Austin Lakes was the venue for the 2018 Western Australian Ten Rater Championships held on 27 October 2018. The lake is still the best radio sailing venue we have in WA and it turned on a beauty today. The sun was shining, the wind blowing, the water level was high and it was crystal clear…. all was well in the world.
Fortunately (some might say otherwise), the trees that were planted a couple of years ago are struggling! They have not grown at all well, and are not looking all that healthy. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your perspective. When we first saw all these trees being planted, predictions of the doom of Austin Lakes as a radio sailing venue abounded. At the moment, we are planning to visit the lake more frequently, as it provides a wonderful place to race.
There were 9 boats in the fleet, slightly down on previous years, as a few of the regulars were unable to attend.
Hub Bell took control of the day, setting good long courses and keeping the racing moving at a nice pace. Andree Bennett took the finishing positions and kept the scores. Rob Mews came down to assist, as he was not able to sail all day. Thank you, Hub, Andree and Rob for making the day go so smoothly. Roger Paul provided the boat, buoys and motor from Champion Lakes – thank you too Roger.
The day started with winds in the south-east, at about 6 to 9 knots. There were plenty of shifts, as is typical in an easterly in Perth. Racing got underway on time with Glenn Dawson taking his Sanga to three race wins in the first three races. Rosco Bennett and Roger Paul had a slow start to the day, with both having some of their worst races of the day in the first few races.
As the day unfolded, it became clear that these three would be at the front of the fleet. From time to time, Jeff Green and Chris Woods pushed hard and had some good finishes. However, consistency is the name of the game, and you can’t afford to have slip-ups. Some lower placed finishes pushed Jeff and Chris’s scores up.
The Lincoln McDowell designed Blade 5 was showing some really good signs of speed in Ian Sherriff’s hands. The boat looks really well behaved, and typical of Lincoln’s boats – flies downwind. Denton Roberts and Ray Bassett had their moments with some good showings. Phil Brown’s home-built wooden Graffito looks superb on the water, and he is to be commended for persevering, learning and certainly improving as time goes on.
Rosco’s morning wasn’t going too well, until the Mr. Whippy van came cruising by. One choc top soft serve ice cream later, and Rosco was ready to go. All of a sudden, things clicked on the #39 boat, and the race was on. As the day unfolded, Rosco kept chipping away at Glenn’s lead, until the two of them were neck and neck on the score board. Luckily for Glenn, the Mr. Whippy van stayed away in the afternoon, and the effects of the ice cream wore off, bringing Rosco back to being a mere mortal again.
After lunch, the breeze swung around towards the south and increased to about 10 to 12 knots. Those with B+ rigs were quick to change, and those with B rigs were left wondering why they had not built a B+. The B rig boats just didn’t quite have the pressure to make the B rig work well, but it was just over the A rig limit.
In the last two races, the wind built just a bit more, and the B rigs were in their element. These last two races were won by Glenn, to retain his title from last year. Rosco finished in second place, just a couple of points in front of Roger Paul. Jeff Green and Chris Woods were level on points after 18 races, so they had to be separated by countback.
Thank you again to Hub Bell, Andree Bennett and Rob Mews for donating your time so that we could all sail. Well sailed to all the competitors, who participated on the day with great sportsmanship.
|1||DAWSON, Glenn||AUS 76||42.0||27.0|
|2||BENNETT, Ross||AUS 39||53.0||33.0|
|3||PAUL, Roger||AUS 86||53.0||35.0|
|4||GREEN, Jeff||AUS 95||83.0||62.0|
|5||WOODS, Chris||AUS 24||82.0||62.0|
|6||SHERRIFF, Ian||AUS 57||89.0||67.0|
|7||ROBERTS, Denton||AUS 65||120.0||96.0|
|8||BASSETT, Ray||AUS 31||137.0||107.0|
|9||BROWN, Phil||AUS 50||157.0||128.0|