10 May 2017

WA South West Championships and Busselton Cup - 6/7th May 2017


Roger Paul photos - click here

IOM skippers in WA spent  the  weekend  of  May  6  and  7  down  in  Busselton  for  the  South-  West Championships and the Busselton Cup. The idea of the two regattas is to encourage skippers who may not consider themselves at the level of highly competitive regatta, but would like to participate in a more relaxed event.

This year, there were 13 in the Championships, and 5 in the Cup on Saturday, and 7 on Sunday. Most of the Perth guys drove down on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend in various locations. It happened to be the weekend of the Busselton Ironman event, so unfortunately, accommodation  was at a premium. Thankfully some of the local guys hosted a few of the skippers.

Saturday’s forecast didn’t look all that good, with light south-easterly winds predicted for most of the day. This meant that the winds blew straight across the lake towards the sailing area, making setting a starting line very difficult. The wind really was light, never blowing more than about 5 knots, and fading as the day progressed. Nevertheless, we managed to get 9 Championship and 8 Cup races completed for the day.busselton20172

The buoys in Busselton are not accustomed to being moved all that much! The prevailing winds in this part of the world are reasonably predictable, and most normal wind directions can be covered  by the regular buoy placement. However, this weekend would prove to be different! The boat was put into use pretty constantly shifting marks around to try and maintain good courses.

The Cup was turning out to be a two horse race, with John Smith and Wayne Rumble sailing the  most consistent races. Phil Walker had his moments on Day 1 winning a couple of races along the way as well.

In the Championship, Sean Wallis was leading the regatta by just two points from Rosco “The Bridesmaid” Bennett. Sean was sitting on 11 and Rosco on 13 by day’s end. These two were taking turn about winning races, and took 8 of the 9 races sailed on the day between them. Glenn Dawson took the day to get his boat going, and eventually took out the final race, to maintain touch with the two leaders.

Sunday dawned windless, and it looked as though there might be a lot of sitting around for the day. Fortunately, this was not to be, as the breeze piped in from the north at 5 to 8 knots. It stayed in for the remainder of the day, allowing racing to continue. By the close of racing, we had finished 17 Cup races and 18 Championship races.

John Smith did his best to keep Wayne honest, and with 3 races to go, the scores were very close indeed. However, Wayne managed to maintain a very consistent performance right to the finish, to  take the Cup out by 9 points from John. The next 3 places were separated by just 2 points in a really close finish. Merv  Pannett (43 points) took out the third place on the podium by 1 point from  Ozzie Carter (44 points). Phil Walker (45 points) was just one further point behind Ozzie – a really tight contest.

busselton20173Over in the Championship, Day 2 saw Glenn Dawson start off where he left off the day before, making a charge. Sean  had a slower start as did Rosco. After 4 races, Glenn had closed the gap to just 3 points to Rosco, whilst Sean had maintained a bit of a buffer.

Graham Howie had a couple of terrific races leading the way and sailing consistently. Another to bob up later  in the afternoon was Rod Moss, who hit a rare vein of form taking out a first and second in consecutive races.

Peter Buchanan had his Britpop motoring along nicely, making a push to contest  for a podium place. The Malteser of Ian Sherriff showed potential at times, whilst Hub Bell had the Fractal going very nicely in the lighter conditions.

Disaster struck Glenn, with a winch malfunction in one race, followed by snagging a piece of rope around the fin in another after the spare winch was installed and then having the winch lines break in the last race of the day. This put paid to the contest, leaving Sean to resign old Bridesmaid  Bennett to his customary second place. Peter Buchanan took fourth from a fast finishing Graeme Howie.

The guys from the Geograph Radio Yacht Club are to be commended on their fantastic hospitality and we hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. Prize giving was done lakeside, and thanks went to Wayne and his club members for their efforts in putting on the regatta.

Special thanks also go to our fantastic scorers, Kaye Smith and Andree Bennett. They spent the whole weekend making sure our finishing positions were recorded correctly and the results constantly updated. It was Kaye’s first time doing the scoring (to my knowledge) and we really hope you enjoyed the weekend. Andree is a terrific asset to radio sailing in WA – always there to help. So thank you Andree again.

Wayne Rumble sailed his V7 into the lead in the Busselton Cup. Pictured are Wayne being presented with the Cup by Ken Irvine.

Well sailed to all the participants. Everyone participated in the weekend in the best possible manner, respecting the rules, all the other competitors as well as all the spectators who came along  to enjoy the event.




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