Day 2 wrap by Nic Douglass
Stunning April conditions met the fleet for Day 2 of the 2021 J70 Australian Championship at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron (BYS) on Easter Sunday. Prevailing south-westerly offshore breezes were on the menu for the day’s three races, with wind speeds building throughout the afternoon.
Coming out of the blocks strongly in Race 4 was [CYCA Director Dr Sam Haynes’] Celestial, leading the top four from Day 1 with a strong port-end start. It was Joust70 and Rod Warren from BYS, perhaps with some local knowledge, who led around the first mark.
Haynes and his team on Celestial gybed early at the top mark and went on to lead on the first downwind leg and around the bottom mark, ahead of a tight battle for positions two, three and four – [CYCA Member Reg Lord’s] Juno, [CYCA Member Tim Ryan’s] Vamos and The Jackal respectively.
In a massive effort and sign of things to come, Laura Harding and the all-female youth crew aboard Spike fought from last place to seventh on the second work. The shifty conditions saw battles throughout the fleet into the finish.
Across the line though, it was Sam Haynes taking the honours in his first J70 regatta, with David Chapman, John Warren and Locky Pryor on board.
The start of Race 5 was hotly contested at the line with Celestial looking to back up their Race 4 win leading the way across the line. Local heroes Jumping Jack Flash showed their fighting spirit getting themselves right in the mix, as several boats were spat out the back of the fleet as room disappeared.
At the top mark, the first four contenders were within boat lengths of each other, as the middle of the fleet continued to fight close battles. The three youth crews again showed their skill as the breeze picked up.
The story of the race quickly became battles for buoy room, with multiple boats hitting the top mark at the top of the second work. Juno opted to split from the rest of the fleet, looking for an advantage up the right side, but in the end the result matched the overall standings, with Vamos crossing first, followed by Celestial and Juno, with Karen Gojnich skippering The Jackal rounding out the top four.
The last race of the day saw the elbows really come out at the start, and our top three contenders were not surprisingly all within striking distance of one another at the pin end of the line.
Around the top mark it was Vamos, Juno and The Jackal which came out on top and they continued to keep the pace on from there to mix up the podium positions. Celestial climbed back to a top four finish, but with one drop now in play, have discarded that race.
CYCA Member Tim Ryan and his team aboard Vamos (made up of fellow Members and Youth Sailing Academy sailors) had an exceptional Championship, claiming all but one race win – five out of a possible six! The team’s strong form placed them squarely at the top of the standings to become the 2021 J70 National Champions.
CYCA Director Dr Sam Haynes’ Celestial also sailed a consistent championship, finishing second to Vamos on four occasions, claiming victory on one and a fourth (dropped) on one. Celestial claimed second place overall in the Championship.
Rounding out the podium was Reg Lord and his team on Juno (also featuring Youth Sailing Academy sailors) who were consistently third place in races throughout the Championship, moving up to second place for two races on the final day. Juno claimed third place overall in the Championship.
The performances by Tim, Sam and Reg meant CYCA claimed every podium position in every race of the Championship bar just one third given up to Karyn Gojnich and her The Jackal team from RSYS.
Congratulations for a spectacular performance!