Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cronulla J/24 ShortCourse Sailing Regatta- Viva Mexico!

J/24s sailing AustraliaThe Mexicans are Coming!
(Cronulla, NSW, Australia)- Will this be the rallying cry from the border as we prepare for the up coming J/24 NSW States in November and Australian Titles in January 2017?? We shall see...

The Wet Tech Rigging Cronulla J/24 Short Course Regatta, started under the watchful eye of Cronulla Sailing Club Principle Race Officer Dave McLachlan. A stalwart at Cronulla who can remember when the Club last hosted a J/24 State and Australian Titles back in the mid 1980's, just like yesterday.

With a solid 18 plus 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 out by the visitor from Sandringham Yacht Club Ron Thomson driving his sister's boat Wildfire, by 7 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 4 minutes first to fifteenth.

The second race saw Bruschetta IV again perform taking first followed closely by Wildfire and then to John Crawford NSW J/24 Class President from MHYC on Innamincka taking third. The Third started soon after in a steady westerly with 20 plus knot bullets hurtling down Port Hacking. The third saw Mr Consistency Hugo first with Cronulla contender Barry Ryan on Pinot second and Ace again third. A pattern was emerging…

J/24s sailing off AustraliaRacing continued with Wildfire returning to the podium followed by Ace then Bruschetta IV , at this stage the Cronulla locals were getting restless. Race 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, 3 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, Innamincka and the always there Bruschetta IV. Race 7 and again Hugo Ottaway rose to the top with Cronulla local Dave McKay and Stockcar in second and Ace in third.

The penultimate race of the series and the PRO calls 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.

J/24s sailing off Melbourne, AustraliaAs 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. Without this support the event would not have been possible.

The Club would also like to thank its volunteers, the Cronulla Sailing Club is run by sailors not employees, and the leader of those volunteers in organising the J/24 regatta is Fiona Campbell, without her drive and attention to detail this event simply would not be the success it is.

The next event for the club is the J/24 NSW State Titles over the weekend of 6-7 Nov. This is shaping up to arguably be one of the best and most closely contested titles in recent years, with an expected field of 20 plus boats State, National and World Champions all competing on the waters of Bate Bay.

Just look out for those Mexicans, they really are coming to sail with us…