21 January 2019

Bennett Bridesmaid as Wallis wins Shootout!

As the temperatures soared through the 30’s and over 40C it wasn’t just the racing that was going to be hot at the WA IOM Shootout held at Austin Lakes on 20th of January.


For Team WA, this was the final major event on the WA calendar prior to packing their boats for the 2019 Australian Championships on the Gold Coast, and the last opportunity to hone their skills before the big event.

austin2Racing commenced on time with a hot NNW breeze of around 8-12 knots and shifty, very shifty, with regular shifts to the NNE making it challenging for the fleet, and it was Rob Mews who claimed victory in race one after the lead changed on multiple occasions, and with expectations of a dogfight between our Australian ranked 2nd & 3rd sailors, Sean Wallis & Rosco Bennett, they were nowhere to be seen languishing in 4th & 6th respectively.

It wasn’t long before the expected dogfight commenced with Bennett claiming wins in races 2 & 3 before Wallis won race 4, and with the scoreboard frequently reflecting the smallest of margins between the two, the shootout was well and truly underway as the two moved clear ahead from the rest of the fleet.

Further back a similar clash for third overall was being fought out between Peter Buchanan, Edgar Vitte, Ian Sherriff & Andrew Brady who all claimed at least one heat win and fought it out for the entire day.

imagesaustin1_1With the wind shifting into the west and while the course was reset an early lunch was called. Roast beef rolls with onion & gravy along with some ice cold refreshments served by Rod Moss, John Smith & Kaye Smith were greatly received by all and after some sustenance racing resumed.

With the breeze fixed in the West, but still with regular shifts, racing remained close with Roger Paul and Bruce Robins sailing some good races to show that they could stay in touch.

Going into the last race it was Rosco who had established a small buffer, and only needing a third or better to guarantee the series win, the last thing he wanted to see was Wallis lead at the first mark while he was placed further back. Rosco made his move through the fleet, but even offers of buying cartons of beer to the second and third placed boats weren’t enough, with fourth all he could achieve while Wallis went on to win the race and the series by one point and Bennett had the Bridesmaid dress fitted again!


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