Thanks for this contribution from Stephen Wright: The Australian J/24 NSW Championships was hosted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Pittwater from October 31 to November 1 on the gorgeous Sydney Harbour. Ten entries participated, but Paul Donnelly’s CALYPSO suffered a trailer-related incident and did not compete (it’s a long story but a good one…. ask Paul about it when you’ve got a few minutes to spare). Those regular boats who chose not to compete missed out on a great event, notwithstanding the weather which threw everything at us from warm and sunny to thunder and lightning and at times LOTS of rain! The venue and facilities were excellent, lots of hardstand space, cranes, a very professional race crew and helpful, welcoming staff. COVID rules were obviously in place and restricted social activities a little, but it all ran very well. The RPYC PRO Stephen Merrington managed to get all six heats run on a difficult stormy weekend when a lot of other club racing around Sydney was cancelled. Saturday started with a Northeasterly breeze around 10 knots, but later shifted southerly. Two races had to be abandoned halfway through which was unfortunate (especially for Steve Wright’s TINTO, leading both times), but that’s sailing! Steve Quigley’s CONVICTS REVENGE won Race 1, followed by TINTO and Clinton Hood’s EL FIDELDO. Then, Race 2 was won by Dave West’s ACE from John Crawford’s INNAMINCKA and David McKay’s STAMPED URGENT. Another race was started, but then the storm closed in and competitors were sent home in the pouring rain. With the forecast for an early southerly expected to get up to 30 knots, hopes were not high for much sailing on Sunday. But, we were fortunate to get all four races run, in a wind moving from SW to S and increasing from 8-10 knots to well over 20 knots. Wright’s TINTO won Race 3 after a poor first leg, coming from fourth at the last mark to the final margin of 24 seconds from Quigley’s CONVICTS REVENGE and West’s ACE. Race 4 went to Crawford’s INNAMINCKA from CONVICTS REVENGE and ACE. With the strengthening wind, all boats we were on jibs for Race 5. This race had the closest finish of the series, with the first five finishing in six seconds! ACE taking first from INNAMINCKA, then TINTO. The final race was getting tough with the strong and gusty Southerly really testing everyone. CONVICTS REVENGE got the better of ACE in a tight tactical battle up the second work to win, with TINTO taking third. Racing overall was very tight and competitive, with most finishing within two or three minutes each race. However, there were no protests and no (bad) collisions, so a good weekend all round. Congratulations to Quigley’s CONVICTS REVENGE team that won the series on a tiebreaker/countback from West’s ACE team on 10 points. Wright’s TINTO rounded out the podium with the bronze medal. The balance of the top five included Crawford’s INNAMINCKA in fourth and McKay’s STAMPED URGENT in fifth position.
OVANGA DELTA Wins PHS: The handicap-based PHS sub-division results gave the win to woman skipper Janette Syme’s OKAVANGO DELTA crew. Second was Marc Tromp’s WATERBORNE AGAIN and third went to Clinton Hood’s EL FIDELDO. A “Resilience Prize” was awarded to Steve Arnold’s SAILMATES. Competing in their first State Champs, they finished every race and flew a kite on every run. Well done! Finally, special “Thanks” to Bryce at Infinity Rigging, and Shane at Doyle Sails who donated prizes for the event. For more Australian J/24 Class information, visit http://www.j24.com.au/.