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Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

A Class Worlds: Final day at Hervey Bay in Australia

by Gordon Upton 24 Nov 2018 01:58 PST 17-24 November 2018

'The odd thing is, it's not usually like this here...' How often do you hear that at a regatta from the locals eh? After losing two more days of sailing at the 'A' Cat Worlds in Hervey Bay on the lovely Fraser Coast, this time due to Northerly winds making it too unsafe to launch the rescue boats etc into the 'Texel' style breakers.

Even though they had officially got a championship after they had sailed six races for the series, the race committee, acknowledging the fact many had travelled tens of thousands of miles to be there, finally managed to get in three races more on the last scheduled day of the event. And what races they were too!

The day started pretty calm, and with forecast 6-8 kt winds. The media boat zipped of to a nearby beauty spot, called with the typical no nonsense Australian parlance, Pelican Banks. Essentially a sandbank with pelicans on and reminiscent of a cartoon desert island minus that single palm tree, to do an interview about the upcoming day and including a subsequently erroneous weather forecast.

The start was delayed and hour or so, as the previous two days of onshore wind and associated waves had virtually removed the launching ramps onto the beach and turning them into little 2ft cliffs. But the organizers had quickly managed to mobilize some real engineers and all the bush engineers from amongst the sailors, together with volunteers and some local council guys to construct a new launch ramp to access the beach.

Eventually the boats sailed out to their start areas, and after the traditional wait race offices seem to enjoy the world over, the wind to decide to settle on a NW direction. The arrangement of the courses were such that spectators could conveniently watch the bottom of the Classic fleet and then motor over a few hundred yards to the top of the Open fleet. This is something that split course fleet class operators should take note of as it proved a very popular situation.

The Classics were first away, after a General Recall mainly due to the tide flow, and with the wind a nice 7-9 kts. Fleet overnight leader, ahead with a 7pt cushion, Andrew Landenberger (AUS 908) wasted no time in drawing ahead of Scott Anderson (AUS 31) with Alberto Farnassi (SWE 59) and the others following on to the left of the course towards the shore. But as the race progressed the wind slowly started to increase up a notch. Landy won his sixth bullet and Scotty his fourth second. Alberto was beaten by Graeme Parker (AUS 967) and Landy's son, Andy Landenberger (AUS 300) – a name to watch for the future.

Over on the Open fleet, also after a General Recall and then a black flag that saw Joseph Randall (AUS 1014) and Todd Woods (CAN 66) getting DSQ. Tom Bojland (DEN 77) was rammed from behind resulting is his tiller bar breaking and causing him to turn, upon which he was then rammed in the side. The unhappy Dane was awarded average points for the last three races after the protest making him 33rd.

Unaware or unconcerned by all this drama, NTNZ helm Peter Burling (NZL 7) blasted around the top mark ahead of Micha Heemskerk (NED 7), followed a minute later by series leader Glenn Ashby (AUS 111). Glenn had a 5pt lead from Mischa going into the race, so couldn't let up the pace. By the second lap the trip had been joined by Bruce Mahoney (USA 311) in his highest position of the series so far, and this was how the finish positions were as Burling, clearly getting to grips with his boat and their new larger rudder winglets and started sailing like a monster. Glenn in third, then sailed straight over to his support boat and capsized. He'd had a board raking issue that took nearly all the time until the second start to fix. As other boats finished, their personal battles gained them or lost them valuable last day points.

Race two started in an increased 12-14 kt wind. And this was the moment that young Kiwi Micha Wilkinson (NZL 96) made the ballsiest move seen in the whole regatta. He did a magnificent port flyer, from the pin end, right across the bows of all the America's Cup and Olympic superstars, probably something he will wake up a 3am in a cold sweat thinking about later, but a magnificent thing to behold. It got him his best finish of ninth as a result.

