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51st NS14 National Championships at Canberra Yacht Club

by Michael Hitchens 8 Jan 2020 02:53 PST 2-5 January 2020
51st NS14 National Championships © Bill Kerrigan

The 51st NS14 National Championships were held at the Canberra Yacht Club from 2-5 January 2020. They were extraordinary because for three of those four days, Canberra was the most polluted city in the world!

For the month leading into the New Year, the fires to the east of Canberra that were spreading disaster along the NSW south coast would send smoke onto the capital in the evening. And like clockwork the westerlies would blow it back during the day. All that changed on New Year's day with the smoke hanging heavy, visibility at less than 100 metres and no westerly.

The first two days of sailing were abandoned as the pollution index rated outdoor activity as hazardous to the health of the regatta staff, volunteers and sailors. The fourth day would similarly be abandoned.

Day 3 however saw the pollution index fall to acceptable levels and the sky clear as a 20 knot westerly, with gusts to 30 knots, blew in just in time to get Race 1 away at 11am. By this time a few of the 15 entrants had had to leave Canberra and one had made the intelligent decision not to sail as the conditions did not match their skill level - all sailors should take note!

Of the 12 crews that started Race 1, just seven finished and this would be the story for all four races. Gear breakage and exhaustion from too many capsizes would see boats start but not finish. The skills of those, including two all junior crews, that made it round even once in the four races is to be admired. Lake Burley Griffin can be difficult in 15+ knots.

The fight for the Championship would be dominated by three boats - the 2020 Champions Oliver and Monty Lang in Midnight Hour winning by a point over Jada and Brad Clarke in Paddy Wack, and with Clare and Brett Ellis in Gun Barrel Highway. Not far away were our Junior and Female Skipper Champions, Ruby Edmunds and Magnus McIndoe in Fast Asleep from Tasmania, where the 2021 nationals will be held.

The full list of prize winners is below:

  • Family - Jonathon Harris and his family for travelling all the way from England and then Adelaide in Dare Devil
  • Jack and Jill - Sienna Clarke and Chris Calwell in Aero 14
  • Heavyweight - Max Edmunds and Barrie McIndoe in Walk on the Wild Side
  • Veteran - Rose Boyce and Mike Tate in Shine
  • Classic Boat - Jasmine Harris and Uluka Bayne in Cicarda6
  • Handicap:
    • 3rd Jasmine Harris and Uluka Bayne in Cicarda6
    • 2nd Magnus McIndoe and Ruby Edmunds in Fast Asleep
    • 1st Olivia Shields and Hugh Tate in Carbon Neutral
  • Junior Champions:
    • 2nd Jasmine Harris and Uluka Bayne in Cicarda6
    • 1st Magnus McIndoe and Ruby Edmunds in Fast Asleep
  • Female Champion - Ruby Edmunds and Magnus McIndoe in Fast Asleep
  • National Champions:
    • 3rd Clare and Brett Ellis in Gun Barrel Highway
    • 2nd Jada and Brad Clarke in Paddy Wack
    • 2020 Champions Oliver and Monty Lang in Midnight Hour.
A challenging regatta not only for sailors, but also for the Race Committee charged with dealing with the unique circumstances. Our thanks go to the Canberra Yacht Club, Yachting ACT and Barracouta Sails for their support of the regatta.

Our hearts go to the people of NSW and Victoria in the path of these fires.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameSkipperCrewR1R2R3R4Pts
12070Midnight HourMonty LangOliver Lang12216
22045Paddy WackBradley ClarkeJada Clarke21137
31992Gun Barrel HwyBrett EllisClare Ellis633214
42024Carbon NeutralHugh TaitOlivia Shields344415
51993Fast AsleepRuby EdmundsMagnus McIndoe755522
61626Cicada6Uluka BayneJasmine Harris56711F29
72058Aero 14Christopher CalwellSienna Clarke48C9C11F32
81902Walk on the Wild SidBarrie McIndoeMax Edmunds13F8S6633
92016ShineMichael Tait 13F78735
101912Team TaylorDavid TaylorChris Taylor13S8C9C11C41
102062Risky TooClyde WheatlandAndrew Wright13S8C9C11C41
101978Smashing PumpkinsMichael HitchensGaby Brady13F8C9C11F41
101987MojoJames MackenLara Macken13F8C9C11C41
102015Dare DevilAndrew HarrisJonathan Harris13S8C9C11C41
101909Up BeatJayden CartwrightStephen Cartwright13F8C9C11C41
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