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Gosford; One of the best seasons so far

26 March 2009 Greg Eddy

NSW State Championship 2008/09 trophies

"NSW State Championship 2008/09 trophies"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson, positiveimage.com.au

The 2008/2009 season is drawing to a close in Gosford after what has been probably one of the best periods for the Gosford Etchells Fleet. The tone was set last June when three boats, Ivy (John Denton), Mister Ed (Greg Eddy) & Trekka (Chris Williams) made the trip north to Mooloolaba. Their performances did not pose a threat to the rest of the fleet, but it was a great weekend and pumped up the enthusiasm for the new season.

This season saw ten boats in the fleet, the highest number since the early 1990's. Our hardstand supposedly only accommodates eight, but the Club has managed to fit in two extras until we can see our way clear to extend the hardstand.

As with most fleets the beginning of the season was preoccupied with the World Championship qualification races which in the end saw Pointless skippered by Tom Slingsby at the top, followed by Trekka and The Don (Don Wilson). In the end Trekka and The Don made the trip to Melbourne with Chris Williams holding the flag highest with a fifth place in one race and 25th overall.

At the same time preparations were in full swing for Gosford's hosting of the NSW State Championships. John McDougall reprised his role as Regatta Director and with the full support of every member of the fleet and many others in the Club, brought together another successful regatta. We are indebted to our sponsors for the weekend, in particular to Tyrepower, for their generosity. We also appreciated the efforts of Kylie Wilson in preparing our regatta web page.

Despite timing conflicts with other championships and fleet World qualification series 34 boats arrived in Gosford on 28 November for some great sailing and socialising. The weather was kind although the winds were variable with Sunday dying away to nothing. On the Friday our PRO, Ross Wilson, was heard to remark that it was the first time he had to use the AP in the same race; first for too much wind and then for too little. It was agreed that the racing was challenging with five good heats being contested. The fleet has been rewarded with positive feedback from many of those that attended.

Once the States were out of the way the Fleet returned to what it does best, racing, with full commitment every Saturday. It has been competitive throughout the season although Pointless (John McDougall) has almost made a clean sweep of the scratch results regardless of the skipper on the day with Tom Slingsby and Grant Robson filling in for John as needed. With the final heat of the Club Championship completed Pointless is again the Gosford Champion, a fitting reward for a season of great sailing by an excellent crew.

The Don also made the trip to Adelaide for the Australians. Don's enthusiasm knows no bounds. He went without crew, found a couple of locals, and still managed to perform and have a great time. With next years Nationals being held on Lake Macquarie we hope to see a significant number of the fleet making the effort to keep Don company.

Following the Worlds seven of the fleet's ten boats have invested in the Tack Tracker system and while it is early days yet it is hoped that it will aid the learning process as well as providing some entertainment after the races.

It's not all about the racing. The social side of the fleet continues to be a high point of the sailing in Gosford. There is little doubt that the good company of present and past members of the fleet is very much a part of the enthusiasm that keeps all the sailors coming back week after week.









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