The inaugural 42 Degrees South Regatta for DF65's, RG65's and DF95's was held this weekend at Risdon Brook. Saturday was the turn for the smaller but by no means slow RG65's and DF65's with light to moderate chilling NNW'erly variable winds to around 10 knots or so, and fine sunny conditions. Ten skippers fronted for the event from around the State and PRO for the day was Les Hanson who did a fine job as usual. While both classes sailed in the one fleet, final results were separated for the two classes. With the wild weather over the last few weeks it was good in one way to see a rise in water level at the dam, however this also had its downside with weed being a big problem and when encountered it was definitely race over (see Ray Joyce's superb photos below. When the ramp was pulled out on Sunday, it looked like something from a Louisiana Bayou).
Stand out performer for the day was Andy Hamilton with his Frank Russell design RG65 Goth (if I remember correctly) with swing rig that without any reference of scale on the water, you would think was a Marblehead. The all up weight for this slippery little flyer was sub 1 kg! Andy stole the show winning 9 of the 11 races completed, taking out the RG65 class trophy with an impressive 9 points from second place (class and overall) Kyle Stewart with 19 points and third place Steve Walter (forth overall) with 30 points. George Fish won the DF65 class with 27 points and was third place overall from Geoff Martin on 41 points (fifth overall) and Morris Jones third (sixth overall) with 43 points.
Sunday was the turn of the new class on the water, the impressive and delight to sail DF95 Dragon Flite. Conditions were not quite as chilly as Saturday with sunny conditions and a good A rig breeze that built to B rig 12 to 15 knots for the last few races. PRO for the day was Stuart Harris who administered the event with his usual high standards. As the inaugural event for this class in Tasmania, 14 skippers fronted making an impressive fleet for this One Design class. After a small administrative error, the first race was declared a practice race as it was started before the advertise start time on the NOR. Again, weed was the nemesis for skippers and again it was definitely race over if you encountered it. The improve launching ramp performed very well both for launching and retrieving boats and for collecting weed as it drifted past (see photos). At times there were huge rafts of this "Fox Tail" weed several square metres in area.
Run away winner for the day (if I say so myself) was yours truly with 4 wins, 4 seconds, a fifth and a couple of weed gathering drops and 17 points, from Chris Wood in second place with 7 podium placings including 2 wins, 3 seconds and a third for 26 points, and third place going to Andrew Wardrop with 4 podium finishes including a win, a couple of seconds, a third and 31 points overall. With the success of the weekend's event, I see a bright and popular future for the DF95 class. We have submitted the class to the TRYC for ratification by the ARYA, and who knows, Tassie may be the first to hold National Titles for this class in 2018 which is only 18 months away!
Next Sunday is the resumption of club racing with IOM Scratch Winter Series Round 3, racing from 11:00AM.
Til then, wet sails.
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