The Victorian J24 State Championships sponsored by Lend Lease are done and won.
In the biggest state fleet seen in Melbourne for many years, 18 boats and around 100 yachties and race officials enjoyed great weather and sailing over the two day regatta.
Although Pacemaker sailed by Dave Suda had to settle for a 4th on the much lighter Sunday race, his clean sweep on Saturday’s four races meant the result was effectively all wrapped up on the first day.
Pacemaker was sailing without owner Herschel Landes this year after a health scare, but it didn’t matter and with a 15 – 18knot South Easterly blowing on Saturday, Pacemaker showed pure dominance in what must now be called Super Sudaday. With a marginal edge in speed and height and a clear edge in tactics and crew work, Dave and his crew put the work in to earn the 2011 State Title.
This year the fleet was like a pack of hungry wolves, tight and very competitive and plenty of hard racing with close and hard fought mark roundings, a fair amount of ‘one design’ banging together (no major damage) and quite a few protests. Exciting and fierce competition as the standard of the whole fleet was up considerably on past years.
With 14 boats from the Vic fleet and 4 interstate boats sailing, the fleet is one of many changes. Hugo Ottaway bought Bruschetta VI a week before the champs and was coming to grips with his new boat, Andrew Stefano has recently bought Gridlock back from Hobart, John Neville bought Vice Versa from Hugo and surprise package Brendan Lee bought ‘Hi’ (now called ‘By the Lee’) from Pete Stevens in Adelaide.
From interstate we welcomed Arthur Crothers with Dave West steering, brought Kaotic from Sydney, Terry Wise brought two boats from Sydney, Sailpac (Sean Wallis’ old ‘Wetty Gripper’) steered by current National Champ Sean Kirkjian and Starpac steered by Hank Beyer. Admiral Stevens brought his ‘newest’ boat, Code Violation over from Adelaide. For those who knew the boat when Doug McGain had it you just wouldn’t recognise it, Pete is a master of cleaning up boats.
If Dave blasted into first, Kirj quietly made his way into second place with an impressive and consistent score, reminding us all that you don’t need a win to be up there in the placings.
Third and fourth were the two surprise packages of the championship. Brendan Lee sailing in his first J regatta, put in a solid series to show us all that the new guys need to be well respected and with placings between 4th and 8th took out fourth place.
Some of you may know Adam Evans as occasionally part of the old Pacemaker crew. Most won’t have seen his 3rd place coming in quite the way Adam showed us how to sail this weekend. Like a breath of fresh air reminding the old guard of our pasts, Adam, crew, ghetto blaster, black cans and life turned up to loud, in my opinion stole the rest of the show. A very consistent and dedicated youth program trained sailor, Adam is now sure to follow Dave Suda as one of our most important role models for the attraction of a new generation of young J sailors. Only a tangle with yours truly at the top mark and an arbitration experience kept him out of 2nd place. I would confidently expect him to be a future Nationals winner.
Cam Dale and Adam Evans
David Suda and the Pacemaker crew
Rounding out the top 5 was Hugo Ottaway, who could have been 2nd or 3rd if you factored out a loss in ‘the room’ from the last race.
Another interesting battle with results in the middle of the fleet, was two of our newest owners stepping into the middle of their boats and having the two top Victorian S80 skippers and some of their crew come aboard to contest the series. Andrew Stefano had Gary Mackinven, twice a state S80 winner from Blairgowie, steer for him and between the two, won with a solid 9th, current S80 State Champion Luke Reinehr from Sandy jumped on John Neville’s Vice Versa for the first time on Saturday and although only finishing 12th overall sailed to an impressive win the Sunday’s race in balmy lighter airs.
I could go on, the results as usual are full of ‘if onlys’. However the fleet is now full of guys and girls at all levels doing their thing and getting amazingly better at it, Doug MacGregor on Crackerjack found himself at the pointy end of the fleet, scary stuff Doug ! Ron Thomson had a few tangles and left green in places and Make My Jay has a bit of stainless pipe bending to do as well. There were the usual didn’t see you last minute tacks, 720s, plenty of mark rounding shouting and heart stopping moments.
The Hyper Girls (and Rob) six up, finished in a tie for 5th with Dave West getting 6th, about a metre ahead and therefore one point ahead of Make My Jay 8th in the last race – could have been the other way around so easily!
Out the back this time, but just as important to the fleet were Chris Hely (a good 14th overall), Peter Moulang (Jack’s just married and Pete is probably thinking about golf), Michael Lewenhagen (best place a good 12th) and Warren Campbell (best place an excellent 9th). These guys are also improving and spending on their boats, which shows that the interest is there right to the end.
Once again (and thanks) Lisa Simonov gave us her house for another great party on the Saturday night, the class association buying a liberal amount of food that was not only enjoyed on the Saturday but enough for leftovers to be enjoyed again at the club BBQ on the Sunday presentation. Thanks also to the hard work put in by the Victorian J committee, the club and the race team headed by Graeme Watt for running a faultless regatta. We again appreciate the effort made by the interstate guys bringing their boats.
The ‘Hard Luck Wheel’ award must surely go to its’ originator Pete Stevens for burning out the clutch on his car less that 50 clicks out of Adelaide in the middle of the night. Alan Stevenson didn’t make the regatta, but in a late night show of support for Pete, his Jeep did.
For those of you that didn’t come – and you know who you are (Wal) – don’t make the same mistake at Gosford in October, because it just keeps getting better. You can bet the NSW guys don’t want the best regatta of the year to be the Vic States.
Doesn’t the J future look bright !
See Herschel Landes top mark on sunday video here:
On water photos courtesy of Steb Fisher, people shots Simon Grain
To Contact Steb Fisher for photography of your boat, please email or call: email@example.com Mobile: 0438 16 07 53
|Place||Ties||Sail No||Boat Name||Skipper||From||Sers Score||Race 5||Race 4||Race 3||Race 2||Race 1|
|4||4795||BY THE LEE||Brendan Lee||SYC||32.0||8.0||7.0||7.0||6.0||4.0|
|5||5400||BRUSCHETTA VI||Hugo Ottaway||SYC||35.0||19.0Q||4.0||3.0||4.0||5.0|
|8||4787||MAKE MY JAY||Simon Grain||SYC||37.0||3.0||10.0||10.0||7.0||7.0|
|10||1324||KICKING BOTTOM||Ron Thomson||SYC||48.0||11.0||11.0||5.0||10.0||11.0|
|11||4857||CODE VIOLATION||Peter Stevens||PASC||49.5||12.0||8.0||8.5||9.0||12.0|
|12||5218||VICE VERSA||John Neville||SYC||57.5||1.0||19.0Q||8.5||13.0||16.0|
|17||1636||EXCITE YOUR SENSES||Michael Lewenhagen||SYC||75.0||15.0||12.0||14.0||17.0||17.0|