The 2010-2011 Manly Junior National Titles were hosted by Cronulla Sailing Club and were contested at the picturesque Bate Bay courses in the mouth of Port Hacking south of Sydney. The viewing area which allows spectators to watch all of the racing was packed each day. An invitation race and 10 championship races were completed in a five day series, with fantastic sailing weather that tested sailors in all wind strengths.
Monday 27th December saw an 18 knot southerly. The waterway is sheltered from the south and the sailors enjoyed flat water with a strong but shifting breeze which challenged tactics but also offered some enjoyable kite rides for both the invitation and first heat of the titles. Jim and Tom Colley of Avalon set the tone for the titles by winning the first race by two minutes from Shaun Connor and Will Divola of Manly 16ft SSC.
Day two had softer easterly breezes that were shifting and challenging. Winners of heat two were Daniel Nugent and Angus Metcalfe from Manly 16ft SSC. The novice division was headed by James Doyle and Monty Malouf also of Manly 16ftSSC. Heat three was sailed beautifully by Shaun Connor and Will Divola of Manly 16ft SSC who reclaimed their earlier lead to take the bullet.
Day three offered sailors a 15 - 22 kt north east breeze. The course was set at the eastern end of Port Hacking which is open to the sea, so the strong breeze with large chop over small waves provided spectacular kite rides, with some of the leading boats achieving some stunning speeds ! Very heartening was the performance of the novice class that handled the challenging conditions with considerable skill. Heat four was the race of the series with the lead changing six times. It was finally won by Jim and Tom Colley of Avalon by just 5 second from Shaun Connor and Will Divola of Manly 16ft SSC. Heat five had the same result with a margin of 26 seconds.
Day four had light southerly winds. The water was very flat but the breezes were shifting through 20 degrees and gradually fading. Racing was very tactical. The third race of the day was started but abandoned shortly after as wind almost disappeared. Heats six and seven were won by Jim and Tom Colley of Avalon.
Day five had fresh north-east winds with the course set further west into Port Hacking with reduced the chop. It was an absolutely perfect day for sailing and 3 heats were completed. Jim and Tom Colley were dominant in the final heats and with two drops over the series had a perfect score sheet. second overall were Shaun Connor and Will Divola of Manly 16ft SSC followed by Daniel Nugent and Angus Metcalfe also from Manly 16ft SSC. Leading novice boat was Doyle and Monty Malouf from Manly 16ftSSC. Importantly the sailing was close during the whole regatta with constant lead changes really pushing the Colley boys. Ultimately Jim and Tom’s skill and teamwork in a boat, which would be the envied by sailors of any age, was the reason for their dominating success..
Cronulla Sailing Club broke with tradition to sail an afternoon only regatta which proved successful. The back to back races on slightly shorter courses kept the racing very tight and allowed the novice fleet to stay in touch with the main fleet. The drinks and lollies station just behind the start boat was very popular and the camaraderie between sailors during the event was outstanding. Cronulla are to be congratulated for running a professional and successful event.
Full results available from the Manly Junior Sailing Association website