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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

2023 Ronstan 505 Australian Championship at Darling Point Sailing Squadron - Day 3

by Jordan Spencer 26 Jan 2023 17:51 PST 22-28 January 2023
505 Australian Championship 2023 © Jordan Spencer

Winning major regattas is hard...

Day 3 of the Ronstan Australian 505 Championships had the prospect for more wind. There was blue sky and the breeze started filling in early. The race start had been pushed back an hour to allow the breeze to fill, all was good with the World...

And for the racing, we did have more breeze. Not much more, 10-15 knots overall, but it was enough for 505's to be wiring upwind and down. It was perfect racing weather.

It was still a gradient breeze, so plenty of pressure and direction changes, plus the later start meant we still had plenty of ebb tide. The tide was strongest on the left side of the course pushing straight into the Northerly and creating some short sharp chop. The stronger wind meant longer legs, and this created a dilemma for the race committee. The length they wanted to set put the marks right in the middle of the main channel into Manly Harbour and it was Australia Day, there were cruising boats everywhere, so they went long for race 6, and set a course of 3 windward/leewards.

So far, we have had two boats dominate the racing, Michael Quirk and Felix Brockerhoff and Christopher Paterson and Thor Schoenhoff. Race 6 was no different. These two sailed away from the fleet, ironically, they were never more than two boat lengths apart at each mark rounding. They raced each other intensely and finished first, (Quirk/Brokerhoff) and second, (Paterson/Schoenhoff) Behind them was a pack of four or five boats, locals Cameron and Heritage, Lott and Franks and the Carey's, plus Tom Stivano and Simon Burt who took third, five places in front of the Higgins' who they were fighting for third overall, almost last rounding the top mark. An insurmountable gap, climbing only to thirteenth.

It still remains two atop the leader board, but now Paterson/Schoenhoff have a 5 point gap after a drop. They have been runners up at the last two nationals and at the Not the Nationals Covid event. It looks like their time may be here.

There are two more days of racing. The cloud is back. Light North Easterly's are forecast today, the tide will be weaker. Conditions remain challenging. Snakes and Ladders anyone?

Full results can be found here.

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