Port Jackson Championship Report

Sydney Flying Squadron.

Sunday 08.03.15 –

Forecast light wind, big-rig south-easterly swinging east. Rigging park sees more breeze than forecast, leaving all boats unsure of the rig. Eventually all go for the second-rig, betting the weather was not going to fade, except Maersk Lines who went big-rig, with the nerve to back their belief.

South east course, start off the zoo for a work to Point Piper, all away pretty well, Geotherm, Lincoln Crowne and Company and Skol going east, Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses and Maersk Lines going South, all coming together close at the Point Piper Mark, Geotherm first, just ahead of Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses, Lincoln Crowne and Skol, with The Bird on the tail. A manly ferry carved the fleet, requiring Geotherm to have to drop their spinnaker and work up over the ferry, Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses flogging their spinnaker half-way to Manly, while Lincoln Crowne, Skol and The Bird slipped underneath.

This bunched everyone again at the Chowder Bay mark, Geotherm ahead slightly due to the height gained getting over the ferry.

Working out of Chowder to the Rose Bay mark, Geotherm went south, and the skipper fell out of the boat in a tack, having to swim after it, giving the fleet a breather, and putting Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses comfortably in the lead. Maersk Lines with their big-rig in the fresh conditions finally declared the day and went home.

Then it was Bigfoots turn, capsizing in the approach to the top-mark, allowing Skol to round first, then Bigfoot and Geotherm neck and neck, then The Bird.

This order down the run to Chowder Bay, Lincoln Crowne off the pace with a borrowed mainsail holding 5th place.

Skol lost the course on the next work, going too far to the Rose Bay mark, allowing Geotherm and Bigfoot to round the Shark Island mark ahead, on the run to Taylor Bay.

Geotherm worked well clear of the fleet on the final work to Shark Island, then The Bird, with Skol again getting in front of Bigfoot, for the run to Kurraba Point and the finish.

One final act to play, the James Craig making the spinnaker drop on the tight run over Cremorne difficult to judge. Skol took the 2 sail reach too high after the drop, allowing Bigfoot through to 3rd place, behind The Bird and Goetherm in first. 4th to Skol, then Lincoln Crowne.

Handicap went to The Bird.

Photos

Results

 

