NEWS

VIC State Championship

VIC State Championship at Royal Geelong Yacht Club

9 March 2019 Author: Alex McKinnon
Bananas in Pyjamas skippered by Tony McRae crewed by Chris Jones, Jordan Smith and Victoria Pryce leading this group to the top mark

 Bananas in Pyjamas skippered by Tony McRae crewed by Chris Jones, Jordan Smith and Victoria Pryce leading this group to the top mark
© Alex McKinnon

It is all happening at Geelong this Labour Day long weekend. The Royal Geelong Yacht Club is host to the International Etchells 2018 2019 Victorian Championship and the 2019 Victorian '9er Championship including the 29er, 49erFX and 49er. These two events have attracted a total of 46 boats and over 120 crew. Looking after them all are the 37 volunteers who make it possible to run these regattas.

The forecast for the first day of racing was for light breezes from the South East with a sea breeze developing during the afternoon. As Kevin Wilson, Principal Race Officer for the Etchells fleet, said 'it was perfect sailing weather for all classes'. The first race for the Etchells was delayed slightly while we waited for the breeze to settle. Course 2 was chosen at an axis of 160 degrees and a distance of 1.3 NM. At 12.35 the fleet of 26 boats headed for the top mark. By the time the fleet had completed their first lap the there had been a slight shift in the breeze and the course was reset to 150 degrees.

The first race was won by Magpie, skippered by Graeme Taylor and his crew of Richie Allanson and James Mayo. GT said 'it was a great day to be out there. I am enjoying my sailing. It was a perfect Geelong day with wind from the South between 12 and 14 knots. There were a few shifts but you expect that at Geelong. It is nice to be back in the boat and great to have Richie back, he makes life very easy.

In a very close second, by just over 1.5 seconds was Tango skippered by Chris Hampton with crew, Charlie Cumbley and Sam Haines. Third was Dawn Raid Skippered by Ian Johnson and his crew of John Collingwood and Tim Ede.

The second race got under way at 14.35 at an axis of 140 in 12 14 knots. It was the second clean start for the day. However it was very crowded at the boat end with a number of boats including Triad2 Skippered by John Bertrand, and Christian Boillot skippering Tamm Ha Tamm getting caught behind the start boat.

Chris Hampton had a great second race, starting at the pin end, he said 'I thought there was more pressure on the left hand side of the course, we reached the top mark first just ahead of GT and his crew on Magpie'. Chris continued to extend his position but it was still close racing and in the end only beating Magpie across the line by 5 seconds.

Third was Jean-Claude Strong with Tom Slingsby, Marcus Burke and Kate Deverux. Glen Ashby was also out with the fleet crewing for John Bertrand. Chris Hampton said 'it is great to have these guys in the fleet, they are just one of the guys in the boat park and happy to chat'.

So the leader board at the end of day one has Tango and Magpie in equal 1st place. Third, by five points is 1447 skippered by Jean-Claude Strong with Tom Slingsby, Marcus Burke and Kate Deverux. In fourth, it is great to see Peter Coleman and his crew Ben lamb and Ben Morrison Jack. Peter says, 'it is a totally different World up here, I have learnt more today than in I have in my 57 years of sailing. I didn't realise the intensity'. Well done PC and crew.

Tango Skippered by Chris Hampton and crewed by Charlie Cumbley and Sam Haines leading this group down to the bottom mark

 Tango Skippered by Chris Hampton and crewed by Charlie Cumbley and Sam Haines leading this group down to the bottom mark
© Alex McKinnon