Glenn, with his newly fixed boat, wasted no time in getting to the top first, in about 8 mins as usual. The sailors who have mastered the upwind foiling in this division really made big gains here. It was interesting to see the almost 15 deg less angle they were sailing compared to the non upwind foilers. But their speed, almost a third faster, easily made up for the lower angles. At the bottom of lap one, Glenn was fully in command again. Mischa, who had maybe listened to our Pelican Banks weather forecast, seemed to be struggling with his setup in the increasing winds, which was unfortunate, as, being described in the past as a 'Big Old Unit', he usually gets faster as the wind gets up.

At the line, Glenn was 2 mins ahead of Burling this time. Behind him was another ETNZ sailor Blair Tuke (NZL 777) who had regained his earlier week form. Darren Bundock (AUS 88) finished just ahead of Mischa this time and closely followed the Adam Beattie (AUS 14) in his best regatta finish of sixth.

A little further back Tom Johnson (AUS 1065) was closing in on the line after fighting to get past Stevie Brewin (AUS 4) and Bruce, had a lovely little crowd-pleaser of a capsize on his final fast gybe, 200 yrds from the line allowing the others to slip past again. His displeasure was probably heard ashore.

So, came the final race of the 2018 Worlds. Glenn lead Mischa by more comfortable 9 points. But still needed to stay on the dry side of the boat and finish in the top nine boats, so still couldn't drop his guard. By now, the wind had gone up again, 15–19kts now. Rather more than the pelicans on their bank been forecasting, and many boats had a lighter wind setup, such as less mast rake, so may have been powered up more than their sailors were.

At the first bottom mark, Glenn, who reached that in 14 mins, blasted around in the blustery conditions, but his boat had a little leap as he hardened up onto his upwind leg. But lap two he had lapped possibly 25% of the fleet, chased by Burling and Tuke with Mischa chasing hard in fourth. By the finish, he'd lapped most of the fleet to cross the line and perform his traditional hull flying victory dance. Burling and Tuke arrived a few minutes later, trailed by Mischa. As the rest of the fleet arrived, tired sailors flipped boats on gybes, others in the groups of two or three fought hard to arrive overlapped and foiling over the line, all glad to have taken part.

And, as usual, the sail back to the beach was even better. No least for some of the Classics, as they arrived from their further upwind race area. This, of course gave Landy and chance to show he was at least as fast downhill as many of the foilers, something he did with his characteristic big grin.

To sum up – this has been one of the classic 'A' Cat World Championships. Although half of the days were unsailable due to too much/too little wind and the associated water states, is was hugely enjoyable for all. Yes, a few things got broken, but it was a hard fought Worlds in a cutting edge boat after all, and with the strongest fleet seen in many years by some margin. In the end, two characters dominated as we all expected. Landy in the Classic division, Glenn in the Open, but neither had it their own way all the time, no walk in the park for them. They had to fight this time to be the World Champions, and the class is all the better for that.

The organisation has been superb, the volunteers, trolly dollies, caterers, all faultless. This was a very well run ragatta. Thanks to Ian Johnston and his crew, Paul Neekins and his crew, and to Councellor Darren Everard and his crew. And huge thanks to the many sponsors - The Australian Government, Fraser Coast Regional Council, The Boat Club, St Stephens Hospital, Fraser Coast Radiology, Paulos Pizza Bar, Ray White, Subway, Edge Marketing, IP Telco,Bay Appartments, Bayaroma Coffee Bar, Forward WIP and Harken.

Now the circus moves on, next year to the slightly less warm, but definitely less turtle- or shark-infested seas of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in the UK. And many Open division sailors here this year have realized that the foiling nirvana of Portland Harbour, with it's smooth winds and flat water is what awaits them. Just pack those 3mm wetsuits guys and you'll all be fine!

