2018 Cronulla J/24 Winter Championship in Australia

Thanks to Mick Reynolds for this report: So what a difference 24 hours can make…the regatta was again hosted by the Cronulla Sailing Club, racing in the waters of Bate Bay on Saturday and the Port Hacking Estuary on Sunday. Fourteen J/24s made the commitment with five hulls from the harbour, one from Botany Bay, and a crew from Melbourne showing the depth and strength of J/24 racing. Saturday began in a light 4-8 knot breeze. PRO Dave Mclachlan and his team on the start boat got proceedings underway on time. ACE, David West and his crew, using this regatta in their lead-up to representing Australia at the J/24 World Championship in Italy later this year, won the start and the first race ahead of NSW J/24 President John Crawford on INNAMINCKA in second and Bryce Edwards driving WOOD DUCK in third. Second race saw the forever young David McKay in STAMPED URGENT rise to the top, with INNAMINCKA in second and again new comer to the Class WOOD DUCK third. The PRO kept things moving in a dying breeze and race three got underway. Stephen Wright and his crew in TINTO, preparing for the J/24 Worlds, where successful in first. Dave West and ACE was second (another crew on the way to Italy), with Mr Mckay again making an appearance in third. The fourth, and what ended up being the final, race for the day saw TINTO again take first, with WOOD DUCK in second and Janette Syme in WILDFIRE arriving in third. Sails were then dropped, and each J/24 mounted their 3.5 hp engines of fury for the motor back to Cronulla Sailing Club for an evening BBQ with the sun disappearing on the horizon.

Day 2 and someone ordered wind, right? With the southerly change hitting early Sunday morning, wind was certainly no question for day two. A steady 20 knots, with 30 knot busters, made for some interesting times and some equipment failure. Race five saw the girls from Sandringham Yacht Club, with Kirsty Harris driving HYPERACTIVE, win pole position, followed by Mr. Consistency TINTO and WOOD DUCK in third. Race six and WOOD DUCK popped to the top, followed by again TINTO, with INNAMINCKA in third. Race seven saw WOOD DUCK again hit first, TINTO in second and STAMPED URGENT in third (Cronulla Boats 1, 2, 3). This is where the PRO decided enough was enough, and racing was concluded. However the crowd on Bass and Flinders Point had enjoyed watching the colourful sails and inspecting the clean hull of VERTIGO, Clinton Hood.
Congratulations to Stephen Wright and TINTO—first on scratch and handicap. Second on scratch was Class newcomer Bryce Edwards in his dad’s J/24 (could be an interesting discussion leading into the States in November). Bryce also achieved third on handicap. Second on handicap was J/24 Southern Sydney Fleet President John Zagame driving JARGON, with third overall going to the forever young David McKay on STAMPED URGENT.
The Organising Committee would like to thank firstly all of the events sponsors: Infinity Rigging, Wet Tech Rigging, AUSSEA Sailing School, Cronulla Marina, SPOT-A-YACHT Photography, Sail Connect, Ocean Sports and Newton Real Estate. Lastly, events like this are only as successful as the unpaid volunteers—thank you to all who contributed on BBQs, driving support boats, dock duties and just generally being there. This list of volunteers is too long to mention them all by name, however special mention goes to Jared Macquart, supporting this event since its inception through his professional advice on boat set-up and maintenance assistance (including supply of tools to effect emergency repairs to INNAMINCKA on Friday afternoon).

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