51st Interdominion 12′ Skiff Championships

6th – 14th January 2011

Overall Results          Teams Points

Day 1 (Heat 1 & 2) Report
Kiwis sail C-Tech to lead SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion
Chris Reid and Ben de Fluiter sailed C-Tech Ltd to a solid second and a win to take the lead of the Slam 2011 12ft Skiff Interdominion on upper Sydney Harbour this afternoon, but the New Zealanders know they have a big job ahead of them if they are to maintain and take out the annual Australia versus New Zealand Championship. But it was the defending champions, Nick Press/Brad Yabsley on Dimension Polyant (AUS), who won the opening race convincingly after jumping out right on the gun at the pin end of the line. The race committee set up two short races starting from 2.30pm on the north-easterly course, which the leaders completed in just over 45 minutes. Press and Yabsley showed great speed in the puffy medium breezes, especially on the downwind legs. They were fairly untroubled until the final work, when C-Tech caught them up on a shift and chased them round the mark and home downwind towards the finish. While Dimension Polyant was well set up to cross the line, C-Tech’s crew felt they wouldn’t make it, and stalled while gybing the kite, hardly holding their boat upright, allowing Press/Yablsley the win. “It was all on,” said C-Tech’s skipper Chris Reid. “I was surprised the fleet let us go,” said Yabsley, who was further surprised when he and Press port-tacked the fleet after sailing left off the line. “We had plenty between us and the next boats,” he said. According to the Lane Cove sailor, it wasn’t as simple as it looked. “Every time we got to the top mark, we’d almost be becalmed, but we’d take off again downwind. Alex Vaillings on Nuplex (NZL) gave us a bit of a hard time too. Press said the two were “pretty happy,” with their performance, but had to concentrate on getting the small things right. Behind the top two, positions changed up until the second half of the race, when the top 10 got away from the rest of the 34-boat fleet and then the rest split into a further two distinct groups. In Race 2, the lead changed a few times between three boats, but C-Tech stayed solid to score the bullet from a second New Zealand entry, Alex Vaillings/Cameron McDonald (Nuplex), with Dimension Polyant third, giving C-Tech (Reid/de Fluiter the overall lead, while Dimension Polyant is second overall. “It was a difficult race, we had Nick Press off our hip and Murray Press (Gemmell Sails) too,” Reid said. “We just kept chipping away until we got the lead. There was lots of puff at the top mark and our main was inside out a couple of times, it was pressure sailing. “There were times I thought we’d be better off with our second rig, but then we would’ve been murdered in the lulls. It was great to start the regatta with two good results,” said Reid, who confided he was staying with Nick Press: “I’d better be careful, there could be a bit of a chat on tonight,” he laughed. The nor’east gusts wreaked havoc on the fleet; Tim Bartlett’s Frankenskiff had a rig altercation with another boat and damaged her carbon rigging, forcing Bartlett to miss Race 2. The record six-time Interdominion veteran champion from New Zealand will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to overcome this setback. In a second Kiwi incident, W2’s crew, Sam Trethewey, limped ashore with a suspected sprained ankle, but vowed: “It will get better tonight and I’ll be back on the boat tomorrow.” Elsewhere on the course, several were caught out in gusts and were seen “lying down” on the job down the runs, the most spectacular capsize came from Nick Bernard/Robbie Polec (AUS) who buried Hey Charger off Cockatoo Island, making them the first crew in contention for the Miner’s trophy. There were a few retirements too. The SLAM 12ft skiff Interdominion opening day was enjoyed up close and personal by spectators too. Clarke’s Point at Hunters Hill was the perfect vantage point for the large crowd that gathered. They weren’t disappointed by the action either. Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, Race 3 of the 10 race 51st Interdominion will be held tomorrow, starting from 2.30pm, weather dependent. Further information and results will be posted at: www.skiff.org.au/ Di Pearson, SLAM 12ft skiff media

