Conditions on Day 1 of the State Championships were rather bleak with grey skies, light southerly winds and forecast showers. Les Hanson volunteered his services as PRO for the weekend and ran the event efficiently and with authority, thankyou Les. Thirteen skippers were entered and a day of close racing was ahead. Past multiple State Champion Michael Hickman showed early dominance with two wins, and returning skipper Matt Gray, with a borrowed boat, on the podium for the first 4 races, including a win. Rod Jackman was sailing well in the variable conditions with a win and a couple of podiums. Ray Joyce found the groove in the afternoon with 3 wins, yours truly with a couple and Lisa Blackwood, also with a borrowed boat had a win as well . With 12 races completed for Day , Matt Gray held a comfortable 6 point lead from Michael Hickman on 37 points, 2 points ahead of Rod Jackman in third place on 39 points.
Day 2 and what a difference in the weather. Clear sunny skies and a light northerly to 5 -8 knots, plenty of shifts and the usual odd hole or two. The possibility of a sea breeze also on the cards in the afternoon. In the first six races before lunch there was 6 different winners and no one really showing any dominance although Matt Gray was sailing consistently well enough to extend his lead to 9 points ahead of Michael Hickman, who was 4 points ahead of Rod Jackman in third place overall. The sea breeze finally arrived after lunch and with a course change, the final session was sailed in good breeze with enough passing lanes to make racing interesting. Nine different winners for the 13 races completed on Day 2. Peter Darcy won the afternoon with 3 wins, Lisa and Michael had a couple of wins each, David Jones, Ray Joyce, Chris Wood, Matt Gray and myself also notching up wins.
After 25 races the final standings went down to the wire with Matt Gray taking the title by just 1 point from a charging Michael Hickman in second place. Rod Jackman was the best of the rest, 18 points adrift in third place overall.
Congratulations to the Tasmanian IOM Champion for 2015, Matt Gray.
Next Sunday is the return of the Marbleheads for Round 2 of the Summer Series with racing commencing at 1:30 PM.
Till then, wet sails.
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