Big thanks to Hamish Nicol for a great writeup from the Melges 24 Nationals in Adelaide, Oz. For more info, check the South Australia FB page.
After two days and with 5 races completed the 2015 Melges 24 Australian Championships are at their mid-point with competitors enjoying crash/bang/wallop racing followed by so much free sponsored beer at the dockside and wine in the club that the sponsors themselves cannot remember what happened and why they did it.
PRO Rogers is taking the piss because he keeps promising steady 15kt sea breezes that never show. The 14 competitors have seen everything from light Northerlies disappearing to nothing, to howling 20-25kt Southerlies with 2 meter swells to launch off. Add in the bushfires on the way over (now thankfully out), gear breakages and involuntary swims, and the fleet now expects tempests, locusts for the next few days.
The front of the fleet has a familiar look to it at the halfway stage with Chris Links-fresh from Wild Oats Hobart win-helming Cavalinho to several wins with Olympic Gold Medal winner Nathan Wilmot calling tactics. Adelaide favourite and former AC and 505 man Ronnie Duessen is following closely in second overall with his Red Mist’s red coachwork unmissable in the grey surf. Johnno Bannister’s Penultimate Challenge is in third crewed by a team of Mornington Peninsula hot shots. Another local boat Adrenaline is in 4th overall. Having been second after the first day Luke Stephen’s team had to survive a swim and a wild broach avoiding Red Mist.
The teams now prepare for an already breezy day three, re-examining their gear (two forestays failed on day 2) or perhaps breakfasting on Glenelg’s famous pie floater.