Heat 1 Results          Heat 2 Results

Day 2 (Heat 3) Report
Aussies win but Kiwis strong at SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion
Nick Press and Brad Yabsley have sailed Dimension Polyant to its second win to reclaim the lead in the SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion on upper Sydney Harbour today. Locals from the Lane Cove 12s, host of the 51st Interdominion, Press/Yabsley won the first race yesterday on a short course, and backed up again today on a long east-nor-easterly course, claiming the win from NZ entry Nuplex, skippered by five-time Interdominion champion Alex Vallings and crewed by Australian Cameron McDonald, with Garde from Woollahra SC third. “We led from the start and made no mistakes today,” said Brad Yabsley “We got off the start midline and had C-Tech and Nuplex (both from New Zealander) hanging on to us till the top mark, but we rounded and did not look back,” he said. “C-Tech’s ninth place today gives us a bit of a buffer. Bring on more of the top end big rig stuff,” Yabsley said. Nuplex’s crew were happy with their day’s work. “This is our first race together, I’ve just come back from competing at the I14 nationals,” said crew Cameron McDonald, who finished third at that event. ”We never got close to Yabba (Press/Yabsley), but we had a good tussle early on with four boats including Garde (Brett Hobson/Alex Johnson),” admitted McDonald who was struggling with the fact that his skipper was playing the main and not him. “I find it hard to get used to,” he said. Although content with second place today, Vallings commented: “It’s hard to beat Yabba Dabba (Brad Yabsley) in this breeze, which was pretty fresh at times.” After a troublesome first day, one of the SLAM Interdominion favourites, Garde finally came good today with third place. “Everything went wrong yesterday,” Hobson said. “We got caught up in a capsized boat on the start line and it just went downhill from there,” he said. “The boat was quick, but I don’t know where our heads were; things just went from bad to worse. Today we had our heads screwed on right. We got a good start close to the pin, the ducked one or two boats on our first tack and then we went head-to-head with Ginger,” Hobson said, referring to Vallings on Nuplex. “We kept exchanging second and third places, then we had a bad last work, but that’s OK, we’re just taking one race at a time and to finish the regatta top five would be good.” It was a bit of a Kiwi slaying today – Aussie boats were first and third, but everyone else up to and including seventh place were New Zealand boats. Perhaps it is because of a Twitter message sent over the airwaves to the Kiwis. It appears the SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion is being followed even by those at sea. Alex Vallings former 12 crew, Andy Meiklejohn, who is crewing on Hugo Boss in the double-handed around the world Barcelona Race, took time out to send a Twitter message overnight: “A little more breeze would be nice but we are still hoping for gains. Go the Kiwi skiff team at the 12ft Interdominions in Sydney!” New Zealander, Meiklejohn, is awaiting the return of his skipper, Alex Thomson, who is recovering from an emergency appendix operation. He and last-minute replacement skipper, Wouter Verbraak, are currently at the back end of the field. We wish them all the best. The fleet got away in an east-north-easterly, but not before a general recall and then some OCS’s at the 2.40pm start. Disappointment for a few on what was otherwise a beautiful day out with 12-15 east-nor-easterly wind under sunny blue skies. First out after crossing the start too early were Alison Chapman/Tim Barraclough (CST Composites) and Martin Debelle/Ian Turley (Barking Mad) both from Woollahra Sailing Club. A third Woollahra boat, D-Unit (Adam Forbes/Richard Johns) thought they were over too, so returned and re-started, losing them valuable time. Conditions took their toll on others; Arrogant Frog, sailed by father and son Peter and Steve Hill, was first out after the jib cleat let go on their brand new carbon/foam boat. Easily fixed, but not in time for the Abbotsford sailors to get back in the race. Next ashore were cousins Heidi and David Winning, who ripped their brand new black kite, then it was the turn of another father and son combination, New Zealanders Billy and Will Wright sailing W2, whose prod broke off the front of the boat when a power boat sped in front of the 12. This on top of Will doing a ligament injury to his ankle yesterday, which will keep him ashore for a couple of days. Late in the race, Martin Hughes design’s mast snapped, leaving Sam Marshal/Sam Trethewey from Auckland floundering. Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, Race 4 of the 10 race 51st Interdominion will be held tomorrow, starting from 2.30pm, weather dependent.

