VIC States 2023 was sailed in typical Melbourne weather which called into question the sun’s existence. This weekend had a record number of entries, with 109 lasers competing over all three classes, and an outstanding fleet of 54 boats in the ILCA 6.
On Saturday, boats were postponed on the water for a couple of hours while Northerly and Southerly winds competed. Eventually the moderate offshore Northerly won out, allowing us to complete two races, however big shifts on the race course kept everybody on their toes.
A wind shift before the first race of the day meant that the line was extremely pin favoured, and close to the port layline to the top mark. Mara Stransky showed off her talents by winning the pin end of the line and leading the fleet to the top mark. She held onto this lead for the entire race and started the regatta off strong with a win. All QLD sailors had a strong first race, with Frances Beebe finishing 6th, Glenn Beebe 16th and Hugo Ralph finishing in 27th.
The second race had the trickiest conditions of the regatta, with a 60-degree right shift coming through on the second upwind. Mara and Frances both had a difficult race, caught on the left side of the course during the shift, so they finished 4th and 26th respectively. However, Casey Imeneo, Mara’s biggest competition at this event, was also caught on the wrong side of this shift, so Mara maintained her lead into the second day of racing. Glenn recognised the persistent shift early in the second beat, and made major gains on the fleet, finishing in 13th place. Hugo also recognised the shift early, and finished in 22nd place.
Rain greeted us again on Sunday morning but at least a Southerly wind had arrived. Unfortunately, it did not reach the predicted strength and lumpy sea state made the downwinds hard work. With another day of biased start lines, the radials, unsurprisingly, had many general recalls, and were even pushed to after the 4.7s starts because we were delaying racing. In fact, between the many general recalls, and the seventy-minute races, the radial fleet ran out of time to begin their fifth race of the regatta. Mara showed her class to easily win both races. Frances had a 6th and a 17th while Glenn had 22nd and 23rd and Hugo of BFD and 13th.
Mara sailed an outstanding regatta to win easily while Frances finished 12th, Glenn 20th and Hugo 25th. This regatta was an excellent warm-up for the big summer of sailing ahead for all competitors, and especially Sail Melbourne which began on the 30th.
After the Victorian States, typical Port Phillip Bay conditions returned for Sail Melbourne 2023, strong Southerlies and accompanying seas. A very strong fleet was in attendance, including AST, ASS and Futures level Australian sailors who all quickly asserted their authority. The overall regatta results were dominated by these female sailors.
Over the four-day regatta, most races were sailed in the 20-knot range, resulting in a real test of fitness and strength. At the front of the pack, Mara Stransky and the rest of the ASS squad all closely competed; however, Mara showed her class with six individual race wins and the overall regatta win. Tip of the day was from Mara sailing upwind in the 7th race, faced with a choppy 16knots when she yelled “Don’t stop hiking” to Frances in support.
The other QLD sailors, Frances Beebe, Myles Wilson and Hugo Ralph all also sailed fantastic regattas, finishing in 8th, 11th and 13th respectively. Frances sailed a fabulous regatta to be constantly challenging near the front of the fleet, with a best finish of forth. Myles was a champion of consistency competing for high positions in the fleet, with Myles’s standout in race 3 where he finished 7th. Hugo was also having consistently high results in the fleet with his standout in race 7, an impressive 5th place.
The regatta was very well run in windy and difficult conditions, and no doubt will have helped prepare these sailors for the rest of the summer regattas.
Adelaide ILCA Master Worlds 2024: Sailing Legends Rise By Adrian Finglas Images by: @Down Under Sail The azure waters of Adelaide, Australia, played host to the 2024 ILCA Master Worlds, a […]
The curtains closed on the School Teams Racing Term 4 with a spectacular grand finale, marking the end of an exciting term on the water. The day kicked off with […]