Metropolitan Championships at RQYS
Ahoy all QLA members.
Last weekend we held our Metropolitan Championships at RQYS. It was a great regatta with fun but challenging conditions and close racing. This is one of our key regattas leading to the Open and Youth Nationals and then Masters Worlds in Adelaide in the New Year. The weather gods smiled on the event, delivering a robust breeze for two races on Saturday, followed by three challenging light and shifty races on Sunday. As usual the RQYS Race Committee laid excellent courses and adapted effortlessly to the shifting race requirements. We welcomed fourty three Lasers or ILCA dinghy’s as they are now known to the regatta.
Thanks to Frances Beebe and Rod Smith for their race reports. And thanks to RQYS for the photos. More are available on the clubs facebook and web pages.
Full results can be found here
ILCA 4 (Lasser 4.7) race report.
Flat out! Chillin’
The ILCA 4 fleet has been growing in numbers over the last few years but Chase Taylor has continued his domination in the class for another regatta with a comphrehensive win. Nevertheless there are new talents emerging with Jackson Black having a breakout regatta to record second place. Caterina Meyer missed Saturdays races but competed very strongly on Sunday for two firsts and a second to win th eday. Other competitors to sail well were Addison Newlan who showed great consistency in the variable conditions to finish fouth while Wilber Bright, James Dale and Matthew Sinnamon all scored podium finishes. And of course George Meickle continues to keep the new talent honest and finished third overall.
ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) report
By Frances Beebe
Old and new
The ILCA Saturday’s races were held in 10 knots with Frances Beebe and Simon Small managing to record one win each. Simon has recently joined the Brisbane fleet. As a past Youth World Champion and top full rig sailor, Simon is a strong addition to the fleet. Michael Pitt, Christine Bridge, Glenn Beebe and Steve Baum had a tight tussle throughout the afternoon rounding out the top five in the two races.
Sunday morning confronted the sailors with a 7-10 knot easterly with puffs coming out of both sides of the course. It was going to be a thinkers day, and of course up stepped Michael Pitt!
Michael won two races separated by Simon’s win in heat 4, while Frances recorded two seconds in heats 3 & 4 and Christine two thirds.
Going into the final heat, Simon had the advantage. The maths had Frances either having to win the last heat or have Simon finish no better than 4th. The first general recall of the regatta eventuated with Simon and Frances locked together, both seeking the advantage. The second attempt started with a little more separation and a drag race to the left. Simon had too much pace and led by 15 seconds at the first mark and Frances in 4th. Frances caught up with Simon on the downwind and blanketed him, with both dropping boats on the second half of the run. Frances rounded the bottom gate in front and covered Simon for the second beat with both boats dropping further places to eventually finish Frances 6th and Simon 9th, Frances taking the regatta by 1 point. Third and fourth place were even closer, with Michael and Christine’s results broken by count back, and Michael ultimately taking third place.
Thank you to the Queensland Laser Association, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and all of the volunteers for another awesome event!
ILCA 7 (Standards)
by Rod Smith
A strong ILCA 7 fleet faced the starter with local legend Brad Taylor returning to the fray as part of his build up towards the World Masters. The fleet was keen to see if he still had it. A question he answered emphatically.
Classic Laser duelling.(could be flatter!)
Saturday’s racing saw QILCA President Michael Wilson heading unexpectedly back to the beach for Race One, due to a broken vang fitting. William Bridge, son of Olympian Christine, showed early skill and promise by hooking a major left shift and winning the opening event from Brad Taylor who was a close second, which proved to be a warning shot across the bows of the other highly competitive skippers chasing podium places. Brad defied the usual Arms Race of newly purchased ILCA gear by arriving at the Metros with a well tried and tested hull/spar/sail combination. This immediately proved fast across all wind strengths and points of sailing, showing it is sailor talent and coursecraft that really determines ILCA regatta performance. Brad won Race Two from Max Williams, who was putting his Canberra Uni holidays to productive use.
Sunday saw a classic Moreton Bay day dawning, with tricky cross chop and a shifty E – NE breeze ready to dash any delusions of grandeur from those unable to master the dramatic lifts and knocks. Andrew Stransky improved on his pair of Day One thirds to power up the podium to second overall. (Andrew refused to confirm or deny whether Olympian and 2023 Australian Female Sailor of The Year Mara Stransky would step into Tom Slingsby’s shoes to helm the Flying Roo SailGP boat in Dubai – we’ll all have to wait and see!)
Meanwhile, back out on Moreton Bay the tricky shifts and varying windspeeds in each race tested both skills and patience. Favourable corridors of pressure downwind added to the challenge of 30 degree lifts and knocks on the windwards. Those with gear-shifting technique and situational awareness converted skills into places. Boats were separated by mere metres in every race, and a missed shift or wave meant the difference between elation and commiseration. President Wilson sailed strongly despite a terminally fogged compass to clinch third place in the regatta, after a hard-fought win in Race Three.
Overall, the 2023 Metros proved to be a superb test of ILCA skill, stamina, technique and mental resilience, and a great warm up regatta for the upcoming Adelaide ILCA Worlds in January/February 2024.
Bookends: Stu and Brad
And another thing, Our racing is mostly self regulated on the water, that is if we infringe we don’t wait for an umpire to blow the whistle. We must do our penalty. So it was pleasing to see competitors who had misjudged their mark rounding do their 360 after touching the bouy. If we don’t do this (even if no one saw it) that is if we start cheating then the whole system breaks down and will end up having to pay for umpires or judges. Not a good outcome. And this applies to our behaviours as well. Their were reports of some yelling and abuse of other competitors who had got themselves in a bad position. I know this is only a minor ocurrence but lets keep it fun and keep the banter but not the abuse. It comes down to each of us, individually.
Good luck to everyone travelling to the Nationals and Masters Worlds.
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