The first Sunday racing for the new year and fine summers day with light sou-west to westerly winds before the sea breeze wafted in around 2:00 PM. Ten skippers turned up and handicaps were: Dave Murfett, Peter Germein and Don McLeod off scratch and the rest off us off 60 seconds. A relatively short course of one lap, often alternating in which way to start, made for some good racing both for position on the water and on the leader board, handicap management proving to be the key.
Ray Joyce won the first race with yours truly second and Michael Hickman third, all off 60 seconds. Race 2 was taken out by Stuart Harris then David Jones, both of 60 and yours truly in third off 1:20. Andrew Wardrop took line honours in the Race 3 with Rod Jackman coming home in second place and Don McLeod filling the minor podium position. Race 4 saw Ray Joyce notch up another bullet followed by Don McLeod up to second and Rod in third spot.
After the first drop, Ray Joyce lead the field with 8 points, followed by Don McLeod on 9 points. Third place was Rod and myself on 10 points and Michael Hickman rounding out the top 5. I notched up my first win off 1:30 in Race 5 with David Jones off 1:10 crossing the line in second and Peter Germein coming third off scratch. Another winner in Race 6 with Rod Jackman taking the gun off 1:10, Michael Hickman off 1:10 with a second podium placing and Andrew Wardrop pegging back from a 1:30 handicap to take third. Michael notched up his first win for the day in Race 7, also starting off 1:30 and rounding up scratch marker Dave Murfet and Peter Germein off 10 seconds. I managed to pick the right lanes in Race 8 as did Andrew Wardrop and Michael Hickman, all of us starting at 1 minute 30.
After the second drop, I lead the field on countback from Michael Hickman on 17 points, third was Rod Jackman on 22 points, fourth Don McLeod on 24 points and Andrew Wardrop in the top 5 with 25 points. Don McLeod showed his grasp for the conditions and overcame his 1:30 handicap to take line honours in Race 9, with Dave Murfet off 20 seconds taking second and Peter Germein with another podium, also starting off 1:30. The sea breeze finally kicked in and Peter Germein revelled in the conditions to score a win from 1:30 in Race 10 with the Commodore also liking the breeze coming home second and Michael Hickman gaining some valuable points in third off 2 minutes. Race 11 and Peter Germein takes a double from the consistent Don McLeod and Andrew Wardrop in third. The increasing handicaps took their toll in Race 12 with David Jammie Jones taking the first of a double, closely followed by Ray Joyce and Rod Jackman. Race 13 saw Dave's double with Rod making a point gain in second and the consistent Dark McLeod looming in third place. Race 14 and Michael Hickman scored his second win for the day with Andrew Wardrop on the podium again as too Don McLeod. The final race for the day was Race 15 with a dwindled fleet of 7. Ray Joyce showed his sailing stamina to take the final race from the always competitive Rod Jackman and Andrew Wardrop.
As I eluded to earlier, the key to winning today was not only picking the wind, but managing your handicap, which is exactly what Michael Hickman did, taking out the days racing with 42 points, 10 points clear of Rod Jackman in second on countback from Don McLeod, both on 52 points.
Before closing, a big congratulations to Lisa Blackwood for a fantastic effort in the 2.4M World Championships that concluded today on the River Derwent. With a couple of wins during the regatta, Lisa finished a very respectable 7th place amongst some very experienced 2.4 sailors including Current Australian Champion and Rio Olympic Team member Matt Bug and reigning 2016 World Champion and previous World Champion Meagan Pascoe.
Next week is the return of the Marvellous Marbleheads with racing from 11:00 AM.
Til then, wet sails.
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