NSW

Results - New South Wales
24 April 2019

2019 DF65 National Invitation Regatta

Friday 19th April saw the start of this year’s Invitation Regatta at Kogarah Bay, NSW. Competitors from QLD, NSW, SA, Vic and the ACT had entered but with apologies and race committee duties, 13 skippers started the first race.

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Winds were light and from the SE and the PRO, Jenny Bonnitcha assisted by Don Bonnitcha and Vicky Franklin were able to get in 6 races before the wind died completely and the light faded.

After 6 races which allowed for one discard, Chris Dance sailing 256 from VIC led on 8 points, second was Mike Jefferys, sailing 52 from QLD on 12 points and third was Phil Burgess sailing 714 from NSW on 18 points.

With the registration process beginning at noon all skippers were glad to see the day end.

images2019_invitational_2Saturday dawned with a breeze that could not make its mind up on what direction is wanted to blow. After some mark moving and course changing racing finally got started a few minutes later than programmed.

Consistency was always going to be a deciding factor is this series. The DF65 is ideal to offer close racing and with very little difference in boat speed, each skipper had a chance to lead. But as usual the cream always come to the top and this time they stayed there.

Chris’s worst results of the day were three fives, so he is consistently around the pointy end of each race. Mike had a couple of fives, a seven and a nine, so a small gap was appearing between the two leaders. Phil had an up and down start to the morning, but finished strongly. With Bruce Benoit sailing 641 from NSW and Allen Roberts sailing 44 from NSW each winning a race during the day, it just proved how competitive the class is.

After racing finished, the organisers put on a BBQ with free wine and beer been provided. A special thanks to those who helped make this happen. The FGM of the ADF65RSA Inc. was held after the BBQ and we all left Kogarah Bay in complete darkness.

images2019_invitational_3Sunday dawned with the usual briefing except this time the Easter Bunny had left Easter eggs for all those attending. Jenny had other commitments for the day, so Paul Martin took over the additional role of PRO with Richard Franklin acting as an observer.

The breeze was from the North, flicking between West and East and gusting 8-9 knots. Four windward marks were laid and racing began on time at 10am. Four races were sailed before an early lunch was caller by the PRO, as the wind had started to swing between the North and South until the pressure system had settled.

Winners in the morning races included Chris, Mike and Bruce. I must not forget to mention John in the canteen, who provided fresh salad rolls for lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. Lunch dragged on for about 45 minutes, but when the sea breeze finally dominated, the postponement flag was sounded and racing began. Fourteen more races were completed by the end of the 4pm cut off time.

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Winners include Chris, Mike, Phil, Bruce and Allen. The results show you that the top three maintained their position throughout the Regatta. Every boat entered recorded at least one podium finish and as the weekend progressed the time difference between the first and last boat got smaller and smaller.

imageshobbywarehouse_logoA quick presentation of the prizes, which were donated by Hobby Warehouse, the DF65 supplier, was followed by a Q&A session. The top three skippers were asked questions on how they set up their winning boats for the changing wind strengths and wave heights. It is hoped that this will become part of any DF65 regatta from now on. A sharing of knowledge will benefit all sailors not just the winners. The use of a live “Leader Board”, proved very popular, not only with the competitors but with their friends and families who could see how their favourite skipper was doing.

So, 37 races, in just over two days, sailed by 13 skippers in conditions that tested both competitors and Race Committee, each skipper with a race podium finish, that, I would class a great regatta. A bigger field would have been nice, but all that attended went away with an appetite for more and only one boat ended up on the rocks, Go Bruce.

And lastly a big “Thank You” to all who helped make this Regatta, a success.

Paul Martin