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ASC take 2nd and 5th in MJ States Titles

Full Throttle Stingray gybe mark web

February 10/11 saw our small but enthusiastic Avalon MJ team (“Full Throttle” Quentin & Lawrence, “Stingray” David and Flynn) head up to Sunshine, Lake Macquarie for the exciting concluding round of the NSW State Titles. Following the success of the first round proudly held at Avalon (thanks again all you volunteers and Couta Boats) the boys were keen to capitalise and put in another strong performance.

Saturday brought the 34 strong MJ fleet light winds with a forecast to go even lighter on Sunday before a big southerly. Three races were conducted back to back, with Full Throttle turning in consistent performances in races 5 and 6 to score 6th and 5th. Stingray placed 4th and then 1st, only to find they had broken the start by 20cm, relegating their 1st to an OCS 20th. Determined to show what they could do, both boats nailed the start of race 7 at separate ends of the line, with Full Throttle in front and Stingray in 2nd around the first triangle. Despite a valiant attempt, the fickle winds at the end of the day played havoc across the course, with Stingray eventually placing 2nd and Full Throttle 4th – an excellent result given the conditions.

With just one race remaining the stage was set for an exciting finish – whilst the Manly 2781 boat had wrapped up the series win, the race was on between ASC Stingray and Hornsby’s Wildfire for 2nd, with whomever lead the other over the finish line likely to clinch second place. Full Throttle, sitting in 4th, certainly had their hands full, racing for a possible 3rd but with 3 other boats hot on their tails separated by just 1 point.

Sunday’s forecast proved accurate, with a small window to race in 6-8 knots. At the first triangle it was Full Throttle in first, with Stingray in 3rd, but covering their Hornsby good friend and nemesis Max (Wildfire). Positions remained fairly stable over the following windward return leg, but with the breeze dying ahead of the southerly the course was shortened with a final work to the finish. Stingray lost a couple of places, but managed to cover Hornsby Max, finishing 4th and 5th respectively. Full Throttle, with a near impossible task of trying to cover 3 boats lost out on the right side of the course as the breeze evaporated, placing 9th in a tough beat to the finish.

As parents, can I just say we could not be more proud of the boys – we have had a great season with spectacularly close sailing in all sorts of conditions. Final placings for NSW State Titles were Stingray in 2nd on scratch, and Full Throttle closing out 5th place on both scratch and handicap honours. A quick check of the history books shows that with State Titles held every year since 1961 Avalon have won the event just 2 times. Whilst this year it wasn’t to be, we were definitely close and a big congratulations must go to David, Quentin, Flynn and Lawrence for their determination, good sportsmanship, camaraderie, and success in representing Avalon at national and state level.

Also a quick thank you to all parents who towed, crewed, launched and helped with RED RIB and pin/response duties out on the course.

 

Rob Tulk