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2022 Flying Fifteen Victorian State Championship at Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club

by Ed Brewis 1 Apr 09:57 BST 26-27 March 2022

Gipplsand Lakes Yacht Club boldly raised their head above the Covid parapet and agreed to host the 2022 F15 Victorian State Championships at a time when there was plenty of uncertainty as to whether people would be able to come.

Fortune favours the brave and those that ventured to GLYC in Paynesville were certainly rewarded for their efforts. They came from near and far with participants coming from the Northern Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and from around Victoria to creating a competitive potential fleet of 16 boats. For those wanting perspective it's just over 4000 kms from Darwin to Paynesville one way!

Saturday 26th March saw racing commencing in light but consistent and gradually building conditions. Tight fleet racing ensued with a maximum of 5 minutes separating the first boat across the line and the last in all three races in that session. The three afternoon races saw two different race winners 'Oxfactor' sailed by Mike Oxley and Gary Cameron started hot out of the blocks taking out Races 1 and 2. Gary Richardson and Simon Walsh won Race 3, justifying the trip down from Darwin. The local boats were definitely in on the action with strong performances from Craig and Ian Rainey in 'Where The Bloody Hell Are You' and Trevor Williams and Bentley Conn in 'Ten Pound Note'

The closeness of the racing definitely brought a smile to the faces of all those who competed with everyone feeling they were in with a chance to improve their standings on day two. This set the scene for a most convivial evening dinner hosted by GLYC.

That night the club hosted the FFI-V AGM followed by a lovely dinner. Guests included competitors, officials and a number of contributors and life members including Bill Shand, Bob Beard and Michael Clark. Stories and tales flowed well into the night with a great night being had by all.

Day two came with fickle light winds that were only consistent in their inconsistency. The Race Management team held off racing for a while in the hope that more would be forthcoming. The AP did finally come down and two races were able to be run in the final session. The racing remained close with Race 4 having another 5 minute gap from first to last which stretched out a fraction more in the last race. Another day brought two new winners, Jeni and Peter Danks in 'Bird' winning Race 4, whilst Craig and Ian Rainey won the final race in 'Where The Bloody Hell Are You'

The ever shy and retiring Cameron Taylor, President of Flying 15 Victoria presented the trophies and graciously consented to appear in all the recipients photos.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Open Champion: Oxfactor - Mike Oxley and Gary Cameron
2nd Overall - Where The Bloody Hell Are You - Craig Rainey and Ian Rainey
3rd Overall - Vera May - Gary Richardson and Simon Walsh
Silver Champion - Molly O - John Foley and Noelene Foley
Classic Champion - April Dancer - Bruce Johnson and Geraldine Lewin
Open Handicap - Ten Pound Note - Trevor Williams and Bentley Conn
Best placed boat with a combined age of 100+ years-
Oxfactor - Mike Oxley and Gary Cameron
Best placed boat with a crew member under 25 - Aussie Falcon - Dale Collings and Daniel Jones (recipient)

Teams Trophy - Davey's Bay Yacht Club:

Oxfactor - Mike Oxley and Gary Cameron
Flying Flamingo - Sue Thompson and Cameron Taylor
Aussie Falcon - Dale Collings and Daniel Jones.

The Sponsors, Race Management, GLYC their army of volunteers and the FFIV Committee were warmly thanked on behalf of all the competitors for a great regatta. All agreed it was great to be back out competing on the water and were already looking forward to the next regatta. Bring on the next Vic States, The Australian Nationals and the Worlds 2023!

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