Festival of Sails 2016 – The second day of the Festival of Sails presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover welcomed the Morris Finance Sydney 38 Australian Championship fleet to Geelong’s Corio Bay.
Tonight the members of the nine-boat one design fleet contesting their Australian championship at the Festival of Sails gather together for their annual dinner. The conversation across the tables will certainly be lively.
Today started almost benignly, but it wasn’t long until the fleet was woken from their reverie. Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah collected the top mark and spent a long 10 minutes clearing the line off the keel. “We didn’t hit the mark. We were at least five feet from it, but somehow we managed to snag the buoy,” Taylor said. Linc Attesal was the hero of the day, going over the side to clear the line.
“We have been training really hard. In a nine race regatta with no drops, it’s not a good way to start,” a despondent Taylor added. They gallantly returned to the course and finished the race.
The other hero of the day was Ikon’s tactician and local sailor Brendan Garner, says skipper Kirwan Robb. Once Garner, by his own admission, backed off on his over-confident calls, the first race third place was quickly left behind. Successive left hand shifts on Corio Bay were spotted and it was on and upward from there, into first place for the next two races. “We learnt from the first race and sailed smarter,” Garner said.
The gusts touched 24 knots as Ikon jumped ahead of the fleet to lock in first place overall at the end of the day, one point ahead of defending national champion and Geelong team, Brendan and Jen Carnell’s Phoenix.
Bausele VX One Australian Championship
A three year break from sailing together has made little difference to 505 national champions Rob Deussen and Jordan Spencer. After a slow start in the very soft conditions of yesterday, today they found their form to win two races and then finish in the stronger conditions with a second to lead the VX One fleet ahead of Andrew York’s Speedwagon.
Spencer, Deussen and crew Rachael Patterson began the event not knowing how to rig the boat, which is on loan from Michael James. Spencer also had to lose 10 kilos in six weeks to be ready to race the new class, which is sporting two or three-person crews. “We have been talking about whether having three crew helped. We’re not sure. The others seem to be quicker downhill, where we are a little quicker uphill. We haven’t sailed these boats enough to really know; we’ve only been in the boat just four times,” Deussen said.
In each of today’s three races The Beast had a clean start and led the fleet out of the blocks, but they didn’t dominate. “I don’t think we won a race by more than 30 seconds,” Deussen added.
Hogs Breath Sports Boat Series
The aptly named Adelaide team of Game On with Julian Newton on the helm, strove ahead of the Hogs Breath Sports Boat Series fleet to finish the second day of competition with two firsts and a second. They now sit on top with five points from four races.
Behind them in the 10-race series is Lachlan Hassell’s Miracle Mile with 14 points and third is Tim Smith’s Black Betty with 16 points at the series half way point.
All divisions are racing tomorrow on multiple courses starting from midday with the multihulls. The forecast is for 15kt southerlies.
Information relating to the 173rd edition of the historic regatta is on the website.