Heat 3 Results

Day 3 (Heat 4) Report
Dimension Polyant wins thriller at SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion
Today’s Race 4 of the SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion on Sydney’s upper Harbour was a thriller to the end, Lane Cove’s Dimension Polyant taking the lead from New Zealand’s Frankenskiff down the last run of the easterly course and fighting off challenges from the Kiwis for the rest of the race to consolidate their series lead. Nick Press and Brad Yabsley representing Lane Cove 12s, came ashore exhausted but happy with their third win from four races. They are on six points, 13 clear of nearest rival C-Tech (Chris Reid/Ben de Fluiter, NZL), after beating 59 year-old Tim Bartlett, the record-holding winner of six Interdominions and his crew Adam Miller (Frankenskiff) over the line by seven seconds. Press said this afternoon “It was good tight racing. We didn’t get a good start and rounded the top mark in sixth place. We started to pick them off one by one. We got Frankenskiff on the last run when they screwed up a gybe and we sailed straight through them in good pressure. Yabsley takes up the story: “After that, they got a good lift off Greenwich and we got the headsail twisted around the forestay and they caught us up,” he said. Press continued: “From there, it was tack for tack. It was very stressful. They were smoking downhill – they’re very quick. At the top mark for the last time, there was only a millimetre between us, and we gybed just in time to beat them over the line.” Frankenskiff’s Adam Miller responded: “It’s hard for us old boys to keep up with the younger guys. It’s really hard work sailing against Dimension Polyant, they’re really good sailors and we don’t get out every week and sail like a lot of these guys do.” Third place today went to Michael Spies/Damian Vlotman on Andrew Short Marine from Lane Cove, but not before a challenge from Woollahra Sailing Club’s Brett Hobson/Alex Johnson on Garde. “It’s the first time we had the second rig in – so it was great to lead the fleet early on, we’re not as fast as some of the others,” Spies, from Lane Cove, said ashore this afternoon. “I think that’s my best result as a skipper in the Interdominion,” said Spies. “I think Garde let us off the hook a bit,” he said, referring to the last run when Hobson/Johnson overtook them momentarily but allowed back in. Gemmell Sails (Murray Press/Ben Gemmell) from Lane Cove are third overall on 21 points after their sixth place today, with Andrew Short Marine just one point adrift of them, with Garde holding down fifth spot, a further point away. The oldest team in the fleet, Jack Winning (62) and Brett Phillips (53) also had a great day, their seventh place overall handing them the handicap win. There was less carnage today as the gusts were fewer and far between in a predominantly easterly breeze that veered east-north-east at times, on a hot and humid day. Early disappointment for five-time Interdominion champion Alex Vallings (NZL), who broke a side stay on Nuplex before the race started, and that was the end of the boat race for he and Cameron McDonald. After returning to the start line yesterday, convinced they were over early, Adam Forbes/Richard Johns on D Unit should have considered that move for today, as they were pinged for being over the start early and having no idea, the Woollahra Sailing Club pair continued to race. At Call Powered by Bainbridge International Ed Blackman/Brad Greenrod (Lane Cove) and ASCC crewed by Nick Catley/Joshua McCormack (NZL) also retired. Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, tomorrow is a layday. Races 5 and 6 of the 10 race 51st Interdominion will be held on Tuesday, starting from 2.30pm, weather dependent. Once six races are completed, a race drop will come into play and is certain to change the results up, with some of the top contenders already scoring DNF’s over the last three days.

Heat 4 results

