The 7 race Zhik Wangi Winter Regatta was won by Chris Cairns ,from Steve Brewin, with the 3rd place going to Grant Pellew. The racing was held over two days. This inaugural regatta attracted 8 A Cats, quite a bit smaller than the 69 boats present at the last Nationals, but reasonably respectable for Winter, with half of the active NSW boats in attendance.
The winds were consistently light. Chris Cairns has always been a light wind master, and sailing on his straight centreboard “Tool”, he had great speed. Steve Brewin and Grant Pellew were both sailing DNA’s and it seemed that in these conditions, a higher volume boat with curved centreboards confers no advantage, indeed probably the opposite.
The three races that were held on the Saturday were raced in shifty NE, and then latter SE winds, which struggled to rise above 5 or 6 knots. Downwind was a very mild thing. Cairns was very quick, both upwind and down. During race 2, he was enjoying himself so much, that he was well into his 4th windward leg into what was actually a three lap windward return race.
The last race was sailed in still further lightening wind, as the sun sank slowly in the West with the course shortened to 2 laps. The day was mild with sunny clear blue skies, and a temperature of about 15 degrees C, with the mild hypothermia setting in only after the sun had gone down.
After the day’s racing, the fleet adjourned to the Wangi Hotel , to down a few beers, warm up , compere excuses, and plan for next summer.
Steve Brewin moved up a gear or two on the final day to win 3 of the 4 races, with Cairns taking out the other. (Cairns finished 2nd to Brewin in the other races). The winds were slighter stronger, occassionally nudging up to about 8 knots. to permit windward trapezing for about 40% of the time. No wild thing downwind.
The comical highlight highlight of the day was in the third race when many of the fleet thought they had finished after actually having sailed just just two laps. Perhaps all that upwind/downwind short course sailing was causing dizzyness. The must have go fast gear for next year’s regatta will surely include an abacus to count the number of laps!
We shared the starting line with the International Moth Class, and they were clearly not having a great time. Only very rarely were they able to foil, and in displacement mode the boats were very slow, with all the redundant underwater hardware further impeding progress.
In two weeks time, Steve Brewin will be in battle on Lake Garda, competing in the European A Class Championships, where the winds will be much stronger.
Competitors seemed to enjoy the regatta, with typical A Class congeniality. Zhik provided some really excellent prizes, and next year we will encourage more people to attend.
That seems to be about for Australian A Class sailing until next September. Good luck to Stevie, Jack, Scott, Landy, Brad ,and Steven in Garda