Sydney’s had a run of “interesting” weather this season, with the planned first leg of the B14 NSW States postponed from 25 October after Woollahra cancelled racing due to a howling southerly. Racing was cancelled the following Sunday with southerly gusts in excess of 30 knots. And the rerun of the States on 8/11 saw southerlies again, albeit not ridiculously strong, but still gusty and swinging wildly.
Six boats braved the conditions to complete 3 races. It wasn’t easy to sail well, and some less than graceful manoeuvres were displayed! Of note was the less-than-a-minute-to-go-to-the-start-of-the-first-race capsize by class veterans Sophie Hunt and Andy Payne in Purple Cow aka Hunt Leather. But like the pros they are, they managed to finish in second place behind Richie and Lissa in The Nude.
Glenn Cardwell and super-crew Audrey Schue in Bandit were with the Hunties going around the top mark but their mast hit the water, pushing them back through the fleet. The boom also hit Audrey’s head during righting, which might partly explain Bandit’s unanticipated performance – they were not their usual highly competitive selves, chalking up 3 fifths.
On the other hand, Yellowbone (Anthony House and Natalia Wu) and Usain Boat (Nathan Reynolds and Ellen Noye) both had sustained periods of brilliance. The most impressive was the third race when they led the field to the first top mark, going around together. The Nude and Hunt Leather managed to get around the pair, with Yellowbone finishing up third and Usain Boat fourth in that race, and indeed in the regatta.
Despite not much time in the boat this season, Stan Bland and daughter Anna showed good pace, particularly off the start and upwind. The full results are here.
On a demographical note, it was a very balanced regatta, with one female and one male on each boat. The age range was also impressive, from 16 to 66!
Good fun was had by all and hoping others can join us for the second leg of the States to be held at Illawarra Yacht Club on 14th March.