Day 4 (Heat 5 & 6) Report
12ft Skiff Interdominion - Father and son battle
There is a number of father and son combinations sailing at the SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion being sailed on upper Sydney Harbour this week, but today a father and son thrashed it out from opposing boats and both came up with the goods. At the helm of Dimension Polyant (Aus) is Nick Press and at the helm of Gemmell Sails is his father, Murray Press; both sail for Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, host of the Interdominion. Racking up a third and a win in Races 5 and 6 today, Nick and his crew Brad ‘Yabba’ Yabsley have a commanding 13 point lead in the series. And following the two races, sailed in a tricky breeze that clocked between east-nor-east and nor-east, with the pressure anywhere between 10 and 20 knots, Gemmell Sails, has moved up to third place overall after scoring third and second places in some of the most exciting racing of the Championship so far. Murray Press and his crew Ben Gemmell missed out on winning Race 6 by just one second to consistently well-sailed Garde, crewed by Brett Hobson and Alex Johnson from Woollahra Sailing Club, who move into second place overall now that the first drop of the series has come into play. Murray Press was more than happy with second place – he beat his son home by one place and nearly two minutes. ‘It happens rarely, so it’s good to beat him,’ Murray said with a big smile. ‘I’m looking forward to giving him a bit of curry around the dinner table tonight. ‘Our good results have kept us in the mix. It was a funny sort of day; too much breeze some of the time and not enough some of the time, but the No.2 rig was the right way to go. There was a lot of debate amongst the guys as to whether to go out with the No. 1 or 2. It was a bit hard to pick,’ he said. Nick Press and Yabsley were happy with their day’s work. ‘We can keep this up if we continue doing the little things right. We just have to keep it ticking along and stay out of trouble,’ Yabsley said. He described the day as: ‘Full pressure one minute, under pressure the next. Racing was a lot closer in Race 6, the front pack got away from the rest.’ Others were not so lucky today, none more so than veterans Jack Winning and Brett Phillips on Vantage Real Estate (Lane Cove). They broke their rudder pin towards the end of Race 5, but found a replacement in time to hit the course for Race 6, but it was not to be. ‘We got hit by a rain squall just before the start (Race 6) and went for a swim. We decided to stay in the water until we were ready to start, but BT Towage came along and wiped out our backstay. Just not our day,’ Winning commented. Many others found themselves back on the beach at Hunters Hill SC too. Among them, Maersk Line (Jakub Ronowizc/Craig Nicholson) from Lane Cove had Barking Mad (Martin Debelle/Ian Terley) from Woollahra SC round up into them. Both came ashore minus a fair bit of their rigs. ‘It was pretty ugly and it happened so quickly,’ Ronowizc said. One sailor who came ashore smiling was Alison Chapman, who is new to the class. Sailing with various partners this week, she has finished four of the six races sailed, exceptional for a first-timer, and even more so because she only weighs 48 kilos, a big ask in these hard to handle boats. A champion sailor in the Cherub, Flying 11 and 29er classes, the WSC skipper is taking it in her stride. ‘I’ve never steered from the wire (trapeze) before, but we’re getting better every day. We had a few kite problems today. We were a bit unlucky, but at least we finished,’ Chapman said. ‘It’s a fun boat, but it’s a bit heart-stopping going downhill in a bit of breeze,’ she said, adding she would continue in the class. Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, the 51st SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion continues with two further races tomorrow and finishes on Friday, 14 January. by Di Pearson

