by Matthew Johnson
The forecast for the AIADCA Qld 2011 titles over the Easter long weekend was mixed with conditions predicted to start very light and build over the three days to well over 20 knots. The competitors also included sailors from NSW and Victoria as well as the regulars from throughout Queensland.
Race 1 began in a light Easterly breeze and got things off to a good start. Brad Collett lead to the top mark on lap one but was chased down relentlessly by Brian Hooper, Steve Brewin and Dave Loutit. The fist leeward gate then proved decisive with Brewin pushing Collett away from the gate and taking the mark clear ahead. The next lap saw Brewin leading David Merrett to the bottom gate with Collett hot on his stern. The finish saw Brewin maintain the lead to the end with Collett in second and Merrett in third.
Race 2 was in conditions similar to the first and after a general recall the second attempt lead to a clean start with Brewin and Collett leading the fleet out at the pin end. Collett lead Brewin to the top mark followed by Loutit, Hooper and Russ McDonald. This time Collett maintained his lead through most of the second lap with Brewin just catching him at the second gate. The finish saw Brewin hold on to first, followed by Loutit and Collett.
The forecast in creased winds failed to eventuate on the morning of the second day and conditions went gone to glass. Race 3 was started in a very light south-easterly but shortly after the start the wind vanished and most of the fleet failed to make it to the top mark in under 30 minutes. The race was abandoned at the second mark much to the disappointment of Lou Zylstra who had managed to drift first around the top mark.
As the weather filled in later in the day, the abandoned race 3 from the morning was successfully re-sailed. Collett and Cahill lead the fleet from the start with Collett holding Loutit, Cahill and Brewin out at the top mark. Cahill then clawed back the lead on the next roundings to lead Brewin and Collett on the second windward rounding. By the end it was down to Brewin and Collett with a close fought battle approaching the finish line with Brewin keeping himself between Collett and the line. Brewin then made a last minute dash away from a locked out Collett and added another win to his bag for the regatta.
The wind continued to build throughout the afternoon and started to favour the less-lighter sailors in the fleet. In race 4 Brad Collett kept Steve Brewin at bay for all three laps of the race gradually increasing his lead on each rounding. Loutit followed the pair for the entire race and took third.
By race 5 the wave action was really starting to build and test the fleet. After an initial general recall the second start still had several boats caught over the line. Collett led the fleet from the start and was impossible to catch. With Brewin caught out OCS at the start Collett took the lead in the titles points race with a score of 9 followed by Loutit (15), Hooper (28) and Brewin (29).
Carnage on the boat ramp on the second day left a number of competitors, including third placed Hooper limping back to the yard for overnight repairs but all managed to effect repairs and be back on course for the final days racing. Steve Brewin retired overnight due to injury leaving Collett unassailable in the lead with the minor placings left to be sorted out.
Race 6 showed the rest of the fleet why Brad Collett is at the top of the points table for the regatta. Collett led the race from start to finish and made considerable distance on the fleet on each leg to finish 3 minutes clear of second placed Loutit.
Race 7 saw father and son combination Russ and Lucas McDonald along with Brad Collett take a big lead ahead of the fleet. The three were joined by Cahill by the top mark before Russ fell foul of the mark and was relegated to the back of the fleet. Collett continued as in previous races to build an un-chaseable lead with Cahill taking second with David Loutit catching Lucas McDonald in the final seconds of the race.
Race 8 followed a similar pattern to the rest of the day with Brad Collett taking a comanding lead from the start. The battle was on however for the minor placings with Cahill, Loutit and Lucas McDaonald fighting it out in a closely fought contest. Loutit eventually shook free of the others to claim a clear second ahead of Cahill.
At the conclusion Brad Collett on 'Friendly Grocer' took first place in the AIADCA Queensland State Titles for 2011. David Loutit followed closely in second place with Michael Cahil taking third. Handicap honours saw a close race amongst the Neeskens family with Paul, Claire and son Peter neck and neck until the final two races with Peter coming home the stronger ahead of Brad Wicht and Paul Neesskens.
Humpybong Yacht Club thanked all of the competitors in the AIADCA Queensland State Titles as well as the many volunteers, both within the club and in the greater local sailing community, for making a great regatta with incredible enthusiasm from everyone involved.
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4:02 AM Thu 28 Apr 2011 GMT
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