Please see results of the QLD State A-Class championships attached.
We were all treated to probably one of the best sunny weekends of the summer at Hervey Bay over the Easter Weekend.
Paul & Clare Neeskens and the team at Hervey Bay SC had the fences up and the fish BBQ ready for us all on Friday with 2 afternoon racers to start the series (21 entries with 3 interstate entries).
Probably the best, most consistent wind over the 3 days with a 12-14Knt southerly and nice flat seas. As usual Steve started with a win but Willy managed to get up in race 2. Jack was always in the mix and the same pattern persisted for most of the regatta.
Saturday was more of the same in the afternoon racers but the morning was a bit of a lottery with the wind not yet fully established at about 2-6 Knots only. Whilst some of us went to the right others to the left it usually paid to go the other way! Brian Hooper managed to finish with a 2nd and Dave Merrett 3rd (although subsequently DSQ over sign off issues) so at least some Queenslanders were mixing it with the interstate guns! Unfortunately Dave was to suffer a high speed collision in race 5 going downwind into the sun (and not sighting the upwind boat until too late) and has suffered substantial hull damage. I am sure he will be back with a shiny new platform next season.
As I said racers 4 & 5 in the afternoon was 10-12 Knots SE and again Steve, Willy and Jack fought it out for top three positions. It has to be said that there was great close racing right across the fleet and apart from more DSQ for “safety breaches” most competitors came home in high spirits. It was interesting to note those on the wire downwind verses hiking – sometimes it paid whilst at times didn’t seem to be much in it so it gives some hope to the rest of us in these conditions!
Sunday dawned with rain and overcast skies – a real contrast to the previous few days weather. The race program changed slightly with all three racers scheduled back to back. Race 6 started in 7-9 Knots SW with rain clouds passing over the course and subsequently the wind patterns were very difficult to pick (just ask Willy and others who went right towards the oncoming cloud to find all those that went up the middle hook into a huge lift all the way to the top mark).
Race 7 became a flukey 5-8 knt challenge but Clare managed to have a ripper start and finished in the top 5.
Race 8 start was delayed as the wind died out and whilst some were pushing to call it off the committee waited another 30 minutes and the wind swung to the SE at about 8-10Knts and the top marks were set quite short which made for an interesting first mark rounding with the entire fleet still close together. All over very quickly and some had difficulty counting the laps !
Congratulations to Steve, Willy and Jack and first Queenslanders Brian, Luke and John (lucky we didn’t have a ‘state of origin’ trophy this year). Also first Grandmaster(GM 51-55) Brian Hooper, GreatGM 56+ Vic Collett, Master 45-50 – Peter Bradbury. First female competitor was Clare Neeskens again and handicap winner was another Neesken – Peter. Neil Cardwell picked up a trophy for ‘oldest’ hull (Mk5).
All in all a great venue with fantastic weather and good racing and a really hospitable club – where else does the PRO sing and dance for you !
I will post this to the web site shortly and also follow up with the travellers series results.
A Class QLD