More information at www.a-cat.org

Open Fleet Results:

PosSail NoSkipperR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1AUS 111Glenn Ashby111‑51‑33119
2NED 007Mischa Heemskerk432‑9212‑5418
3NZL 777Blair Tuke245‑834‑123324
4NZL 7Peter Burling379‑14‑10212226
5AUS 88Darren Bundock‑7RGC4147‑104530.5
6AUS 4Steven Brewin82876‑96‑10643
7NZL 270Dave Shaw1196‑255‑1678854
8ESP 97Iago Lopez Marra9‑14106‑225117755
9AUS 25Stephen Brayshaw563‑32911‑19131360
10USA 311Bruce Mahoney‑1311711‑1464111161
11AUS 16Mark Bulka1210132‑19‑218151070
12AUS 1065Thomas Johnson148(DNF)13‑15135121277
13AUS 89James Clark651217‑26(DNF)17141485
14AUS 1047Robert Gough101218‑4920815‑211598
15NZL 96Micah Wilkinson1716111212‑24229(DNF)99
16AUS 1035David Brewer18‑23‑272071791616103
17AUS 14Adam Beattie19132222‑38‑322069111
18AUS 321Andrew Williams151715‑1916‑23161717113
19FRA 2Emmanuel Dode24‑3314‑27820211924130
20NED 28Pieterjan Dwarshuis‑34202015181813‑2929133
21AUS 63Mark Griffith2615251024‑27‑312322145
22AUS 1050Stuart Scott2228‑3226131230‑3618149
23USA 113Matthew Keenan‑521816‑402328242021150
24AUS 41Chris Munro20(DNC)24182910‑362726154
25GER 14Bob Baier3130213273114(DNF)(DNC)157
26AUS 1042Neil How282523‑452515‑292428168
27AUS 22Mark Johnston2122‑3021‑3626282525168
28SUI 87Nils Palmieri4124334‑44(DNF)182827175
29AUS 1017Mitchell Meade2526‑31‑501725273131182
30NED 888Carolijn Brouwer‑353134‑372135261819184
31AUS 38Lachlan White3032‑40163338‑402223194
32AUS 44Simon McKeon293428‑5735192326(DNF)194
33DEN 77Tom Bojland‑432741‑442814RGARGARGA208.4
34AUS 15Brad Wicht‑401929‑414029343030211
35AUS 1039Les Porter232926‑463233‑373533211
36AUS 18Grant Pellew363635‑51302233‑3732224
37POL 31Robert Graczyk1635172311(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC242
38FRA 7Jean‑Louis Le Coq3241‑4530413725‑5137243
39CAN 44Larry Woods39‑43‑42284236423440261
40AUS 7Hamish Sinclair474037‑61‑4930413836269
41AUS 29Tayla Rietman453839‑52‑4841354135274
42AUS 1038Grant Rogers4442‑46‑624634443334277
43AUS 1067Joseph Randall27444835‑6145(DSQ)4045284
44AUS 36David Elliott51454724‑5543‑544238290
45CAN 22Andrew Woods33563842345346(DNF)(DNF)302
46AUS 1064Mark Davies4237434847(DNF)4547(DNF)309
47AUS 1014Jai Tooley3839493643(DNF)38(DNF)DNC313
48GER 40Manfred Syrowy48503643(SCP)4050(DNF)46313
49USA 335Benn Hooper‑5449513339424952(DNF)315
50NZL 11John Kennett(DNC)51523950465550(DNF)343
51AUS 948Peter Merten‑584756535350‑584839346
52NZL 279Ed Crook‑564855‑585147564643346
53USA 135Tracy Oliver(DNC)(DNC)DNC3445445139DNF353
54NZL 273Harry Bailey37(DNC)4463(DNF)584343DNF358
55AUS 100Simon Nelson(DNF)(DNC)DNC31313948DNFDNF359
56AUS 1032Luke Mairs555250‑65‑6051575341359
57NZL 271David Haylock49465754525252(DNF)(DNC)362
58AUS 998Zac Heuchmer(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC323220364
59AUS 1006Paul Raymond46(DNF)(DNC)665648594944368
60POL 1Jacek Noetzel502119(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC370
61CAN 66Todd Woods(DNC)(DNC)DNC29DNCDNC474442372
62AUS 938Stephen McTaggart575354595449(DNC)(DNC)DNC396
63USA 290Mark Skeels5957(DNF)385854(DNF)DNFDNC406
64NZL 1114Hamish Hall‑Smith53545356(DNF)(DNF)53DNCDNC409
65DEN 111Morten Kohlenberg615859556357(DNF)(DNF)DNF423
66NZL 262Daniel Philpott(DNF)(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC3945DNC434
67AUS 970Dennis Baker6055586462(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC439
68ITA 77Pier Riches(DNC)(DNC)DNC475955RETRETDNC441
69USA 127Paul Kaub(DNC)(DNC)DNC605756DNFDNFDNC453

