by Kylie Wilson
A perfect day out on the Swan River for day one of the Western Australian Etchells State Championship – the wind, the light, the sunset – it can’t get any better.
A Perth sunset. Race 5 of the WA States.
Stronger easterly breeze in the morning saw Doug Kerr, AUS1022 'Screaming Plum', predominate with a consistent 1, 2, 2, for the morning session, and when the breeze backed off in the afternoon, Michael Manford’s (AUS1356, 'The Croc') tactical skills, which saw him win the Australian National Championship, shone through to bring home two wins in race four and five. Also in the mix with two wins is Peter Chappell, AUS1382.
It could have been a different story however, if Doug hadn’t completed an unnecessary penalty turn in race five – they thought they were OCS, but weren’t. 'We’ve been very quick off the line today… and had a great start in the fifth race', said Doug, reflecting on the day. 'It was champagne sailing, and the boys, Greg and Luke, were on fire.' In their two second places, they were comfortable to defend, covering the fleet most of the race. With a drop now in after five races, Doug is leading the regatta.
A few edgy sailors in the morning resulted in two general recalls, and subsequent black flag starts, seeing five boats in all, black flag disqualified.
This afternoon proved less edgy, with no general recalls, and some very pleasant sunset sailing in Perth’s beautiful light.
With two more races scheduled for the morning, and only a few points separating the top five, we could have some completion on tomorrow!