RPAYC 29er fleet were very excited to once again be travelling to an away regatta. With new crew combinations, new crews and new boats there was a lot of anticipation in the week leading up to the regatta with each boat having a laundry list of minor repairs and replacements to complete under the watchful eye and assistance of Traks Gordon.
For many sailors this was the first time competing at Wangi and the first time doing out of club competition in a 29er.
The Pittwater contingent was made up of 9 boats from RPAYC and 2 from BYRA and together we accounted for an impressive 30% of the fleet of 37 boats. The growth in this class at RPA as the past Opti cohort take on new challenges has been impressive.
Our recent history at this regatta has been:
2018-19, 2 RPA boats, no girls teams, 16 boat fleet, no club program, no podium;
2019-20, 3 RPA boats, 1 girls team, no club program, 1 podium;
2020-21, 11 Pittwater boats, 3 girls teams, 37 boat fleet, a club based world class program, 4 podium results in boys and girls.
Friday at Wangi was a training day with Traks and Jim Colley for most of the boats to get a feel for the local conditions. The forecast had not been great leading up to the regatta with light winds forecast for both days. In the event with two sunny days the winds on both race days were good and strengthened during the day albeit occasionally with some huge shifts.
Traks Gordon and Tash Bryant were on the water both days observing, providing some targeted coaching and words of encouragement between races. A few points that Traks mentioned in his debrief from the regatta:
• The age of our fleet… we are amongst the youngest on the course. We have enormous scope for improvement. (only 1 team wasn’t in the junior division)
• The experience of our fleet. Most of our boats are in their first year. This class rewards time.
• Our experienced teams demonstrated an ability to sail forwards through the fleet if they had a bad start.
• Our beginner teams had moments of brilliance that can not yet last for a whole race. On many occasions our newest girls team rounded the top mark inside the top 10. That was the highlight for me.
Danial Links / Markus Sampson 3rd overall, 1st junior team
Angus Renton / Ellis Merrett 2nd junior team
Sienna Brown / Darcy Robbins 3rd female team
Sail Sydney next followed by a New Years regatta a GRSC and then Round 2 of the NSW States at HHSC.