NSW State A Class Championship 2011 - The second episode of the Eastern Australian A Class Catamaran Class Championship trilogy was completed over the weekend at the Kurnell Catamaran Club.
by Julian Jenkins
At the end of the six race series, the spoils of victory were shared across three states. Brad Collett, from Queensland, sailing a Scheurer design, prevailed to win the championship, maintaining the overnight lead that he had created after the first day. Second overall was the local Kurnell sailor, Steve Brewin, sailing a DNA. Third place went to Steve Brayshaw from Victoria.
Four different sailors featured as individual race winners.
Despite the smaller fleet of 23 boats, compared to to the 50 competitors attending the Victorian Titles last weekend, the quality remained high,with some of the top Victorian and Queensland boats adding to the NSW ranks.
The conditions were dramatically different from last weekend's Victorian Titles, with winds generally in the 15 to 25 knot range, and frequent rain squalls crossing the course. The first race on each day was characterised by a brief postponement due to a storm cell with winds gusting above 25 knots and heavy rain reducing visibility. Over Saturday night, strong winds toppled several boats (fortunately without damage), and heavy rains caused minor flooding on the roads around the regatta site.
The conditions on Saturday, proved tricky to sail,despite the average wind strength remaining between 15 and 20 knots through out the day,due to significant changes in direction , which resulted in many changes in the lead as different competitors capitalised on the fluctuations.
The day also saw many capsizes ,with support boats busy returning sailors to escaped boats and assisting with righting boats. Several spectators reported spectacular cartwheels as some of the DNA boats nosedived whilst their skippers attempted downwind trapezing .
Sunday's wind was slightly stronger, in the 18 to 23 knot range. The continued gusty conditions, combined with a large chop generated by the outgoing tide meant that several competitors choose not to sail in the final two races. These conditions resulted in more conservative sailing, and surprisingly, fewer capsizes, although David Brewer, who finished second last week in Victoria, dropped his mast in the last race.
Brads Collett's final comment was ' I really enjoyed sailing in strong winds and choppy conditions and showing that my Scheurer is as fast as the DNAs'.
Thank you to the Kurnell Catamaran Club, who , with the assistance of the Georges River Sailing Club, ran a successful regatta in windy and wet conditions.
For several of the competitors, this regatta was the final regatta in their preparation before travelling to Europe for the World A Class Championships, to be held in Aarthus, Denmark, in August.
Many others will go on to compete the final event in the trilogy; the Queensland State Titles to be held at Humpybong, just north of Brisbane, at Easter.
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7:43 PM Sun 20 Mar 2011 GMT
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