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Gosford: Lifting one's game - well and truly

12 May 2020 Andrew Heenan

Delightful Etchells sailing conditions on Gosford’s Brisbane Waters

"Delightful Etchells sailing conditions on Gosford’s Brisbane Waters"

Photo by:
John Curnow

Like many fleets, Gosford Etchells almost completed the summer season before ‘that virus’ caused our sailing world to stop turning. Fortunately, we managed to complete the Club Championship Series, and only missed the last Pointscore race.

Weather wise, the season was certainly atypical, as we only experienced the usual building NE sea breeze on a few occasions, and our Saturday races were mostly sailed in light south or southeast winds. Some blamed the horrendous bushfires putting a cap on the convection over the land, but we certainly missed those long, windy, works to windward.

The standard of sailing, and intensity of competition have improved markedly this season This was due mainly to much closer collaboration between boats regarding both tuning and technique, and the fleet’s decision to engage in some professional coaching. Thanks to the efforts of Nev Wittey, and Noel ‘Nitro’ Drennan, we have collectively lifted our game.

Proof of this is our much-improved results in the 2020 NSW States Championships at Lake Macquarie, where we averaged 16th place, compared to the previous years’ States at Gosford where we averaged 24th place. It was pleasing to see that Gosford made up over a quarter of the fleet at Lake Macquarie.

The season’s results were dominated by Huh? (Mick Law, Bruce Tenant, and John Humphries) who won both the Club Championship, and Scratch Pointscore. Second in the Club Championship was Ivy (John Denton, Daniel Eddy, and David Poole), and in third was Froth (Andrew Heenan, Claire Heenan, John Morton, and Justine Gowland-Ella). The minor placings were reversed in the Scratch Pointscore with Froth second and Ivy third.

With little prospect of getting on the water in anger in the near future, we carefully studied the recreation rules around COVID-19, and decided that some husband and wife Etchells ‘exercise’ was in fact legal. A lovely Easter sail around Brisbane Waters ensued, in light winds thankfully, as we are about 125kg all up. A friendly wave from the passing Waterways officers was a relief, and at least we got our fix.

Now we can only watch and wait, hope and pray, and all do our bit to make the dreaded virus go away…

Andrew Heenan
Fleet Captain


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