Report by Joss Dal Vera
MG14 2018-2019 Australian National Championships in Port Hunter, Newcastle were an absolute blast! There were a range of different boats and conditions, this gave competitors a great variety of opportunities to learn and triumph.
From Cronulla Sailing Club, only four boats attended the event :
- Aqua Pest - Drew Van Ryn & Joss Dal Vera
- Gone Bernarcus - Dough Surmon & Isabel Duong
- Smashed - Katelyn Parker & Cameron Gordon
- Filthy Fase - Shinead Surmon & Hugh Benz
It was quite an experience driving to the Port Hunter Sailing club with the enormous machinery and infrastructure around the largest coal export port in the world. With this also comes the dangers of sailing in the river with up to 300m long and 150 megaton ships rolling through at a reasonable 8 knots. A fleet of 19 was achieved throughout the regatta with boats from many clubs including Cronulla, St George, Gosford, Port Hunter and one from Darling Point, QLD.
“Get out of it!”
Heats 1 & 2 were safely won by Aqua Pest by a decent lead of 3 and 2 minutes respectively, Gone Bernarcus keeping a lead on Smashed in both heats and finally Filthy fase coming through in 18th in both heats.
Heats 3 had Pegasus in 1st with Aqua Pest narrowly following by 25s, Gone Bernarcus held a 5th place for most of the race but saw a 9th place across the line.
Heat 4 brough on another win for Aqua Pest, again followed by Gone Bernarcus in 11th then Smashed and Filthy Fase coming 3rd on handicap wrapping up the race.
Heat 5 saw another win by Aqua Pest and very similar standings for the other 3 boats
On thursday there was a Lay Day and 22-24 knots of southerly breeze blowing and Shinead and Joss took Filthy Fase for a 13nm joyride with an old dacron main reaching speeds of nearly 18.2 knots, and managing to blow out a tired old spinnaker
“Filthy Fase taking flight”
Heat 6 was once again led by Drew and Joss in Aqua Pest, then Gone Brnarcus having a great race in 5th but losing 4 places on the last leg. Filthy fase took the lead in handicap finishing in 14th leaving Smashed close behind.
Heat 7’s 22 knot southerly proved challenging for many with seven boats having to abandon due to damages including Gone Bernarcus with a broken side stay, Smashed with a broken boom and Filthy fase with a broken mainsail. Aqua Pest held the lead narrowly from Gary in Pegasus, however lost the lead in the last few legs. It was an intense chase to the finish however with Aqua Pest finishing only 2s behind Pegasus.
“Heat VII Aqua Pest”
Thankfully the following morning Gone Bernarcus was able to make a temporary repair to their side stay, Filthy fase having to use the old dacron main again and Katelyn was luckily able to get a new boom driven up for Smashed.
Heat 8 was another exciting race with Flameboy finishing just 9s in front of Aqua pest, Filthy Fase coming in one boat behind Smashed and securing a 2nd place on handicap as well as Gone Bernarcus sailing very nicely to achieve a 6th place across the line.
The final heat 9 was won by Aqua Pest, followed by Gone Bernarcus in 10th, Filthy fase winning on handicap and Smashed following closely behind.
Congratulations to all competitors, volunteers and Port hunter Sailing Club for such a successful regatta and to the new Aussie Champions!
“Drew & Joss”
Well done to drew Van Ryn and Joss Dal Vera currently in the lead with 2 days of racing to go
Results can be found at http://www.porthunter.skiffclub.net/ bottom of front page.