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Victorian International Dragon Championship at Metung Yacht Club

by Jeff Rose 14 Mar 02:34 PDT 9-10 March 2019
Victorian International Dragon Championships 2019 © Jeff Rose

Over the Labor Day weekend, Metung Yacht Club hosted the Victorian International Dragon Championships (Also known as the J.J. Savage Trophy).

For the International Dragon Class, the course was set out in Lake King near Tambo Bluff on the Gippsland lakes. Saturdays weather aloud Race Officer Graham Watt to get 3 of the 4 races scheduled completed. The racing started in a light South Easterly breeze for Race 1. In Race 2 the wind had climbed to 12 knots and moved to a more Easterly direction requiring the race and course officials to change the course amid the race. By race 3 the Easterly sea breeze had fully matured to 18 knots causing some interesting spinnaker runs, crew fatigue and brining about equipment failure. By the start of race 4, the Easterly was hitting 20-25 knots and it was decided that no more racing would be carried out for the day. On Sunday, due to a lack of any breeze unfortunately all racing had to be abandoned.

Race 1 was a duel between current Victorian Champion Damian Daniels skippering AUS 179 Imagination and Jeff Rose skippering AUS 189 Sidewinder. Rose had the better start and led from start to finish, but Daniels with some aggressive tactics closed to within 3 seconds by the end of the race.

Race 2 was a classic match race between Rose and Daniels with the lead changing 4 times before the end of the 40-minute race. Rose again had the better start, but with some better speed by Imagination, the boats where never more than a few seconds apart. Imagination rounded the last mark first but had a slow spinnaker set allowing Sidewinder close the gap. After an aggressive gybing dual involving more than 12 gybes in 8 minutes, luffing matches and a few friendly words, Sidewinder passed Imagination in the last few meters before the finish winning by a mere 1 second.

Race 3 was again a close race between both Side Winder and Imagination, but local GLYC boat Ghost skippered by Johno Johnson was looking to spoil the party by being first to Mark 1. Eventually Imagination won the race by 13 seconds from Sidewinder 2nd with Ghost 3rd.

In the final standings, the Victorian International Dragon Championships was won by Jeff Rose in Sidewinder with crew Richard Smith and Brandon Kibby from Metung Yacht Club. This is the 2nd time Rose has won this particular regatta. Damian Daniel was 2nd with crew of Fred Haes and Bentley Conn.

The wonderful thing that about sailing is that it is a true family sport where all of the family can participate, and there is no better example than Ghost with 3 generations of the Johno Johnson Family Sailing on Ghost from Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club who finished a very credible 3rd.

In the handicap Trophy Division (also know as the Charles Stephenson Trophy) was won by Amazing Grace skippered by Charlie Stanton from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Tarakona skippered by Hugh Howard from Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club was 2nd and Mirrum skippered by Jeremy Nolan from Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron was 3rd.

In the Classic wooden boat Division also known as the John Cuneo Cup, Ghost with Johno Johnson family from Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club 1st. Sea Joy skippered by Terry Grundy from Metung Yacht Club 2nd and Gazelle skippered by Stephen Byrne from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron 3rd.

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