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Adelaide: Who could blame him for being pensive?

3 April 2013 Wayne Knill

Etchells Adelaide

"Etchells Adelaide"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

Some may recall in the previous Adelaide Fleet update I mentioned the wonderful conditions served up to us each Saturday. Well the nipples of fate were well and truly tweaked, as the first State Championship weekend in December copped the strongest winds of the summer.

2012/13 SA State Championships.

Work commitments kept a number of crews off the water this year, and only six boats nominated for the series. Race One started early afternoon in 20 knots of breeze, but already gusting much stronger. Defending champion, Shane Deussen with crew Steve Dunn and Brett James, had spent the morning putting up the rig and dropping 'Coronation Rag' in the water for the first time in months. A couple of hours later they were getting towed back ashore... First race, first mark and they rounded with a nice lead. Kite goes up as normal, but when it flogs, the shock of it refilling is too much for the backstay. Twang! Their rig gracefully folded forwards over the bow. Game over.

Such were the conditions that only two boats finished all of those December races intact. Weather for the concluding weekend in February threw up much more varied conditions. Light stuff early, where you had to contend with the tide, and steady, playful seabreezes later on. Amazingly, this is the first time in recent memory that we actually completed all eight races in a State series.

Our new State Champions are Ian Dixon, with crew Nick Paterson and Allan Blenkle sailing 'Choices' (AUS1321), who ran away with the series at the end, staying in one piece and winning seven out of the eight races. They were a class act every leg, of every race. Caillan Howard's 'Stretch' (AUS1129) made a late charge with four second places in the final four races, but earlier misfortune meant they had to settle for third position overall. Second place went to the oldest boat in the Adelaide fleet, 'Medium Rare' (AUS608!) - brilliantly sailed by Wayne Knill and crew Gary Dawes and Russell Jones. They survived the December carnage in second position and amazingly, somehow, kept the speed up to finish up with the leaders for the rest of the series, as well. One for the battlers!!!

Gymea Cup Report.

An interesting and unique concept, the Gymea Cup is the RSAYS's one-design regatta that combines the usual Saturday windward-leeward races with a Sunday river race, to (sort of) celebrate the same mix of courses enjoyed back in the good old days of Dragons and 21-Footers.

After an unfortunate breakdown on the Club's committee boat, the mark laying boat was hastily reorganised as a start boat. The weekend's racing stayed in narrow confines of the Port River, made even narrower by the bulk of the Cunard liner 'Queen Mary 2' tied up at the wharf along side the start line. Passengers looking out the Starboard side windows must have got a grandstand view of the action!

No one ran aground, or got knocked flat by the squalls or other hazards normally associated with river racing. No one apart from Andrew Waterman 'French Stick' (AUS714) that is, who managed to dump his kite in the water rather than hoist it, and spend a minute or so going nowhere while it was hauled it from the murky depths.

In a weekend when anything could have happened, Michael Bradley, Guy Maegraith and Jeff Mincham sailing 'Fish Factory' (AUS 951) broke a bit of a mini-drought, winning the cup for the third time. Finishing in a close second, again for the third time, was 'Medium Rare'... battling away as usual.


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