55th Pelican State Championships were held from 6th to 11th January 2013. This past week a very successful and well run state championships was hosted by East Fremantle Yacht Club (EFYC) where 33 boats participated in highly varying winds and at times searing race conditions for the first few days testing every ones resolve.
Postponed, delayed and races barely sailable at times were the order of the day at different times.
EFYC boats performed admirably throughout , with local favourite Adam Brenz-Verca and Lochy Medd in Rampage blitzing the field early in the invitation race and just hanging on to take first in very light winds from Uno and No Fear.
Race one again went to Rampage in the same light conditions, race two went to No Fear and then Rampage tore the field apart in strong winds in races three and four and started looking nearly unbeatable overall going in to the lay day on Tuesday night.
Jaz Arnott and Ted Woo in Second Chance were also sailing consistently well to stay within the top four and after a shaky start Evie Younge and Lilly Phillips in Uno were starting to show promise also.
Tabitha Woo and James Adams in Combat were sailing on to finish most races helping keep Team EFYC at the top while other EFYC sailors Kadin Anketell -Walker and Barney Woo in Ragamuffin and Chloe Back and Alice Gallen in Pelicious were holding up well also.
Following the lay day on Thursday morning disaster struck Adam and Lochy in Rampage when their front tank sprung several leaks causing them to have a slow race in the morning followed by a did not finish race in the afternoon after leading and looking winners again, thus denting their good overall standing severely and it was not looking good for them.
Jaz and Ted in Second Chance continued to do well and Evie and Lilly in Uno also were starting to get good races under their belt after pulling the venturi out of the bottom of their boat and having to carry out urgent repairs using sail tape with coach Kevin Robson’s help to get back sailing. Tabitha and James in Combat continued finishing every race and Chloe and Alice in Pelilcious were slowly getting better every race.
Urgent repairs were carried out on Rampage on Thursday afternoon, thanks to the huge efforts of the always helpful and ever loyal and supportive EFYC sailor Alex Thomson who is always available to help and support all the East Freo kids and also the help and support from local race official gentleman George Finch .
Very poor wind conditions returned on Friday morning in winds that shifted 180 degrees in the first race that perhaps could have been abandoned.
Nearly half the fleet failed to finish on time, however several visiting boats, Got Wind from Geraldton and Southern Star V from Esperance got lucky breaks and pulled off good top finishes to move up to take the overall lead from the luckless Rampage.
By the time the final race started the sea breeze kicked back in and Adam and Lochy in Rampage got back into top sailing form to come away with a very strong fighting win to get back into contention for the championship.
Chloe and Alice in Pelilicious showed their best form for a great finish and Tabitha and James in Combat continued their dogged performances to keep finishing, as did Kadin and Barney in Ragamuffin.
Alas for EFYC it was not to be for Rampage who was pipped for the championship by one point by Esperance boat Southern Star V , who despite not winning a race all week had sailed well all week then finished off with two seconds in Fridays races to move to the lead. This again goes to show that sailing regattas are often determined by a combination of consistent sailing, a bit of luck and avoiding boat or equipment damage.
Very well done to young skipper Ben Drabik and crew Matt Cull who were very deserving and humble in victory and Ben also was awarded best overall skipper. A great credit to the Esperance families involved.
Overall top three positions were:
Southern Star V (Esperance) first,
By one point over Rampage (East Freo) second,
By one point over Got Wind (Geraldton) close all around in a very tight finish.
First on consistency also went to Esperance to Chet Stewart and Samantha Ryan-Galloway in Mr Percival, who were also simply terrific kids and well deserving of the award.
Adam Brenz-Verca on Rampage was awarded best helmsperson 12 years of age or under for a magnificently sailed regatta who with just a bit of luck could have easily taken this out for EFYC, and Felix Browning on No Fear from South Perth was awarded best first year skipper.
Other EFYC boat final positions were: Second Chance sixth, Uno 11th, Ragamuffin 15th, Combat 19th, Pelicious 26th, Firesong 27th , Hornet 31st.
Special effort also to Barney Woo, crew in Ragamuffin, who took over as skipper in one race and performed admirably when regular skipper Kadin had to sadly attend his grandfather’s funeral on Thursday .
For the first time in many years, East Fremantle won the team championship points thanks to the four race wins by Rampage, the consistently good sailing by Jaz in Second Chance , and solid performances to keep finishing races by Combat, Ragamuffin and Uno… Congratulations on a top effort to all involved.
Special mention also to coach Kevin Robson, who set a main goal to get all EFYC sailors up to speed to achieve top team placing… a truly fantastic coaching performance from a very humble and clearly smart sailor who always put the kids development first and foremost and never for a moment took the focus or limelight off the kids.
Kevin always making himself available on or off the water to all of the East Fremantle sailors who wanted his input. It was a goal well and truly accomplished.
by Vanessa Cornwall
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1:58 PM Thu 17 Jan 2013GMT
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