After a testing day 1 of the 2012 Sydney 38 National Championships Lou Abrahams ‘The Next Challenge’ from the Sandringham Yacht Club leads with only two points separating the first three boats.
by Damian Devine
With the race committee waving the AP flag waiting for the rain to dissapear, the clouds to dissipate and the breeze to fill in, the first of two races finally got underway at 1425hrs on a fickle day on the course off the Palm Beach circle. Even then, a light 5-6 knot Easterly greeted the 15 strong fleet for the start.
The RPAYC’s Gavin Ward/ Chris Dawson dominated the first four nautical mile race, opting for a left hand lane off the start, laying the top mark with precision to lead by a considerable margin at the top, as they set their kite to consolidate their lead coming into the bottom gate. They were never headed with the breeze shifting to the North East for the final run home and won easily from a fast finishing Lou Abrahams, who challenged the other end of the course at the start whilst Rick Welch’s ‘The Bolter’, another RPAYC compatriot finishing a valiant third.
Race 2 got underway not long after with the Nor’ Easter now established, but still only light, at six to eight knots. Drama was building for the start, with a heavy pin end bias and boats scrambling to get inside the pin and not be OCS. A minor collision between pre-championship favourite Mark Griffith’s ‘Old School’ and ‘The Next Challenge’ on the line had the protest room open, with ‘Old School’ declared disqaulified for their start infringement.
‘Eye Candy’ managed to escape the carnage to sneak through to lead from the start. However, it was some well executed meditation, great tactics and crew work from MHYC’s Gordon Ketelbey’s aboard ‘Zen’, runners up in last year’s nationals which saw them take victory in the second race with ‘Outlaw’ second and ‘The Next Challenge’ third.
With the final boat crossing the finish at 1735hrs, RO Ted Anderson called it a day as the boats filed their way back to the host club, the RPAYC to reflect and ponder and prepare for another day in the Sydney38 Nationals.
The aim is to get racing underway at 1100hrs with a 10-15 knot South Easterly predicted.
Day 1 results here
The 2012 Sydney 38 National Championships is being hosted by The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Pittwater NSW.
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8:15 PM Thu 26 Jan 2012 GMT
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