WA

23 May 2017

WA 10R Challenge - 21st May 2017

P5210027

Champion Lakes Ten Rater Challenge 2017.

Today was a wet and squally winter’s day. The sky would be blue for a while with a 6 to 8 knot wind blowing, but then a front would come through and the associated gusts building to 15 knots. After a while, the front would pass, and we were back into the lighter winds again. Luckily, the wind direction was from the south-west, which at Champion Lakes makes for reasonable steady winds without too many shifts.

Sean Wallis came down to be the race officer and he did a really good job. He has clearly been watching the IOM Worlds making rapid changes of course, setting up 4 top marks as well as having the “good start” call off to a tee. He was itching to call a “uniform flag”, but we didn’t give him the opportunity!

Unfortunately only seven skippers were able to attend, with a couple of our regular skippers away. Four Diamonds, a Prizm, a NRW and a Sanga were in the fleet.

Early in the day, Roger Paul started the day in good form, rattling off a number of wins and seconds. Not too far away was Rosco Bennett, making a challenge. Glenn Dawson and Chris Woods were battling in the next group, whilst Denton Roberts, Ian Sherriff and Rob Mews were having really close tussles.

From time to time, we were sailing in some very heavy falls, making visibility difficult. Consequently, there were a number of mark touches. Fortunately, there were no boat collisions though. When the rain wasn’t falling, the overcast sky and reflection off the water also made it difficult to see the boats accurately.

As time progressed, Glenn started to make an impact on the scores, taking a number of heat wins and the chase was underway. Roger and Rosco were locked in a tight battle. There were some rig changes as the day unfolded, with some boats putting on their B+ rigs and others their B rigs.

In particular, Ian’s Prizm came into its own as the wind increased. He had some pretty good results in the B rig and showed that the design can still be very competitive in a breeze.

Late in the day, the wind lightened off. Rosco and Roger made a rig change back to their A rig, leaving Glenn struggling along with his B. It turned out that the A rig was the correct choice, so Glenn fell behind.

At the end of the day, Rosco just pipped out Roger, Glenn finished third, Chris fourth, Rob fifth and Denton sixth. Unfortunately, Ian had some technical issues (as the French would say) and wasn’t able to finish the day.

At the conclusion of the day, Sean was out collecting the buoys and managed to somehow collect a rope which had come adrift from one of the fixed marks in the lake tangled around the prop of the rescue boat. He was well and truly snagged and stuck, as the rope was attached to a concrete lump on the bottom of the lake. We were wondering how we were going to get a beer out to him.

Fortunately a couple of kids came along in kayaks and we were able to transfer a knife out to Sean. He had to remove the outboard from the back of the boat, and proceed to cut the rogue rope from the motor, before he was able to complete the job of collecting the buoys.

We all agreed that our boat handling skills have come off the boil, not having sailed the Tens for a while. We will need to do some work on making sure we can improve quickly before the next Nationals.

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