This is an article that Rod Thoms and I wrote on the Albert Sailing Club Winter Regatta last month, but I thought I would share. Enjoy.
Albert Sailing Club's annual winter regatta on Albert Park Lake on 19/20 June, was the second event in the VLA Jolly Roger Traveller Series which runs from May to October. The regatta was successful with over 130 monohull dinghies competing in a short race format series which consisted of seven 30 - 40 minute races in three sessions.
The racing was concentrated in the four most active dinghy sailing classes currently racing in Victoria - the Laser, Impulse, Sabre and junior Optimist classes. The largest entry was in the Laser class where there were 38 boats, consisting of 17 standard full rig Lasers, 12 of the mid-size Laser Radials, and 9 Laser 4.7's sailed by teenage sailors. The light Westerly winds had plenty of shifts and changes in wind strength which favoured the more experienced and more alert sailors.
In the standard full rig Laser's there was a close battle all weekend between Sean Bly and Glenn Collings. Glenn lead the fleet after day one, but Sean hit back on day two to win the last three races and take out the class win after a countback. There was good competition in the Grand Masters category with Peter Wright from Albert fifth overall and first in the category.
In Laser Radial's Jeremy O'Connell from Albert Park Yacht Club had a clean sweep with wins in all seven heats. It was good to see Buster Hooper in his Laser Radial in the Saturday session. The Laser 4.7's, had close racing all weekend with four separate race winners. Tom Vincent, from McCrae YC and Albert winter member, sailed the most consistent to finish first overall, with Ben Hartnett (Sorrento SCBC/ Albert SC) and Lachlan Imeneo (McCrae YC) close behind in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Spot prizes of Laser parts were provided for the VLA Travellers Series race by Jolly Roger Sailing Centre, Performance Sailcraft Australia and Zik. The winners of these prizes were : George Andrysik from Albert SC (Laser Standard) ; James Catton from Albert SC (Laser Radial) ; and Natasha Van Rennes from Newhaven YS (Laser 4.7). Full results and a range of photos from the Regatta are available on the home page of albersc.org.au. There are some good shots of individual Laser sailors and Laser fleets.
Two weeks before the Regatta there was a well attended VLA coaching session on Albert Park Lake at Albert Sailing Club. Sixteen boats, with half of these from the host club, sailed in a full day session in moderate South West winds. Ricky Ironmonger took the Laser 4.7's group, and Glenn Collings the Laser Standard/ Laser Radial group. The focus was on tacking, sailing upwind, and starting. The VLA training sessions continue monthly - see the VLA coaching calendar for dates and details.
The third event in the VLA Jolly Roger Traveller Series will be at 1pm on Sunday July 18 at Elwood Sailing Club. The Albert Sailing Club winter sailing season continues weekly till mid September, with details and dates on albertsc.org.au.