In Victoria where the Ronstan International 505 Australian Championships are being hosted, you often hear chat about having four seasons in one day, day 2 proved that statement. The committee were keen to get three races in and heading out to the start, it looked like perfect sailing conditions, 10-15 kns in blue skies.
Race one started in those conditions, but it started to fade reasonably quickly and became pretty shifty, 30-40 degree changes. A bang out to the right corner saw Kevin Cameron and Ken Webber take the lead with a nice little gap, close behind though there were a whole bunch of boats, particularly at the bottom mark for the first time when the fleet came up with pressure. By the top mark the second time there were 5 boats away with Cameron and Webber still in the lead, this extended as the chasing 4 went into luffing games. It looked all over, but the next beat was a doozy. Kev and Ken went right again, Quirk/Reffold and Jackson Spencer the middle and a bunch of boats went left, including Earle Alexander and Ian Gregg, who were well back so one tacked it to the corner. Kev and Ken managed to make it around first, chased by the Canberra combination of Dan Keys and Daryl Roos and the Earle and Ian and that’s the order it finished. There were heaps of positional changes, a real snakes and ladders race.
Race 2 saw the wind start to freshen again, with a decent 12-15kn. It was a race in two, Quirk/Reffold, (Hombre and Beefcake) verses Jackson/Spencer. These two cleared out from the fleet. One tactical mistake was made on the first beat, when Jackson/Spencer didn’t tack under and in front of Hombre and Beefcake and they got the gap and that was it! These two boats pushed each other all race, but Hombre and Beefcake took the win. Third was Damien Carey and Marcus Cooper who are having a great reunion tour.
Race 3 saw even more pressure, 20+kn. It was definitely on the weighty side. Hombre and Beefcake looked the goods, they were real fast in these conditions and lead at the top mark, with Nick Deussen and Jonno Bannister next around with Jackson and Spencer third. Carey and Cooper brought some pressure with them on the run and scooped up Jackson/Spencer who were a bit amateur hour on one of their gybes. Also in the mix were Dan and Daryl. >From there, it was play the shifts time, with a bit of a favourable bias to the left hand side of the course, in the end, Jackson/Spencer managed to pick up everyone except Hombre and Beefcake, with Nick and Jonno, Dan and Daryl and Damien and Marcus having a real battle for that third spot. At the finish Nick and Jonno got the third spot, even though young Jonno thought he was on a keel boat at one stage and went through a gybe whilst up on the bow, not easy to do on a 5oh in pressure.
So Quirk and Reffold are happy campers at the moment. Five races remain.
Results at http://www.int505nationals.com/
So on The Farm (of Funk) we were reasonably satisfied with the day. Race 2 was a bitch. We were trying to be conservative in some tough conditions and the corners kept paying. We got to second at one stage, but up that last beat we were in the middle when it went left. Still, hard to win regattas when you take flyers. The second race of the day, was just lack of time together, this is our fourth day of sailing with each other. We both wanted to tack under Quirky, but just didn’t communicate it in time. In the final race, he was smoking and gapped away. We could have got to him a few times, but we weren’t pretty with our crew work. Still, its good fun. My back is absolutely rooted, I can hardly stand and I am sailing with a bloke who looks like a ginger version of uncle fester and is a neatness freak, (apparently I keep throwing my sheets on him during manouvers). But we are in with a shot and I am sharing a house with Quirky at this regatta, so I will have to start getting into his head!!