Monjon Vic State Champs 2017 – Hail the New Prince

Coulda’beens and shoulda’beens

The Blue Prince rounds the top mark on his way to the trophy

With the passing of the Black Prince from our fleet, the aspirations of the many once again become confused with the dominance of the few. 

Some call him the new Blue Prince, others ‘Bloody Brendan’, but sportsfans, he seems to have stopped crashing and is just plain smashing the rest of us … on a regular basis ! 

First the summer aggregate and now capped off with the Vic Champs Crown, Brendan Lee sailing ‘By the Lee’ is fast and clean these days. 

He went straight out of the blocks with 2 wins on Saturday morning, fading just slightly to a drop of 5th but then came back with a 2nd in the 6th and sadly, final race on Sunday morning to win by 3 points as the lack of wind and any redeeming finish placing by those affected by mediocrity took over the day.

Shane Guanaria, second place getter rounds ahead of Hugo Ottaway

Second and with a real chance of taking the regatta out at the end of Saturday was Shane Guanaria steering Arthur Crothers’ ‘Kaotic’ from Sydney, one of only two interstate entries this year. As the 2018 Nationals have been changed to Sandringham, the Kaotic team have started their program for a win with this trip south of the border. 

Third place Pres John Neville and crew

Talking about rising stars, it seems our Vic class president has finally found the loud pedal (actually he has been loud for years), John Neville sailing ‘Vice Versa’ took out the last race taking him from 5th to 3rd in the overall standings, well done John … seems the top job might suit the result sheet. 

The ‘Balmy Regatta’ fleet downwind to the finish

Promoted as the ‘Balmy Regatta’ it lived up to it’s name with great sailing on Saturday morning in a warm 12-15kn northerly, with late summer shirt and shorts sailing being enjoyable, the breeze fade somewhat in the afternoon (inline with yours truly’s placings) and the last race of the day was shortened to make sure we got a finish. With the bulk of the fleet sailing very well and compacting so much, mark rounding is becoming a real place winner … or loser !  With a little tide flowing on the top mark on Saturday, many boats had trouble making it with the tight fleet killing the already light breeze for the unfortunates struggling to make the mark. 

As usual there is a list of shoulda’beens and coulda’beens. Coming in 4th was our own ‘Mr J24’ – Hugo Ottaway in ‘Brushetta VI’ with a coulda’been 3rd, really it could have been, Hugo finished on the same points as John Neville, what we can say is that Hugo improved his placings through the regatta (pretty much) and on that track if we had sailed the full 8 races … well you know the rest ! 

Mike Bond in ‘Code Violation’ shoulda’been … further down the pack with almost zero racing this season, but came flying home to finish 5th. Bugger … shoulda’been better was Simon Grain sailing ‘Jet’  only making 6th and only by the good sailing and metal alertness of the crew, squeaking in ahead of Kirsty Harris sailing ‘Hyperactive’ on the same points … another coulda’been better due to only getting a new stick in the boat the day before after losing it over the side earlier in the year. 

Hyperactive, new mast and back in the thick of it

There are another 10 stories in the 17 boat fleet I am sure, some old some new and we welcome our new owners, crews and their stories into our J community. Darren Cutts only had a few days to play with his new boat ‘Joyride’, Warren’s old ‘J Force’, before going into the ring. Warren’s new ‘J Force’ – the old ‘Pacemaker’ (are you following me so far) coulda’been better on previous form.  But the back end of the fleet is getting a lesson from the front, we are all happy mates ashore … but no quarter is given on the race track.  

Where did that tiller go !

Doug Macgregor, blistering form some days over summer … coulda’been, Ron Thomson, shoulda’been way better in this flat water series … but still took out the prestigious Thommo Cup, Ron’s seriously thinking about upgrading! Thanks for coming Janette and crew, we love seeing you down here and on the circuit. 

That’ll be some circle work coming up Ron !

So it all ended prematurely on Sunday when the wind went to lunch. We had a last race start time to sit and wait for, but for those who stayed reflected in the glass – it didn’t. The two horns went off, the bar flag went up and we headed for home …. only to watch a perfect little breeze spring up for the ‘Off the beach’ fleet. Grumble, grumble … 

Glassed out Sunday !

Christ Waters did his first major RO job under the tutelage of Wattie, and the rest of the volunteers and club workerbees did their bits …. we the gladiators, thank you once again for your untiring efforts. Thanks to Monjon for their sponsorship of the event and the class at Sandy. 

John Neville in fine form (well actually slowly drying out from Saturday night) refused the soapbox and MC’d the prizegiving at the level of the common man, a scream as usual, The Black Prince made time to present the trophies (says he doesn’t miss it … I know Herschel does), Ron Thomson supervised barbecuing the goodies the Victorian Association and Bruce Alexander had amazingly conjured up and the thirst was slaked by the many. 

Luis Ferreiro, our photographer who took the amazing pics from the last Nationals here, was out on the water and has once again captured the spirit of the regatta extraordinarily well, even with the wind ‘excitement level’ close to zero. The pics here are all his and you can see more (over 400 pics I think) of the regatta and your own boat at his website   I will post some more up separately.

The Nationals are at Sandy in January and we are in the process of organising interactivity with the Volvo Fleet, once this has been achieved we will advise of the possibilities to be part of it. There is talk of a short practice regatta at Sandy in December, but if you feel the need for regatta practice, there is the Cronulla Regatta in June and the NSW States in November on the harbour (dates to be advised).