Heat 5 Results          Heat 6 Results

Day 5 (Heat 7 & 8) Report
SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion cockatoo carnage captured by cats
SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion was a day of carnage as a big gusty east-nor-easter picked off one boat after another in Race 7 at Hunters Hill today – and not even the top starters were immune – startled river cat passengers saw all off Cockatoo Island as the out-of-control skiffs barrelled downwind under kite. Some survived, some did not. It was a day of ‘no guts, no glory – and when the going got tough – the tough kept going. It was day that belonged to 2009 Interdominion champion and reigning national champion, Garde, crewed by Brett Hobson and Alex Johnson from Woollahra Sailing Club who came home with two wins and big grins. ‘It was pretty gusty – pretty gnarly,’ Johnson said of the winds that peaked at 30 knots. ‘You had to pay attention the whole time or you’d find yourself in the drink. You had to keep an eye on the traffic, the gusts and the shifts, but we had a big win in Race 7,’ he said. Skipper Brett Hobson commented on their day. ‘We’ve got a day to go and we have to remember that, but it feels great to come ashore with two wins. We tried to keep our noses clean and tried to sail a bit safely; we took it one mark at a time,’ he said. ‘That was one of the hardest days I’ve sailed. The sea was short and sharp,’ Hobson admitted. Chris Reid, the skipper of Kiwi entry C-Tech agreed: ‘I have to admit I’ve struggled with the venue a bit; the traffic and the shiftiness, but everyone’s had to deal with the same stuff. There were a few ferries on the course today and a few of the skiffs got taken out in the lull behind a ferry. It was tough but fun at the same time,’ he said. His crew, Ben de Fluiter commented: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever sailed in a place that’s as hard as this one.’ Maybe that’s why the next two best boats did so well. Series leader, Dimension Polyant (Aus), sailed by Nick Press and Brad Yabsley and Gemmell Sails crewed by Nick’s dad Murray Press and Ben Gemmell both sail for the SLAM Interdominion organisers, Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club. Press/Yabsley scored third and second places today, while Press/Gemmell came home with a pair of fourths. ‘We had a great day really – no swims – so that was a bonus. We tried to say conservatively, but that was impossible in those conditions. I reckon we were doing 20 knots in 30 knots of breeze at times,’ Murray Press said. ‘The Garde and Dimension Polyant guys know how to drive a boat hard in that sort of weather and it makes for great viewing. You can do that when you’re young!’ In what is now a close series, the reigning Interdominion champions Dimension Polyant (AUS) leads Garde by three points, with Gemmell Sails third on 20 points with two race drops in place. So the SLAM Interdominion and the Silasec trophy will go to one of the top two. While the day belonged to the top boats, spare a thought for others. The crew of Arrogant Frog, Steve Hill, did a swan dive through the headsail, which tore right down the seam, ending their day. Maersk Line broke the top section of their mast, her skipper Jakub Ronowicz is still wondering how it happened. The Lane Cove skipper told, ‘We’d just rounded the top mark and put our spinnaker up, but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t hear anything, but I looked up and the top section was missing.’ CST Composites from Woollahra pulled out of the race, but her crew made quick repairs in time to make Race 8, Panadol Rapid (Lane Cove) came ashore with a big headache, Vantage Real Estate (Lane Cove) was unlucky for a second day running and the lone Queensland entry, Squid, also pulled out. More followed. Opposite the Hunters Hill Sailing Club, Rip, Rack, Roar & Rumble (Lane Cove) nearly ended up on the bricks, Ken Williams and Bob Paton’s boat had to be towed ashore, missing Race 8. Back out on the water, there were more lying down than there were standing. Second overall going into today’s two races, Garde’s crew, Brett Hobson and Alex Johnson (Woollahra SC) sailed down the first run conservatively, not even attempting to hoist a kite. It was to their advantage in the long run. Behind them, the SLAM 12ft Interdominion leaders, Dimension Polyant, went the kite, but quickly hit the drink in the shifty and puffy airs. Many followed behind them, including C-Tech, Gemmell Sails, Frankenskiff, unable to hold up, yet still some behind them chose to hoist – to their disadvantage. A few left their rig choice till the very last and by the time the start gun went just after 2.35pm and it was apparent by then that the small rig was the only way to go. Those with medium really struggled and came ashore before Race 8 to change down. The carnage continued into Race 8 and even the top guys had their moments. Dimension Polyant (AUS) nearly put it in on the second upwind leg and struggled to get back in the race. Behind them, Kiwi boat Frankenskiff, skippered by six-time Interdominion champion, Tim Bartlett, was not so lucky, capsizing just off Hunters Hill SC as the wind continued to fluctuate and shift. Cousins Heidi and David Winning were first out of the race, followed shortly after by Dipolar Software from Lane Cove and Martin Hughes from Auckland. Then Craig Ganley and Craig Anderson brought Dimension Polyant (NZ) ashore with a broken mast. Hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club, the 51st SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion has layday tomorrow and concludes with two races tomorrow and finishes on Friday, 14 January.

