2019 A Class WA State Championship

Aug 19, 2019

The WA fleet of the A Class met at Jackadder Lake in Woodlands on Sunday August 18 to participate in the 2019 State Championship. Unfortunately, there were a few regulars either away or unable to attend. However, the 6 boats which did arrive formed a pretty competitive fleet.

The morning was cold, sunny and clear, with little to no wind to speak of. The lake was like a mirror when we arrived. The forecast didn’t look too bad, and we were confident that it would turn into a good day.

Our normal sailing vantage place was taken up by the Perth Model Ship Society, who sail their model motor boats on Jackadder Lake every second Sunday. Battleships which are 4m long, Destroyers and other naval model vessels were motoring around the lake with their keen skippers enjoying the flat waters.

So we re-located over to the southern bank, which was the right side to be on as a wafting easterly moved in, just in time for racing to commence. Our Race Officer for the day was Rob Mews, and he was assisted in the boat by Bruce Quail and also Rodney Moss. Rod kindly bought along a BBQ to cook some lunch for us, so we thank Rod for feeding us on the day.

/A Class/A Class 13

Rob set a course which sort of averaged the shifting winds. Typically, an easterly in winter is a tricky beast to tame. The direction can change substantially, and today was no different. The breeze came in spurts, at times from the south east and at other times from the east or north east. Fortunately Rob managed to get 4 races in before lunch, when a southerly change was expected.

The first few races showed us that our starting techniques needed some attention! Denton was probably the best at starting early in the morning. Some of us were a bit too keen, and stationed ourselves too close to the line to get effective starts. In the light air, you needed to establish momentum prior to the start, and Denton got some good jumps on the fleet.

However, as is typical in light winds, it is also possible to get a lead, only to find that the fleet finds a gust, and carries it around one side or another. The poor leader is a sitting duck, as they can only watch the remainder of the boats ghosting along with a little pressure.

Sailing the boat was quite challenging, as it was sometimes difficult to tell which tack the boat was on and whether the sails were filling properly. Getting the jib to wing out was not easy either. The challenge was to keep the boat moving, find the pressure and work with it. Large gains and losses were common.

Graeme Howie, with his Wombat, managed one incredible win, in which he made it around the top mark, found a little pressure and took off down the second leg. By the time the rest of us had rounded the first mark, Graeme was through the gate and heading upwind. His lead just grew and grew. We know the Wombat was a light weather flyer, and things looked ominous for the remainder of the fleet.

We stopped for lunch about noon, as the wind had faded from the east, and was in the process of shifting around to the south. Fortunately, the model ship guys had finished for the day, so we re-located around to our usual side for the afternoon.

/A Class/A CLass 03

Rod cooked us some snags, lamb, onions and gravy, making for a great feed. Unfortunately, Ian Sherriff ran into some problems with his electrics, and was unable to continue into the afternoon.

Bruce was kept busy in the boat, attempting to get the course set. For a while, the breeze was very uncooperative, and the marks needed to be shifted frequently.  Soon, the breeze settled into the south and build slightly. This suited the Swords of Jeff Green, Denton and Glenn. The Wombat came back to the field as the others got their starting technique sorted out.

Glenn Dawson started to string together some heat wins, managing to get some consistency into his results. The slight increase in wind strength was just what was needed to help the Swords. Along the way, there was some really close racing. In many races, there were 4 or 5 boats racing side by side.

 /A Class/A Class 11

Richard Fielder had his Venom moving really well in the light conditions, keeping the pressure on the leaders in many races. Jeff Green’s new sails on both his boat and Denton’s were proving to be really effective in the light. The light cloth makes use of some mylar re-enforcing to maintain a great shape even into higher wind conditions. The cloth would take up its shape nicely, at a lower wind than the typical sail material.

As the day wore on however, the consistency that Glenn showed started to give him a handy points lead. Graham Howie continued to sail well, but had a few races in which he built a score. Denton and Jeff were battling out the third place on the podium, a battle in which Denton managed to hold out Jeff.

All the skippers thanked Rob, Bruce and Rod for coming along and making the day a success. We managed 12 races in light and shifty conditions – a testament to the race management of Rob.

Final results showed that Glenn Dawson became the 2019 WA State Champion, Graeme Howie was runner up and Denton Roberts finished in third position.

Full results to follow.





Click here for detailed results
PosNameSail No.NettTotal
1DAWSON, GAUS 7612.017.0
2HOWIE, GAUS 3520.029.0
3ROBERTS, DAUS 6529.038.0
4GREEN, JAUS 9532.042.0
5FIELDER, RAUS 5044.054.0
6SHERRIFF, IAUS 4067.081.0

Category: Western Australia
Posted by: ARYA Publicity