by Peter Robinson
During the warm, calm conditions of last year's National Championships at South Lake Macquarie, it seemed a great idea for us to all get together for the first event of the next season at a venue a little more central. In those balmy conditions we simply forgot what conditions could be like in early Spring at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.
Well, on the weekend of 26-27 September we all received a refresher course on alpine lake sailing. Twenty-four keen OK Dinghy sailors from Adelaide, Melbourne, Lake Macquarie and Sydney (and a few from placesin between) turned up at the Canberra Yacht Club on Lake Burley Griffin in our nation's capital for a series of sprint races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with a "medal" race on Sunday to also be a demonstration race for the OKs during the regular CYC weekend race. Already by 11:00am the wind was blowing 18-25kn over a grey and choppy lake at 9 degrees. Ambient temperature was 6 degrees and wind-chill around 0-1 degree.
Racing got underway on schedule and three races were able to be run before the challenging conditions, cold and the lure of the AFL Grand Final claimed the majority of the fleet. Those who sailed enjoyed some competitive and very exciting racing. From the nearby vantage point of the CYC, OK Dinghy sailing became a true spectator sport - video footage will be available soon!
Tim Davies and Mikey Williams provided a great demonstration of boat handling and sailing skills, leading the fleet in all three races. Eddie O'Donnell and Jono O'Donnell sailed extremely well and consistently and were at the top of the fleet at the end of the day. Nigel Harvey, Andrew Baker and Andre Blasse (sailing the Hotrod) all had podium finishes but being loyal Victorians sucumbed to the call of the footy before race 3.
Sunday dawned windy and cold again with the fleet of seventeen braving similar conditions for an early 10:00am start. The wind built during the morning and only two races were possible before it was called "a day". Tim and Mikey again had a duel with Tim prevailing. A "bullet" hit the fleet on the square run and gave the spectators the fun of watching both leaders round up and do very well not to have capsized. Eddie screamed through to take a momentary lead before he too got hammered and ultimately letting Andre through for third.
The final race was in consistently strong winds and very cold. Eight boats persisted with Mikey winning from Andre and Jono with his best place paying off his persistence and excellent sailing over the entire regatta. Tim came in with a newly modified nose and a sixth place from a compromised mark rounding resulting in a chance meeting with his boom - and a clear winner for the regatta.
With the wind now howling, the planned medal race was called off as the sailing committee also cancelled club racing for the day. The final placings were 1st - Tim Davies who retained the trophy from last year, 2nd - Mike Williams, 3rd - Eddie O'Donnell. First Junior and 4th place overall went to Jono and Andre took the Handicap Trophy. Other prizes were awarded (mainly for bravery), generously provided by sponsor Ronstan. GPS tracking of the fleet was provided by Tacktracker.
On what was later reported as the "coldest September weekend in Canberra for 26 years", the OKs had a fabulous regatta with some great displays of sailing. The regatta was very well organised and run by the Canberra Yacht Club and special thanks go to the organisers and volunteers who also braved the chilly conditions to make the event such a success. Thanks also to Nigel Harvey who organised the event from its conception and without whom it would not have happened (can we have a warmer weekend next year Nigel?) And thanks too to all the people who trecked across vast tracts of country to make it a truly national event.
|1||732||Dune Buggy||Tim Davies||11.0||6.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||2.0|
|2||730||Time Machine||Michael Williams||19.0||1.0||2.0||2.0||13.0F||1.0|
|3||685||Cracked Pepper||Edward O'Donnell||21.0||4.0||4.0||3.0||6.0||4.0|
|4||695||Once More Dear Legs||Johathon O'Donnell||25.0||3.0||8.0||5.0||4.0||5.0|
|6||722||Hot Rod||Andre Blasse||39.0||2.0||3.0||25.0C||2.0||7.0|
|8||739||Don't Poke the Bear||Mark Roberts||58.0||18.0F||15.0||7.0||10.0||8.0|
|9||741||Turkish Delight||Gary Lokum||58.0||8.0||17.0||11.0F||11.0||11.0|
|11||715||Baghdad Note||Andrew Baker||65.5||7.0||5.5||25.0C||3.0||25.0C|
|15||640||Danish Blue||Peter Nielsen||97.0||18.0F||14.0||25.0C||25.0C||15.0F|
|16||7||Big Girls Blouse||Peter Yates||100.0||18.0F||7.0||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|
|19||655||The Phantom||Michael Walker||118.0||18.0F||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|
|20||692||Dining with the Devi||Bill Tyler||121.0||25.0C||21.0F||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|
|22||716||Natural Selection||Peter Wallace||125.0||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|
|22||737||This Bird has flown||Tom Pearce||125.0||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|
|22||643||Blew genes||Ben Kersten||125.0||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C||25.0C|