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175th Rex Gorell Land Rover Festival of Sails 2018

12 February 2018 Rod Hagebols

Regatta Winner AUS1123 Wicked, Rod Hagebols, Mandy Hagebols, Ollie Manton

"Regatta Winner AUS1123 Wicked, Rod Hagebols, Mandy Hagebols, Ollie Manton"

For the first time in the 175 years of the Festival of Sails, the International Etchells class took part in what is sure to become a regular event on the Etchells racing calendar.

The entry numbers were not particularly high, but the quality was. What was really great was the attraction of new young sailors into the ranks. The format of the regatta was set at up to three races per day depending on weather conditions with two races set for the final day.

The RO for our course was Kevin Wilson, supported by Ross Wilson, and other dedicated volunteers who provided a faultless performance for the whole weekend. The racecourse was shared with the Sydney 38’s sailed on Geelong’s pristine waters of Corio Bay. Racing on Friday was sailed in a SE 10-16 knot building seabreeze, getting all three races in. The racing on Saturday was slightly delayed due to some of the Cruiser/Racers coming through our course. Despite the delay, the NE winds of 5-10 knots settled in and we managed to get two more races in.

Going into the final day of racing the points were very tight between the teams of Blake Robertson (Bananas in Pyjamas), Guyon Wilson (Voodoo Spirit) and Rod Hagebols (Wicked). The forecast for Sunday was for very hot North to NE winds with temperatures in the high 30’s.

The shifty hot conditions made racing very tricky, with big gains and losses in short time periods. Keeping separation to a minimum was key, but even that was hard as boats did their best to stay in phase with the shifts. Wicked managed to get an advantage on the first leg of each race and defend the lead to the finish. Two bullets on the final day secured the regatta win for Wicked crewed by Mandy Hagebols and Ollie Manton.

In short - a great regatta in a great venue with good people what more could you want. See you next year!

Rod Hagebols









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