Heat 7 Results          Heat 8 Results

Day 6 (Heats 9 & 10) Report
Dimension Polyant wins consecutive 12ft Skiff Interdominions
Nick Press and Brad Yabsley from Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club have successfully defended their 2010 Interdominion title, sailing Dimension Polyant to a convincing win in the final race win at the 2011 SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club this afternoon. It was all over at the end of Race 9, when Dimension Polyant came home second behind New Zealand entry Frankenskiff (Tim Bartlett/Adam) Miller in Race 9 this afternoon, with their nemesis, Brett Hobson and Alex Johnson on Garde, third. Press and ‘Yabba’, who have led the series since day one, knew their finish in front of Garde guaranteed them their second title in succession. They were then able to leave the pressure of winning behind them to enjoy the final Race 10, which they won by a massive 2 minutes 20 seconds from Frankenskiff, which had a cracker of a day. Five-time Interdominion champion Alex Vallings (NZL) with Fraser Brown and Cameron McDonald filling in variously as crew, finished the series third overall. “It’s a really good feeling,” a smiling Nick Press commented this afternoon. In the second race (Race 10) we really let go, because it was already all over,” he said. Press could not differentiate as to which was more difficult to win, the 2010 title, or this year. “Both were as hard as each other. We worked really hard. Dimension Polyant gave us new spinnakers and were really supportive,” said Press, who is thrilled to see his and Yabsley’s name engraved on the Silasec trophy for a second time. Of second placed Garde, the current national champion, Press said: Brett (Hobson) is always hard to beat – and Dad too (Murray, skipper of Gemmell Sails which finished fourth on countback to Kiwi entry Nuplex). Murray, in turn, is very proud of his son’s win. “They deserved it, they sailed well all week,” he said of Nick and Yabba. Yabsley was especially pleased with their big win in Race 10. “It’s amazing what you can do when you’re not feeling the pressure anymore,” he said, adding: “Hanging onto the title is a feeling more than anyone would ever believe – I can’t explain it.” Like one or two others in the fleet, Press will now move to 18ft skiff sailing this Sunday. “I usually race 12s on Saturday and the 18 on Sunday.”The 12 is like a sports car and the 18 is more like driving a bus,” he reckoned. Of their second place overall, skipper Brett Hobson was pragmatic. “Obviously we would have preferred to win, but we had a great regatta. We always new it would be hard to come back from our first day results (10th and sixth places),” he said. “We preferred the big breeze of Wednesday though,” said Hobson, who took out both races that day in a big eas-nor-easter. Today’s conditions did not live up to the forecast of up to 30 knots from the north-east, instead the fleet raced in an up to 20 knot nor’ easter, which most others preferred to the carnage-causing Wednesday conditions. “We’ve got a new boat and we spent months and months building it, so it’s good to know it all works,” said Hobson who explained: “We were well-placed in the last race, but we got the gust from hell on the last run; it drove us right off the course and we couldn’t get back,” he said. However, the Silasec trophy hasn’t completely left Hobson’s hands – it will stay in the family, as his younger brother Scott is to marry Nick Press’ sister, Emma, this year. Best placed of the Kiwi entries, Alex Vallings’ fourth and third places today was enough to knock Gemmell Sails out of third place on countback, the two finishing on 29 points each. Vallings cited “lack of preparation and maybe I’m too experimental,” as to why he did not finish in the top spot. I haven’t used my number 2 rig and I’ve only sailed with my big rig twice – but I haven’t used it for racing yet. I might have been better using my old rig.” But the fact he did not come with a regular crew and sailed with two different crew members he would never usually sail with, says a lot for Vallings’ sailing ability. “I need to do more sailing and with a regular crew,” he said. On the venue, Sydney’s Parramatta River on the upper Harbour, Vallings mused: “Conditions were super tough.” To win, he said, “You have to have a good crew Like most the other Aussie entries, Hobson and Johnson will next contest the Garde Sprint Series in February and the Port Jackson Championship in March. Competitors were told to expect a big nor-easter, but in its place was a lovely nor-east of up to 20 knots, described by competitors as “the best day of the regatta.” Today’s racing was close in Race 9. The top 10 changed places, particularly on the works where most hit the corners, zig-zagging their way up past the start area in the narrow body of water near the Hunters Hill Sailing Club. In Race 10, down the run the first time, Dimension Poylant led by a country mile from Nuplex, Frankenskiff, Gemmell Sails, As Good As It Gets, Garde, C-Tech and Andrew Short Marine, which constantly swapped places throughout the race. On the second downwind, which took the fleet the other side of Cockatoo Island, Dimension Polyant’s lead was around one minute 40 seconds from Nuplex with a second Kiwi entry, Frankenskiff, hot on her tail. Andrew Short Marine (Michael Spies/Damian Vlotman) from Lane Cove 12s won the handicap event from Gemmell Sails (Murray Press/Ben Gemmell) also from Lane Cove 12s, with the Lachie Paramor/Morgan White sailed Cunning Stunts (Woollahra Sailing Club) third. Australia won the Teams Event for the John Brooke Trophy. Other winners will be announced at the prize giving at Hunters Hill Sailing Club this evening. Thirty-four skiffs from Australia and New Zealand contested the SLAM 12ft Skiff Interdominion, hosted by Lane Cove 12ft Skiff Sailing Club, with the cooperation of Hunters Hill Sailing Club. The 51st edition of the annual Australia versus New Zealand competition, finished this afternoon.

Heat 9 Results         Heat 10 Results