Classic Fleet Results:

PosSail NoSkipperR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1AUS 308Andrew Landenberger‑111‑5111117
2AUS 31Scott Anderson22‑3‑83222215
3AUS 967Graeme Parker6‑9‑91233RGARGA24.4
4SWE 59Alberto Farnesi332‑14‑9754529
5USA 165Bob Webbon‑1564‑135589340
6AUS 49Matt Johnson747‑40‑346183651
7AUS 960Neil Caldwell2076‑2544(OCS)7452
8USA 99Ben Hall‑1785117‑1266952
9SUI 65Charles Bueche‑19‑1284811751053
10AUS 300Andy Landenberger1310(DNS)71284(RGB)RGA68.3
11AUS 67Trevor Brown10(DNC)(DNC)156910101272
12AUS 954Paul Neeskens4514‑191718‑2881177
13AUS 27William Michie(DNF)(DNC)22310141111778
14AUS 987Clare Neeskens‑1811‑209131312151487
15USA 007J Michael Krantz14161120‑2816‑2513898
16AUS 984Leon McNeill2220122152114‑30(DNC)106
17AUS 1020Bruce Woodward‑2814102316‑26211215111
18AUS 40Michael Kopp16181516‑3110‑351822115
19AUS 957Doug Haig12‑2521624‑25161920118
20AUS 955Peter York81917‑31‑2717221723123
21AUS 977Martin Grant261319‑35‑3315132116123
22NZL 263Ken Urquhart923‑29‑39291992518132
23AUS 986Miles Millward211723‑282123‑331413132
24AUS 1027Bill Heuchmer112226‑301922‑321619135
25AUS 933Brian Cole‑3021161025(DNF)192324138
26AUS 908James Wreford‑3227(DNC)171824202617149
27AUS 992Mark Capel2426182614‑31‑292221151
28NZL 255Brent Harsant25‑29241226‑37242028159
29AUS 85Lachlan Gibson515132130(DNF)(DNC)DNCDNC176
30AUS 913Jon Goodall(DSQ)(DNF)DNF222320232425183
31NZL 241Peter Lyell(DNC)(DNC)DNC2411301528DNF200
32USA 108Bob Orr(DNC)(DNC)DNC1822331727DNF209
33ITA 777Marco Puppo353631292034(OCS)(DSQ)27212
34AUS 837Connor Brown293130‑4238293432(DNF)223
35AUS 880Dominic Tanner3332(DNF)3736353129(DNF)233
36AUS 5Horst Kopp3833(DNF)3235382731(DNF)234
37AUS 912Morgan Carter34(DNF)(DNC)38392826DNF26237
38GBR 15Struan Wallace312825363240(DNC)(DNC)DNC238
39AUS 985Lucas McDonald2324(DNF)334227(OCS)DNFDNC241
40AUS 949Brian Wright273027344136(DNC)(DNC)DNC241
41AUS 932Patrick Drover(DNC)(DNC)DNC27373230DNFDNC264
42AUS 930Zane Bradbury373428434039(DNF)(DNC)DNC267
43AUS 95Robert Griffits3635(DNF)414341(DNC)DNCDNC288
44NED 1Piet Saarberg(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC322
45USA 2020Emmanuel Cerf(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC322

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