman M16SSC all rounded next in succession.
The leader 1352 Boris still maintained their lead at the top of the course for the second time in a softening breeze, their lead reduced a little now to 40secs ahead of 1290 Living The Life, 1373 Hammer Time Jack Buchan and Tom Grimes B16SC, 1362 Guccii and 1365 Whatever.
The breeze weakened considerably during the square run ahead of an expect southerly climbing its way up the coastline so the RO popped the S flag to indicate a shortened course with a finish at the top mark.
At 1646hrs 1352 Boris continued their dominance over race 2 to cross the line in first place 1min3sec ahead of 1290 Living The Life second, 1368 Solid third, 1362 Guccii fourth and 1361 Do Geese See God over in fifth place.
A handful of protests were held after the race with all upheld and the proceedings closed for a well earned rest ahead of the third day of the regatta with more fun than you can poke a stick at! The leaders after day one are:
1st Scratch 1352 Boris Felix Grech and Adam Bloomfield M16SSC
1st Junior 1374 Fired Up Madeleine Clancy and Chelsea Connor M16SSC
1st All-Girl 1391 Bolt Nicola Forbes-Smith and Alicia Watt ASC
Full Results at Flying 11 website click here
WINNERS RACE 1 - 1361 DO GEESE SEE GOD - Gill® 2011 Australian Flying Eleven National Championship - David Price
JUNIOR LEADERS AFTER DAY 1 - 1374 FIRED UP - Gill® 2011 Australian Flying Eleven National Championship - David Price
ALL-GIRL LEADERS AFTER DAY 1 - 1391 BOLT - Gill® 2011 Australian Flying Eleven National Championship - David Price