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Adelaide: Inaugural Gymea Cup race series

28 June 2010 Wayne Knill

Left to right are Mike Bradley, Guy Maegraith and Phil Webb from Fish Factory (AUS951), after winning the inaugural Gymea Cup.

"Left to right are Mike Bradley, Guy Maegraith and Phil Webb from Fish Factory (AUS951), after winning the inaugural Gymea Cup."

It was fantastic to see some of our most popular fleet sailors score series wins this season. In late February, some of our crews took three boats over to Port Lincoln to contest the Lincoln Week regatta. It was a fun week of sailing on the magnificent waters of Boston Bay. Paul Henshall's Mystery Taxi (AUS 1311) dominated most of the races, but it was Guy Maegraith and Michael Bradley's Fish Factory (AUS 951) that had the most eventful time.

Things started badly for Guy and Mike, with a blown tyre on the trailer during the drive over, which is always a hazard for road trailers that sit idle for a couple of years and got worse on the first race day on the water. Halfway up the second beat in Race Two, the boom broke and they limped ashore. Later, back at the marina after things were tidied up, Mike announced that he was going to hospital, as he suspected and it was later confirmed, that he was having a heart attack!

After Mike had left, a friendly stranger walked up, looked at the boom and announced "I can fix that". He threw the boom over his shoulder and told Guy to come to his place in an hour. It turned out the friendly stranger was Ross Haldane, Port Lincoln sailing legend and all-round good bloke. Ross was good to his word and later Guy had his boom back, fixed with a lump of jarrah and a lot of epoxy. Fish Factory returned to the water with a cobbled together crew and even managed to score a race win later in the week, although the 'jarrah wonder' probably wouldn't have passed scrutineering for a sanctioned event!

A few weeks later, the Adelaide fleet contested the inaugural Gymea Cup race series. It is a new regatta, hosted late in the season for the premier one-design class sailed at the RSAYS. Currently this is Etchells! The three race series was nicely poised after the first two windward/leeward races, with three boats, Fish Factory, Wayne Knill's Medium Rare (AUS608) and Caillin Howard's Stretch (AUS 1129), all even on four points. Race Three was a river race, which as a bit of a novelty for the competitors who usually race in the open Gulf waters.

Stretch was the first to drop out of contention, after Caillin cut things a bit fine and ran his boat aground into the soft, sticky mud at the river's edge. After many lead changes, Mike (Lazarus) Bradley got Fish Factory across the line first, narrowly beating Medium Rare and winning the Cup. Later, up at the bar, it was jokingly suggested that Mike should have a heart attack more often, as this was the first thing he had won all year!

Finally, the club Pointscore series is our local fleet's bread & butter racing and by the end of the season, Shane Deussen steering Coronation Rag (AUS 936) scored a runaway victory. Shane, with crew Steve Dunn and Myles Kohler, also picked up the coveted RSAYS Hawse Trophy. It is a magnificent America's Cup replica, which is awarded for the Etchells "Cock of the Walk" for amassing the most fastest times over the entire season. This is a great reward for Shane, who took the plunge and bought AUS936 last winter, after previously renting an older hull and sailing it quicker than he had any right to!

Wayne Knill
Adelaide Fleet Captain.


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