Friday, June 22, 2018

TINTO Crowned Australian J/24 Midwinter Champion

J/24s sailing off Sydney, Australia (Cronulla, Sydney, Australia)- The 2018 Australian J/24 Midwinter Championship had fourteen hot, talented crews ready to do battle to be crowned Midwinter Champion over the June 8th to 10th weekend.  The event was hosted by the Cronulla Sailing Club, racing in the waters of Bate Bay on Saturday and the Port Hacking Estuary on Sunday.

Saturday began in a light 4-8 knot breeze. Dave Mclachlan, the Cronulla SC PRO and his team on the start boat, got proceedings underway on time.

David West and his crew on ACE were using this regatta in their lead up to representing Australia at the J/24 World Championships in Lago di Garda, Italy later this year. They won the start and won the first race ahead of NSW J24 President, John Crawford, on INNAMINCKA in second, and Bryce Edwards driving WOOD DUCK in third.

Second race saw the forever-young David McKay in STAMPED URGENT rise to the top, with INNAMINCKA in second and again newcomer to the class, WOOD DUCK third.

The PRO kept things moving in a dying breeze and race three got underway. Stephen Wright’s TINTO took first.  West’s ACE was second, with McKay’s STAMPED URGENT again making an appearance in third.

The fourth, and what ended up being the final race, for the day saw TINTO again take first with WOOD DUCK in second and Janette Syme’s WILDFIRE arriving in third. Sails were then dropped, and each J/24 mounted there 3.5 hp engines of fury, for the motor back to Cronulla Sailing Club for an evening BBQ with the sun disappearing on the horizon.

J/24s under spinnaker- Sydney, AustraliaDay 2 and someone ordered wind right?  With the southerly gear-buster (as forecast) hitting early Sunday morning, there was no question wind for racing was a non-issue.  A steady 20 knots, with 30-knot busters, made for some interesting times and some equipment failure.  Can anyone gybe without broaching?

Race 5 saw the girls from Sandringham YC, with Kirsty Harris driving HYPERACTIVE; win pole position followed by Mr Consistency TINTO and WOOD DUCK in third. Race 6 saw WOOD DUCK popping to the top, followed again by TINTO, with INNAMINCKA in third. Race 7 saw WOOD DUCK again hit first, TINTO in second and STAMPED URGENT in third. Cool! Cronulla Boats 1-2-3!!

This is where the PRO decided enough was enough and racing was concluded. However, the crowd on Bass and Flinders Point had enjoyed watching the colorful sails and inspecting the clean hull of VERTIGO “keel-flapping” away after one wild broach.  Such is life on J/24s.

Final results, congratulations to Stephen Wright and TINTO first on scratch and handicap. Second on scratch was Class newcomer Bryce Edwards in his dad’s J/24 WOOD DUCK; could be an interesting discussion leading into the States in November. Bryce also achieved 3rd on handicap. Second on handicap was J/24 Southern Sydney Fleet President, John Zagame driving JARGON with third overall going to the forever-young David McKay on STAMPED URGENT.

The Organizing Committee would like to thank all of the events sponsors- Infinity Rigging, Wet Tech Rigging, AUSSEA Sailing School, Cronulla Marina, SPOT-A-YACHT Photography, Sail Connect, Ocean Sports and Newton Real Estate.

Lastly, events like this are only as successful as the unpaid volunteers- “Thank you” to all who contributed on BBQs, driving support boats, dock duties, and just generally being there. This list of volunteers is too long to mention them all by name, however, special mention goes to Jared Macquart, supporting this event since its inception through his professional advice on boat set up, maintenance assistance including supply of tools to effect emergency repairs to INNAMINCKA on Friday afternoon. Cheers Jared and thanks for the ongoing support!  Sailing photo credits- For more Australian J/24 Midwinters sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.