Jimmy's Beach Hawks Nest, NSW, Australia : Jan 27th – 29th 2012
FULL RESULTS / EVENT WEBSITE (inc photos) / VIDEO Race 9
The final 4 races were run in the best conditions of the regatta, with winds peaking at about 20 knots. John Demol continued his domination with 4 out of 4 today, making for a worthy Oceanic Raceboard Champion for 2012. The battle for second place was a much closer affair with three sailors in contention. Early co-leader, Ben Morrell was back on form with some consistent sailing across the four races. Bens dad, Glen dropped away with 2 poor races but then hit back in the windier races with a second and a third. James Grunfelder continued on his day 2 form, clearly enjoying the conditions and posting good results. It all came down to the last race. Glen was second around the top mark followed by James and Keith Single but a slow downwind saw Glen drop to 4th. James sailed a faultless second work to stay ahead of Glen who had overtaken Keith and so James finished second in the regatta, a point ahead of Glen in 3rd.
The steeper chop caused by the increasing wind and the outgoing tide made for more demanding sailing, particularly in the transitions leading to all competitors changing down to their high wind sails, most between 8.5m and 9.2m, for the last two races.
Oceanic Champion : John Demol (Mistral/Severne)
2nd James Grunfelder (Mistral/Severne)
3rd Glen Morrell (Starboard/Severne)
Master : Glen Morrell
Australian Raceboard Champions;
Lightweight : Richie Reynolds (Exocet/Severne)
Mediumweight : John Demol
Heavyweight : Keith Single (Mistral/Barracouta)
Lady : Lissa McMillan (Mistral/Tushingham)
All in all a great event at a fantastic location. A big thanks to Nick Nelson and the race crew for setting excellent courses and managing the races.
John Demol tightened his grip on the Oceanic Raceboard Championship with a run of bullets in the four races sailed today. Although the forecast was indicating lighter winds than yesterday the first race was away a bit after 11am with a fairly solid 10 knots of NE wind – probably the best wind direction for Hawks Nest. A clean start in this first race saw Richard Reatti first around the top mark closely followed by Richie Reynolds, Martin Thearle and John Demol, but with his powerful pumping and efficient planing John was soon in the lead. A close battle between Richie, Glen Morrell and James Grunfelder developed for second place , which ultimately lead to these finishing places.
In the second race James got a great start to lead at the first mark, but again John was faster downwind and was also able to tack a bit earlier on the next upwind to edge ahead. Like the first race the minor placing was fought out between Richie & Glen.
After a lunch break and a good view of the formula races happening on the same stretch of water, race 3 was started in slightly fresher winds of maybe 12 knots. Racing again was closely fought at the front of the fleet, with John, James, Glen and Ben Morrell pushing each other to point higher, tack quicker and hit the lay line more precisely. The wind was such that planing downwind with one gybe from the top mark to the bottom mark was realistic without too much pumping.
The last race of the day saw 14 knot gusts of wind, making for a choppier water surface but a faster journey. John, James and Glen cleared out from the chasing pack to snare the top 3 places.
The final day of racing is looking like a 20 knot day, but the forecasts have not been too accurate, so anything is possible. One thing is certain that the close racing will continue.
The raceboard championships commenced with a beautiful sunny day and light ESE wind gusting up to about 12 knots but mainly hovering around 8 knots. The fantastic location of Hawks Nest was at its best in these conditions, with many sailors experiencing this delightful stretch of water for the first time, although a few of the sailors were wishing for more wind. Race Officer, Nick Nelson, set a P shaped course, with race time running at about 30 minutes.
The first race was underway near the scheduled time of 1pm and immediately defending champion, John Demol, established a small lead from Ben Morrell, another top contender. Lightwind specialists, Richie Reynolds and Martin Thearle were also in the mix, as were Keith Single and Glen Morrell, the latter riding the new Starboard Phantom 377 in its first major race outing. Hard pumping downwind to stay on the plane was crucial in these marginal conditions.
The second race had slightly lighter wind, and the out-flowing tide was having an effect, largely causing two general recalls. Choosing the outer side of the course enabled a tide lift to the top mark followed again by some hard pumping downwind. The first two competitors from race 1 cleared out from the rest leading to the second win for John Demol. A great race from David Shannon-Hooper saw him finish 4th, just behind Keith Single.
The third race of the day was held in probably the lightest wind, and a good start saw Glen Morrell establish a lead from Richie Reynolds, maintaining this until the last work of the course where the positions were reversed. Ben Morrell sailed consistently to take third, from a previous champion, James Grunfelder in 4th. Pat Coleman sailed a solid race, getting to grips with his new Exocet D2.
All in all a great start to the championship. A lot of hard pumping but a rewarding results at the end of the day.