Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta Report

The Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta in Australia started under the watchful eye of Cronulla Sailing Club Principle Race Officer Dave McLachlan. With a solid 18+ knots from the west and a course set inside the confines of the Port Hacking Estuary, all boats set a jib on the first day. The first race was taken by the visitor from Sandringham Yacht Club, Ron Thomson driving his sister’s boat Wildfire, by seven seconds to J/24 stalwart Hugo Ottaway and Bruschetta IV from Sandringham Yacht Club, and a further 30 seconds back to Dave West and Ace from Middle Harbour Yacht Club. The Short Course format with legs of no more than 800 metres ensures close, fast racing with the field complete within four minutes first to fifteenth. The second race saw Bruschetta IV take first, followed closely by Wildfire and then John Crawford, NSW J/24 Class President from MHYC, on Innamincka in third. The third race started soon after in a steady westerly, with 20+ knot bullets hurtling down Port Hacking. This race saw Mr. Consistency Hugo first, with Cronulla contender Barry Ryan on Pinot second, and Ace again third. A pattern was emerging. Racing continued with Wildfire returning to the podium, followed by Ace then Bruschetta IV. The PRO made the call to conduct a fifth race for the day, knowing the forecast for Sunday wasn’t the most pleasant. And here Team Cronulla showed its tenacity: Pinot first over the line to Wildfire and then Bruschetta IV. The next day, three races were planned to achieve the series as dictated. With the wind abating, all decided the genoa was on. Race 6 saw Barry Ryan return with first, then Innamincka and the always-there Bruschetta IV. Race 7 again saw Hugo Ottaway rise to the top with Cronulla local Dave McKay and Stockcar in second and Ace in third. For the penultimate race of the series, the PRO called for three laps. Ace completed the series on a high, followed again by Bruschetta IV and Pinot in third. The presentation was conducted back at the sailing club, taking in the fantastic views from the head of Gunnamatta Bay as all the competitors enjoyed the fruits of the BBQ provided by the always-present CSC Volunteers lead by Dennis Mclaren and Ken Mackay. As you can guess, “Mr. J/24” Hugo Ottaway finished in first, followed by Wildfire and Ace in third. The Cronulla Sailing Club would like to thank its primary sponsor Wet Tech Rigging and its supporting sponsors Macquart Marine, Quantum Sails, Cronulla Marina, AUSSEA Sailing School, Spot-A-Yacht and Afloat Magazine. The Club would also like to thank its volunteers, as the Cronulla Sailing Club is run by sailors not employees. The leader of those volunteers in organizing the J/24 regatta is Fiona Campbell, and without her drive and attention to detail, this event simply would not be the success it is.

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