International J/24 Class Association

CONVICTS REVENGE Takes J/24 NSW States

November 08, 2014

Thank you to Simon Grain for the following report: This year’s NSW States (Queensland, Australia) offered something for everyone, or in reality everything for everyone. From almost no wind in race 4 on Sunday morning to around 60 knots in Saturday afternoon’s thunderstorm, along with lightning, thunder and rain…a good decision by the race committee to close the show down after race 3. Saturday always looked like being windy, jib weather from way back. Although there were a couple of genoas being stretched on the course, the comment was that they weren’t really any advantage though. Looks like there were a couple of people taking a swim too, Sean lost Big Tim and one of the girls over the side when the lifeline let go. The default question was why the other two weren’t hiking hard enough to go in with them ….mmm questions being asked! I heard Jeanette also had a swimmer but don’t have the details. Tricky sailing with really shifty westerlies and a start line deep in Rose bay to a top mark to the north of Shark Is. Race two and a course change saw us and a couple of others head out to the left only to find that the top mark hadn’t moved more than a boat length, so we had a reach in around the island back to the top mark….so much for thinking I had picked a winner there! We were having our own little problems on Code—the boat hadn’t been raced for a couple of years and we had a few boat issues—new crew (trimmer Pete is used to steering a bigger boat and our training prior was in everything under 5 knots and how to use a motor to get back home) and of course the weather and the bloke on the helm (no wonder we won the handicap prize). But seriously, we improved with every race until the last two, and I have to thank my crew for the huge effort in getting up from Melbourne and racing the boat. As usual, we had fun and when you aren’t winning, that is what sailing is all about. Race 2 gave us all a chance to go downwind in a big breeze (for a change) and many boats took the no kite option…Terry, next time I am risking the national debt with the kite and you are coasting along without one at the same speed next to me, could you just please move away so it isn’t so obvious? But of course the front of the fleet is sailing away from us at light speed and as usual the bloody Black Prince is up there and will ask ‘where was I’ later, but this time he’s not getting it all his own way. Steve Girdis has gone cycling on pain of death from someone, and Robbie Brewer is out of retirement and driving Convicts and driving well, with two to one on Dave in Kaotic, he is the day winner. In fact, we are all winners when most of us get home before the next storm cell hits. So glad we are not racing in that. Not without some drama at the club and round the corner for the boats going back to the CYC though. It’s as black as…and then white, as the 60-knot front of the thunderstorm lifts the top 2 feet of water into the air around the boats in pleasant little Felix Bay. Some of us got ashore, and some didn’t. Vortex went ashore too, well done Sean in the crew tender turned rescue boat dragging Vortex off in the height of the storm. Sean, yes that’s the Commodore, organizer, tender driver, boat rescuer, crew rescuer and the guy that also comes third—makes me feel very humble! Check this out- http://youtu.be/eLcBjieN-H0. This year we have four boats from Cronulla, the fast developing fleet down in the ‘Shire.’ One might say a mixed bag of boats and sailors like anywhere, but a great group of guys and girls that love a good time and some hard racing. It’s been a process to get them to the harbor, but three have sailed up and Dave Mackay has trailed. Dave is the guy that won the big one in the Moths some…well quite some years ago. Known affectionately as “Magoo” and with a sense of humor that instantly puts you at ease and laughing, he is no slug on the race course and comes home fourth overall in Stockcar. Welcome to our world Dave, hope you come and play more often. And that goes for all our new friends at Cronulla—Barry Ryan in Pinot, Clinton Hood in CJ Constructions and Mick Reynolds in Slippery Fish who has worked so hard to get the Cronulla Js into class racing with us. Let’s get more of you to come and play. Sunday has dawned sunny and with a dropping westerly breeze, very shifty and getting very light, the Black Prince sailing Arthur Crother’s Kaotic with a mixed crew out of Melbourne bangs in another win to make the tally 2 all with Convicts. We drift around for a little while as the wind tries to make up its mind. Finally the wind changes to a southeast breeze, settling down and offering great top end genoa racing for the last two…or was that the last five races. Three practice starts in the last race had the RO threatening the black flag and that was enough to finally get a clean start away. Convicts they might be, but they nailed the last two and it was a done deal. Robbie Brewer and team on Convicts Revenge taking it out from Dave Suda on Kaotic and the Commodore on Sailpac coming in third. The team on Code Violation won the Zimmer Frame with Barry Ryan in Pinot and Geoff Cowen in Nokomis second and third. Congratulations to Kate Holmes for being awarded the Women on Water Trophy for many years of attendance and effort with Jeanette on various boats. No Thommo Cup this year as Ron didn’t show, so I guess Jeanette keeps it by default. Thanks to the team at RPEYC, the NSW Association, the help at the crane at RANSA and the effort from the Cronulla guys to get there, all the Sydney guys and girls that turn up and race and thanks to all the volunteers and friendly smiling faces that made the regatta an event we look forward to. For more J/24 NSW States sailing information, visit http://j24.com.au/.

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