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J/111 Playlist triumphs in Australia

by J/Boats 10 Jan 23:42 PST
Playlist at the Australian Yachting Championships on Melbourne's Port Phillip. © Alex McKinnon Photography

While Australian brush fires were burning north to south, east to west, due to the obscenely hot temperatures inland and the very hot, dry airs whistling across the barren landscape, a number of Australian sailors made it out to sea to enjoy some clean fun on the azure waters of the Tasman Sea.

On December 26th (Boxing day), Matt Powell's J/111 Playlist entered the 34.0 nm "Cock of the Bay" race from Melbourne (St. Kilda) to Blairgowrie. This is a pre-curser and a solid "training run" for the Melbourne to Hobart race that started at the bottom of the bay on December 27th.

It was a good sailing day with a SSW breeze from 10 to 20 knots. The line was set with a definite port-end bias and the Playlist team worked this perfectly, crossing the line first and closest to the pin.

For the first 30 minutes, they were leading boat-for-boat in the 72-boat fleet. Once they got settled, the race came down to consistent good boat speed and picking the shifts as they headed southwards down toward the Peninsula. Although they were racing their entire division, the J/111 Playlist often found themselves competing with a Hick 40 and two First 40's.

In the end, Playlist finished 11th over the line, 1st on PHS handicap, 2nd on AMS and 3rd on IRC in Division 1. The race was basically a 34.0nm windward beat from start to finish, crossing the line in an elapsed time of 5 hours and 46 minutes.

Commenting on their performance, Powell said, "all in all, we were very happy with how the J/111 performed against these bigger boats and we felt if there had been more downwind breeze, we would have really tested our competition. Once we got closer to the Peninsula towards the end of the race, the sea state really flattened out, and in those conditions, the J/111 really holds its own against the bigger boats."

Powell goes on to say, "although the race was a beat the entire way, and therefore minimal work for the bow crew, they all agreed that the race was a lot of fun. I think it is always fun when you get good results!" Plus, they got silverware in all three divisions- PHS, AMS, IRC- a trifecta!!

Their next regatta is the Australian J/111 Nationals in Geelong, Victoria at the "Festival of Sails" at the end of January. Thanks for this report from Matt Powell, owner of the J/111 Playlist.

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