The A-Class travellers series moved to Lake Cootharaba SC on the weekend of 5/6th November for what turned out to be great weather and great racing.
The Cat Challenge attracted over 70 entries with the A-Class again being the largest class with 20 entries. See results and details on their web site at http://results.lcsc.org.au/catchallenge/2011/series.htm
Saturday had us scheduled for 3 racers back to back starting around 1230 in a shifty 8-12 knt with plenty of holes for those of us good at getting buried.
There was plenty of good lanes of pressure and wind was shifting regularly with the next cloud band. The starts were again critical as Nacras, F16, Taipans were all on our start line and getting caught behind the front row was ‘slow’.
Brad Collett gave us all a lesson again in how to start in clear air and lead around the top mark first, then climb out on the wire and ‘say goodbye’.
Meanwhile the rest of the fleet had to contend with Clares ‘starboard’ calls, heaps of traffic at the bottom mark and a ‘conga’ line of Nacra’s and Hobies coming down on top of us all.
A few skippers were pinged for going through the start/finish line but they will swear to all that will listen that this could not be true. Dave Carswell broke a stay and was dis-masted but always carries a spare and was out by the 3rd race. John Dowling turned up on his new DNA but is still coming to terms with low groove upwind – must have worked it out pretty quickly as he scored a few 3rd places.
Sunday dawned with light to medium airs shifty from the ESE at around 10knts for the mornings 2 racers and best winds of the weekend with up to 15kts for the afternoon.
Brad again led the way and finished the regatta with a perfect 7 wins. His pace and starts are world standard and whilst some of us tried trapping downwind he was off in the distance once again.
Luke McDonald overcame his issues with the ‘bloody lake’ and finished 2nd after carrying the DNF from race 2 (“but I didn’t go through the start/finish line”)
and Leon McNeil continues his great form as a newcomer to the class with a 3rd overall.
You can see from the attached results that you have to be ‘in it to win it’ and I guess that’s the strength of a long travellers series. Unfortunately Neil tells me that probably over half of the entrants from the cat challenge have not yet paid their A-Class annual membership (only $50 – not even the cost of a batten) and I don’t want to have to go back and re-score all the regatta’s so please make sure Neil gets your membership before Grafton !
I would like to thank Stacey and all the crew at LCSC for being great hosts and running a near perfect regatta. I would also like to thank those that tried to lead me astray on Saturday night but I think I will supply the red next time !
See you all in Grafton 26/27th November – see the NOR attached.