Firstly a huge thanks to BSYC and the South Australian Sharpie community for putting on the best event I have been to and have created a blue print on what sharpie nationals are all about, Snoady and team did a fantastic job, Congratulations.
This has been a huge season already for the NSW team and it continued at the nationals. For the 4th time in 5 Years we had the 2nd most boats attend the nationals of all states which everyone should be really proud of, as an association we have come so far in what we are trying to achieve. We had 11 boats attend this year and they were:
N902 Mainiac (23)
N885 Mr Freeze (21)
N883 Smoke (16)
N876 P&P (Juniors) (56)
N854 Chilli Factor (36)
N831 DSRP (29)
N824 Too easy virtue (65)
N819 Irish Frog (41)
N792 Obsession (junior) (66)
N763 Dirty Deeds (50)
N751 Proud Aussie (37)
Everyone who got over there should be extremely proud of their efforts and the way NSW was represented on every level.
In terms of our performance here is a fun fact for everyone, 6 years ago at Largs Bay Nationals we had 8 boats attend, only 1 boat N903 RickO (now sails for QLD) finished inside the top 38 in a 70 boat fleet. This year we had 6 boats inside the top 38, 4 inside the top 30 and 2 inside the top 21. We had 4 boats finish idividual races inside the top 11 whereas at Largs we had none. This just shows that all the hard yards are starting to pay off. Overall positions in brackets above.
The racing was absolutely top class with many world and nationals champions rounding out the top 15, the fleet was hot to say the least. There is no other High performance dinghy class in Australia that can match the Sharpie for sheer numbers, depth of quality in racing and the social program.
The massive positive in the class is that there was 6 junior boats sailing and many more crewing, our retention in the class is fantastic as all the of the 5 junior boats from Largs Bay were still sailing as participants in this years regatta. Its great to see the sharpie spirit alive and well in all the juniors particularly the VIC lads who lifted to the occasion and beyond.
As I said we all had moments, some spectacular breakages in the 20Kt seabreezes early in the regatta. Irish Frog cartwheeled and Robbie T took the stick with him the whole way down the mine, resulting in a new 2 piece goldspar, which was really unfortunate as the boys had great speed early in the regatta. DSRP continued their ongoing battle with rudder blades snapping 2 in 2 days giving the spectators something to look at with some good crashes. The Freeze boys had early speed although other boats tended to get in their way and had an unfortunate swim while in 7th in heat 1. Richo was 1st to the top mark in one heat and held on for a 10th, showing he is a real danger in the right conditions. Smoke is the 1 NSW boat that consistently worried the top 10 and with cleaner starts could be absolutely anything, especially now flippa has jumped ship
Derek was on the money early then changed rigs and hit a speed bump until the last heat where they had speed only to swim in the teens, Rocko and Max were probably looking for their next beer or the Nude sliding runway?? Chilli pulled one out of the bag and nearly pinched a top 10, they were in 3rd for an eternity which was great to see, Shorty was consistent as always. The P&P boys had a great fight to retain their junior title, finishing agonisingly close against the Vics. Matty Jones and the boys had a great time at the regatta unfortunately broke a mast but got around the track in really good shape in a few races. Zurcher and Sammy decided 3 days b4 the regatta they wanted to sail, so borrowed a local boat and a forward hand and camped in someones backyard, legendary effort boys.
Every night was a huge night in brighton, whether it be the club or the pub, many of the 200 competitors were there till stumps every night, with a big thanks to the bar staff for joining in the fun. The welcome night went really well with nibbles and a great band which had everyone dancing into the night (dunno if this is good or bad), the legends lunch was great with Jimbo (Jim Curry NSW manager) making up the NSW contingent and having a great time. New Years Eve was the biggest on record with a live band drinking games, fun for the kids and a massive beach party, the vibe was unreal. Ladies day was attended by over 250 people and it was like the summer racing festival with the ladies enjoying frocking up and a few sneaky champagnes while watching the action, it was a great initiative. Then came states night, NSW held their own only to be pipped by SA in the semi final which was a photo finish, well done to Tassie boys for winning the chug-a-lug. Then came a few beers, then a few more with the vic boys entertaining the crowds as well as a live band. Then the black plastic made a return for the first time in 5 years and the nude bar sliding was on for young and old, NSW again well represented. Preso was a real special evening, was absolutely worth every cent, you couldn’t find better value and the SA boys and girls on the social committee need to be commended for their efforts in pulling off such a gala event that will be remembered for a long time.
A special mention needs to made of this man, came all the ay across the country to be our team manager and his pep talks and information were absolutely invaluable. On behalf of everyone in NSW thanks Jim for being a great leader of the class in NSW.
Where to now:
Perth 2013/2014 will be massive again and expect another big fleet of around 50-60 no doubt about it, the WA crew are putting in the hard yards and could have up to 35-40 of their own boats. Robbie T is looking into container options and it would be great to get a team across to pump up for our nationals in 2 years time.
The next point is our nationals venue, start thinking about the options now, the venue will be decided at the AGM, and many things need to be in consideration. The winning formula is this:
· Sailing Conditions
· Club Facilites
· Family/Social facilities
· Spectator facilities
· Where will we get the biggest fleet
We will have 3 proposals out shortly from Lake Illawarra, Georges River and Canberra.
Lastly well done to all the competitors and Mal for winning again, NSW are coming this is just the beginning don’t forget our 2nd round of state titles are at Balmoral SC on the 16th/17th of Feb, get your boats ready and continue the momentum to make it huge, its tight at the top can someone stop Smoke????
Get around it