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2023 Ronstan 505 Australian Championship at Darling Point Sailing Squadron Invitation Race

by Jordan Spencer 24 Jan 2023 05:52 GMT 22-28 January 2023
Fleet action during the 505 Australian Championship Invitation Race © Jordan Spencer

Like any good invitation race, you take what you want from the form on display. What they do well is open the door to speculation.

As expected, conditions were pretty mild. 8 knots from the North-East at the start, 12 knots from the East-North-East by the finish. The tide was ebbing to the North and racing was during the strongest part of the ebb.

Again 505's use a gate start which place a premium and a team's ability to hold their lane, but very rarely results in a recall. The rabbit/pathfinder for the first race was Earle Alexander and Rilke De Vos - throwing themselves on that chore as event organisers. The first boat around the top mark was one of our youth skippers Chris Gregg, sailing with his dad Ian. They had started a third of the way along the line and had good height. Jumping on an early knock, they took a couple of tacks up the middle to round just in front of Michael Quirk and Felix Brockerhoff. Also in the mix were Kevin Cameron and Sam Heritage, plus Nigel Lott and Bob Franks.

The West Australian State Champions Christopher Paterson and Thor Schenhoff made some big gains on the next work with a big dig to the right as the wind moved permanently that way and once in front they were able to extend their lead, only to realise they had missed a clearance mark, prompting them to retire. This left the way open for Kevvie Cameron and Sam Heritage to take the win, followed by Quirk and Brokerhoff, Lott and Franks and with young Chris and his dad holding on for fourth.

The first female was Alexandra Alder sailing with Marcus Cooper. Speaking to them before the race, they were quietly confident, so the form looks good. After racing the fleet held a debrief to share information. This included two pro coaches talking about what they had seen during the day.

Racing from here on counts. Today's forecast looks to be more of the same, but with the slightly earlier start, (1.00pm) and a little more cloud the racing will likely be in slightly less wind, but similar tide.

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