Eleven skippers made the trek down to Busselton on the weekend of May 5 and 6 to join five skippers from Busselton and one from Albany for a weekend of IOM racing.
The venue at Provence Estate had been landscaped and the lake filled since our last visit. Sailing took place at the wide end of the lake where the viewing was from a nicely elevated platform. Parking was a little way from the sailing area, but not too bad at all.
Saturday was a beautiful day, as the sun shone all day. There was a light to moderate, but quite even wind from the north-east. The wind blew from left to right and varied enough for it to be challenging. Everyone had their A rigs up all day.
Two competitions took place at the regatta, with the ranking regional event attracting 12 skippers whilst the Busselton Cup attracted 5. The format for the weekend was that 2 races would be sailed back to back for the Cup fleet, followed by two for the ranking fleet. Racing commenced at 10.30am and rolled on all day.
In the ranking fleet, Glenn Dawson got into stride early with two heat wins, but soon Rosco Bennett started racking up wins, taking four of the next five (with a second place thrown in for good measure). Sean Wallis was the only other multiple heat winner on the day. Ken Irvine finished the day with a great win, flying downwind and holding on upwind to take a well-deserved heat win.
Chris Aberle managed to find some decent wind shifts to bother the leaders, coming flying in from the opposite side of the lake on a regular basis. Chris had a few distractions with his grand-kids coming down to watch Grandpa sail, which was nice to see.
By the close of racing on day 1, Rosco led by two points from Glenn, whilst Sean was 4 points further adrift. In the Cup fleet, Wayne Rumble seemed to be winning many of the races, but he was not having things his own way. John Smith and Merv Pannett were pushing Wayne in many races and there were some very close finishes.
There was a bit of drama towards the end of day one, when Edgar’s boat lost its fin and bulb right near the launching area. It was very fortunate that the boat fell right on one of the marker buoys, so the position of the keel was well established. It was very fortunate that he managed to find the fin, and was able to continue sailing the next day.
Sunday dawned with rain squalls and wind squalls coming from the west. At Provence, west is a very bad direction to try and set a course. Fortunately, by the time racing was set to get underway, a shift in direction towards the south west made it just possible to get a reasonable course set. As the morning progressed, the wind continued to shift, and was really gusty. At times the wind was fairly light, but when the gusts came through, they were definitely B rig strength. There were no brave souls who decided to put their A rigs up. Everyone was conservative and had their B rigs on. That proved to be sensible, as the wind built to about 15 knots at times.
The increase in breeze suited Sean, who rolled out 4 heat wins. A few other skippers also revelled in the higher wind. It was terrific to see Ian Sherriff, Rodney Moss and Roger Paul taking out wins during the day. It was also clear that Hub Bell was also enjoying the wind, as he was taking a number of podium places. Also enjoying the conditions was Greg Westerberg, who had come up from Albany. Greg certainly improved across the weekend, and is working hard to develop his own design and sails.
In the Cup fleet, unfortunately Ozzie wasn’t able to continue the second day, but the remainder of the skippers continued to enjoy their competition. There was a fair bit of help and advice handed out to the skippers, and we hope that the advice was helpful to making the boats sail well.
The early morning rain stayed away as the morning unfolded, which everyone was happy about. The regatta was scheduled to conclude around 2.30pm. The Cup fleet made it to 22 races and then the Ranking fleet sailed 4 final races to make it to a total of 24.
The final podium places were in doubt right up to the end of the regatta. Coming into the last race, Rosco held the slightest of leads from Glenn and Sean. However nothing was decided yet. Glenn sailed the last beat well to finish a boat length in front of Sean, whilst Rosco had a seventh. What would that mean for the overall score?
At the end of 24 races with 4 discards, Rosco, Glenn and Sean all finished on a score of 24 points. The number of heat wins was 6 to each, but the number of second places established that Sean came out on top with 6 second places to 5 for Rosco and Glenn. To separate Rosco and Glenn, the number of third places was equal, as was the number of fourth places – exactly the same scoreline for the two for the whole 20 races. To break the tie, the finishing position in the final race determines the outcome of the regatta. So Glenn finished in second and Rosco in third.
In the Cup, the outcome was that Wayne Rumble finished in first place, with John Smith second and Merv Pannett in third.
We would like to thank all the Busselton guys who worked hard to put on a great weekend, as well as passing a huge vote of thanks to Ray Forsyth for looking after the scoring. Ray does a terrific job of managing the finishing positions, scoring and providing ongoing results. Andree Bennett regularly assists Ray by calling the finishes. Andree is a great asset for radio sailing in WA and we owe her another massive thank-you for a job well done.
We hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend. These country weekends away are really good times and it is terrific to see some skippers who we only get to visit from time to time. We hope that some more people will decide to come along and join in the fun next year.
|1||WALLIS, Sean||AUS 71||80.0||48.0|
|2||DAWSON, Glen||AUS 76||70.0||48.0|
|3||BENNETT, Ross||AUS 39||71.0||48.0|
|4||SHERRIFF, Ian||AUS 85||114.0||79.0|
|5||IRVINE, Ken||AUS 33||161.0||116.0|
|6||BELL, Hub||AUS 57||164.0||116.0|
|7||PAUL, Roger||AUS 86||162.0||119.0|
|8||MOSS, Rodney||AUS 165||164.0||122.0|
|9||VITTE, Edgar||AUS 50||203.0||151.0|
|10||WESTERBERG, Greg||AUS 99||221.0||174.0|
|11||ABERLE, Chris||AUS 56||218.0||174.0|
|12||ROBERTS, Denton||AUS 65||270.0||218.0|