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MC38 Winter Series challengers ~ video

Cool spring easterlies and a sparkling Sydney Harbour back-dropped the final day of the MC38 Winter Series act four, which went to the dominant Ginger team led by the class Godfather – Leslie Green.

“We had a very successful regatta; seven races in two days and we won five and came second in two, which is not bad,” Green said. “This crew are fantastic; we recover quickly if we make a mistake, and we don’t make many, and everyone knows their job. And they are all really nice people.

“Having Col Beashel on board is a great honour….he’s sailed at six Olympics! When he gives me the tip to go up or down he waves his hand like the King. And Julian Plante and Chappo [David Chapman] work so well together as strategist and tactician.”

As the winner of three of the four stages of the Winter Series, Ginger also takes the pointscore crown.

There were plenty of shining moments for the Matt Allen-helmed Maserati. The crew was aggressive in the pre-start and once on the field tactician Joe Turner made some nifty calls which helped put Maserati into second overall by six points, and six points ahead of Chris Way’s Easy Tiger in third.

Easy Tiger is the newest MC38 crew and Way says, “I think we are pretty comfortable where we are, we never thought we’d step in and win. Speed-wise we are getting there, we are happy with our starts and much happier with the main we used today plus we were at full weight having raced Saturday a man down.” On the swag of equipment Way inherited he laughed: “I’ve got 28 sails from the previous owner, and no notes to go with them.

Chris Hancock's Vino – MC38 Winter Series, Act 4 © David Staley / MHYC

Chris Hancock’s Vino – MC38 Winter Series, Act 4 © David Staley / MHYC

Like a few MC38 sailors, Way will now head overseas to compete in other class world championship – his is the Platu 25 title while others are making their way to the Etchells Worlds in San Francisco – but will be back for the MC38’s first event of the Summer Series pointscore next month. “We’ll all come back ready to rampage for the summer!” Way promised.

On Saturday September 9 Steve Barlow’s Lightspeed ended up at the boat doctor requiring structural repairs and on Sunday afternoon Chris Hancock’s Vino crew found cracking in the deck. Tactician Billy Merrington explained: “Where the mast goes through the hole in the deck there is some cracking at the front. We aren’t sure when it happened; we noticed it on the last downwind. We hit some pretty big ferry waves downhill and the deck might have compressed a bit. The carbonologists have got some work to do.”

On their day Merrington added: “It was a pretty tough day on Vino; we had a few good first beats and just couldn’t finish it off. A few times we thought we were in a good spot and had to keep going to keep out of the way of the Manly ferry, which put us in the wrong spot. The other guys are sailing really well. Hopefully some of the regulars will return for the summer series, to strengthen the fleet again.”

Act 4 and season winner ginger with Leslie Green on the helm – MC38 Winter Series © David Staley / MHYC

Act 4 and season winner ginger with Leslie Green on the helm – MC38 Winter Series © David Staley / MHYC

Middle Harbour Yacht Club ran an excellent series thanks to David Staley in the sailing office and race officer Phil Yeomans and his on-water team.

The MC38’s 2017-18 summer pointscore will commence with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron run weekend on October 14-15, in conjunction with the J70 nationals. A big MC38 fleet turn-out is expected, including a Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club youth crew on the loaned MC38 Lazy Dog, which is available to buy.

by Lisa Ratcliff

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