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2023 Ronstan 505 Australian Championship at Darling Point Sailing Squadron - Day 1

by Jordan Spencer 24 Jan 15:07 GMT 22-28 January 2023
Chris and Ian Gregg (8781) during the 505 Australian Championship Invitation Race © Jordan Spencer

It was a busy day today for the 505 fleet. The race committee went for three races in anticipation of some difficult conditions later in the week.

As expected, conditions were similar to yesterday, but this time the breeze setup in the North, clocked to ENE as it freshened and finished at NE later in the day. Racing started in 6 knots and the wind climbed to 12 knots later. The three races were sailed on two lap windward-leeward courses around 50 minutes each.

There were two clear standout boats today. Michael Quirk and Felix Brockerhoff finished with a 1,2,2 just leading Christopher Paterson and Thor Schoenhoff with a 6,1,1. Both teams pushed each other hard throughout the three races swapping the lead in each race.

In the first the tide favoured the left side of the course with the threat of the breeze swinging to the right always looming. Quirk and Brockerhoff got forced to the right at just the right time to gain the advantage. In the second and third races, they also lead but Paterson and Schoenhoff were able to apply the pressure as the breeze freshened.

Third overall was Tom Stivano and Simon Burt. Simon is Tom's uncle and has a lot of experience in the 5oh class, whereas Tom is a young sailot from Lake Macquarie who has graduated from the youth classes and looks to be enjoying his time in the class.

The emergence of some new names is a great thing for the class and along with the debriefing after racing to upskill the fleet as a whole, there are containers of new boats coming into WA and SA with existing owners committing to put their boats on the market to attract new sailors. The energy in the class is exciting.

Tomorrow, the breeze should fill into the NE early so expect some good pressure which should move to the left as the day goes on. The sailing will also be in the later part of the ebb, so less tidal influence. Look for the big crews to shine and more opportunities to the left of the course.

Full results can be found here.

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