Victoria's Kirwan Robb went back to back in the ARYA Ten Rater National Championships. Kirwan sailed especially well through some trying conditions. Scott Condie from Kogarah Bay finished second, sailing a Trance - the same design of boat as Kirwan. Steve Sedgmen rounded out the podium, sailing his own design Sanga.
Enough of the "others". Team WA had a mixed bag throughout the event. There were particular challenges with loose weed floating in the water. It was really frustrating and disappointing if you were sailing well, only to have your progress hindered by catching a lump or long strand. There were races in which most of the fleet had to make pit stops to clear it off. There was one type of weed which you could clear by sailing backwards - if there was enough wind.
The water conditions were especially choppy. There was a large chop hitting a bank, making for a standing return wave, which would hit the incoming waves and make for a real washing machine effect. The boats handled the chop well, but you had to be really careful to tack on top of the wave to ensure that you didn't end up doing a dummy tack, finishing in irons and sailing backwards. Boat handling was something we all improved over the regatta.
The fleet generally coped with the conditions reasonably well. A back-up tack with about 45 seconds to go was mandatory, and then hope like crazy you were OK off the line. Simon, Denton and I all had our moments where we were sailing well, and then got bogged. Other times, we were able to sail through to good positions, so in the end, it all sorts itself out - albeit possibly not a true indication of sailing ability.
Denton's third day was a good one for him. He made it to A fleet in the last race of Day 2, and spent the next 3 races bouncing between A and B. He sailed 7 races in a row to start Day 3, but managing to climb back out of B regularly was a good achievement. He moved up from 23rd place to 19th place as a result. The boat was going really quickly.
Simon started the event in really good form, winning the seeding race. He battled hard to get a number of good A fleet finishes and was in 11th place at the end of day 1. Day 2 and the really light winds didn't suit. There was a small slip to 13th but we were hopeful of a better day on the last day. Simon was on the receiving end of some rather sloppy skippering by a couple of skippers, taking him out of a finishing position which would have promoted him to the A fleet. On another occasion, he was leading the race with a short leg to the finish, and got badly weeded to finish near the end. Simon's 15th place finish wasn't a really true indication of how well he sailed in the event.
Glenn managed to climb from 7th on day 1, up to 5th overall. There was one time on day 3 when he was closing on the 4th place boat, getting to within a handful of points, when the charge got halted. Two heat wins on day 3 were encouraging.
We learned a lot about the boats, and found out a few interesting developments in the class. There are a few things we will do to our boats as a result to try and improve performance.
Normally there are a few "interesting" things which happen on these trips. Turns out that launching the poor old rescue boat is a difficult process - especially when there are three bungs which need to be inserted. "One, two three". A picture tells a thousand words!
It's a rest day today, and both Cliff and Sean have arrived to join Team WA for the tilt at the Marblehead event. There are 35 entrants in that, including two guys who arrived today from Japan. All the hot shots are there. The weather forecast looks like there is going to be a good blow for the next two days. Winds from the South-west gusting from 15 to 25 knots. Its about that today, and there weren't any boats out practicing - mostly as there was no rescue boat ready to save the boats, but also not wanting to get any damage the day prior to the regatta. Watch out for live results on the ARYA Nationals website.
The full results of the Ten Raters are here: http://www.aryanationals.com/index.php?page=2020-10r-results