The International 5.5’s held their nationals out of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club over three days in a variety of conditions.
Entries were in the double digits, again showcasing the strength of the class after a successful world championships held off Palm beach in Jan 2020.
10 boats contested the series run inshore on the waters of Pittwater.
The first days racing saw a light south easterly test the patience of some sailors as they tried to connect the dots. One of the oldest boats in the fleet “KINGS CROSS”, a Robert Miller (aka Ben Lexcen) design from 1968, showed speed in the light air as she was always renowned for, knocking off some of her much newer rivals and finishing just behind the front 4 boats. Owner Scotty O’Connor, a legend in the windsurfing world, was pleased with the result “The quick touch up with the orbital sander did wonders!” Commented a clearly chuffed O’Connor.
Day two saw a gentle Seabreeze build throughout the day to 14 knots, on what was a picture perfect day.
Achieving a perfect scorecard on the day was KU-RING-GAI a 1993 Philippe Meier (SUI), Sebastien Schmidt (SUI) design, skippered by John Bacon.
As she has proved before, KU-RING-GAI is one of the quickest Evolutions, having won her division at the recent worlds.
Bacon (KU-RING-GAI) was over the start line early in the last race, and had to return to the start line, finding themselves in unfamiliar territory at the back of the fleet. “We did everything we said we wouldn’t do prior to the race, and it seemed to work as we managed to sail back through the fleet!”, joked a clearly elated John Bacon.
For the final day of racing, competitors were expecting a strong southerly, however, Pittwater had other ideas. Race Officer Elaine Fowler did a great job waiting for the wind to settle, before getting three final races away in a south easterly that built to 15 knots.
Another clinical performance from John Bacon (KU-RING-GAI) and his crew Terry Wetton and James Mayjor, saw them seal the deal with three wins, and thus winning the 2021 Australian 5.5 Championship by a comfortable margin.
1st – KU-RING-GAI – John Bacon
2nd – BLACK MAGIC – Jamie MacPhail
3rd – ALPHA CRUCIS – Martin Cross
Other award winners:
1st Evolution – KU-RING-GAI – John Bacon
1st Classic – KINGS CROSS – Scotty O’Connor
1st PHS – SKAGERAK – Bob Stoddard
Full results HERE
With growth in the class again with our friends in Sydney Harbour gaining numbers, there is talk of hosting a NSW championship, which is forecasted to attract up to 15 entries!
A big thank you to RO Elaine Fowler and her race management and mark laying team, Rob McClelland for the excellent on water images (more HERE) & RPAYC Media for the presentation pictures.
Article with thanks to Tom Spithill