The Victorian State Championships for the A-Division championships was held over the Labour Day Holiday weekend at McCrae Yacht Club on the Mornington Peninsula, attracting 50 entries.
Saturday saw a magnificent Summer’s day (at long last as this year has been a very wet year). Unfortunately the wind was very light and flucky and the sailors endured the hardships of sailing and only left the beach for a swim.
Sunday saw the fleet finally get to the water but in a dying breeze and racing tide. The race committed wisely shortened course after 3 legs, but at least we recorded a race. The sailors then returned to the shore as best they could, most paddling, some being towed and a lot making land fall as much as a kilometre away from the club and walking their boats home.
We then sat and watched the storm clouds roll in from the South- West and waited on the beach whilst a 35 knot front rolled through associated with rain squalls. Racing was called off for the day at 4 pm when the rain reduced visibility to unsafe levels.
A big day was planned for Monday, the third day, with the race committee aiming to run 4 races. The boats left the shore in very light winds prior to 0900 and then drifted until a race was started at 1000. The breeze was offshore from the South East at around 6-10 knots but very shifty. Following this race the committee shortened the race legs and managed to get all 4 races completed to create a series. The wind increased steadily over the morning to around 15 knots.
Glenn Ashby won all but the last race and once again showed us all how to manage the shifty conditions. Glenn always seems to have great boat speed and certainly makes it hard for anyone else to get near the front.
Dave Brewer sailed consistent races and recorded 3,5,3,5,2, to place second overall. Dave was sailing a Geltek Flyer 2 and was the only competitor in the top 5 not on a DNA. Team New Zealand skipper, Dean Barker finished 3rd overall after a 2nd in the first race and a win in the last race.
The rest of the top ten were Steve Brayshaw (DNA), Graeme Parker (DNA), Scott Anderson (Geltek Flyer 2), Chris Cairns (Tool), Dave McKenzie (Bush Object), Brad Collett (DNA) and Adam Beashel (DNA).
Congratulations to Glenn Ashby for winning another A Catamaran title and for bringing along 5 AC sailors to increase the level of competition and to the McCrae Yacht Club for putting on a successful event in very trying conditions.
Many of the same competitors will be back on the water next weekend for the NSW State Championships, sailed out of Kurnell Catamaran Club near Sydney.
GPS tracks, for all five races, can be viewed for a selection of the top competitors at http://www.tacktracker.com/web/races?rgid=1319275793