Cronulla Sailing Club J/24 Short Course Regatta in Australia

Mat Short, the rising star in the fast growing fleet of J/24s at Cronulla, proved the old maxim – if you want to finish first, first you have to finish – and although he blitzed the racing on Saturday, not sailing on Sunday put an end to his (deserved) potential championship winning result. Instead a short and happy Dave McKay with a huge reputation for success and giving back to the sport, took the honors in a switch around (after a error in the race points was realized) from the prize-giving honors where one of the newest female skippers, Lia Darby was deservedly awarded first place (for a short time). Lia now scores an equally well deserved second place after a huge effort in delivering, preparing and racing hard in the demanding conditions (and then sailing it back to Sydney). Well done Lia! Held over the weekend of the June 6-9, the Cronulla Sailing Club in Sydney, ran a very successful J/24 short course regatta. Racing was focused on a windward leeward style event with legs at no more than 750 meters to ensure close racing between all. Mick Reynolds, the J24 captain at Cronulla with the great help of Fiona Campbell off COOEE TOO, led a keen group of volunteers in bringing this regatta to a successful conclusion. This event is planned as an annual event and planning is already underway for next year over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend 2015. Racing commenced at 1200 on the Saturday with a planned four races. Race starter Dave McLachlan, along with Dennis McClaren, started the fleet of 14 boats in a good solid 15-20 knot SSW breeze and a nice sunny day. Racing in the Port Hacking Estuary to a windward mark set off the beautiful shores of the Royal National Park. Great sailing by young skipper Mat Short and the crew on SHORT FACED, including Mat’s mum, saw them take four of the five races conducted to see SHORT FACED in the lead on completion of day one. Unfortunately due to prior sailing commitments with his sail maker father Ian, Mathew Short was unable to race on the second day. On Sunday, the three scheduled races got underway in a solid 20-25 knot SSW gusting to 30 knots. STARPAC won the first race of the second day in strengthening conditions that with the short 500m leg meant a number of boats elected to run without kites to avoid wipeouts as performed by numerous others. The tough starting conditions also saw local boats MCKAY MARINE, PINOT, SLIPPERY FISH and CJ CONSTRUCTIONS score OCS, leaving the gate open for The Girls on COOEE TOO to come storming through in fourth – their best race finish. SAILPAC won the final two races of the regatta and a very well deserved third place overall for Tim Briggs, the current NSW treasurer and all-round nice guy. Says Tim, “It’s the first time I have helmed the J in a major regatta and I was scared as hell on the Saturday and even more on the Sunday.” Read the full story at

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