October 15 - 21, 2017: Issue 333

MC38s Draw Record Fleet And A Bevy Of Superstars

Dark Star RPAYC youth crew - photo by MC38 media

MC38s draw record fleet and a bevy of superstars

October 14, 2017
Event: MC38 2017-18 Summer Series act 1, October 14-15, 2017 on Sydney Harbour hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

The MC38 class enjoyed a major boost for the opening act of the class’ 2017-18 Summer Series drawing a record nine boats on Sydney Harbour for act one, and a bevy of superstars among the teams.
 
America’s Cup sailors and Olympic gold medallists in the Laser and 49er respectively, Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen, plus guest helmsman Michael Dunstan took Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan into a new sphere and four races into the seven race series they are second on the pointscore.

But it was the usual unflappable A-team on Lesley Green’s Ginger with their impeccable boat handling in the 16 gusting to 25 knot SSEers and decisions by tactician David Chapman that outclassed the fleet. They finished the North Sails boat of the day holding a four point advantage going into the second and final day of racing on Sunday October 15, 2017.
 
“It was really good to have nine boats; it made for a real dog fight,” said Chapman. “Each time we led at the top mark we weren’t leading at the bottom. There were lots of lead changes which was terrific for the spectators.”

On his first MC38 helming experience on a cool and showery spring day Dunstan said: “It was great fun, a blast. I don’t get the chance to steer boats like that very often.”
 
Slingsby added, “We had a few close moments, it’s really good out there with nine competitive boats. The racing was tight; you could overtake three or four on a downwind or lose three or four. We had one port/starboard and had to crash gybe but that’s all part of it and we are all friends at the end of the day.” Video of Slingsby and Dunstan.
 
On the likelihood of reigning in Ginger on Sunday he said: “We did well today with a couple of top threes. We’ll do the best we can and hopefully it’s close going into the last race so we can have a shot at them.”
 

Hooligan to windward- photo by MC38 media

Driving John Bacon’s Dark Star hard was Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Youth Development sailor Sarah Parker with brother Malcolm calling tactics and the highly experienced Chris Links on main.
 
“We were a bit nervous in the first race but once we settled down we were happy with how it all went,” said Malcolm. Speaking on the pros among the teams he added, “It was good to tussle with a few names and even get a couple of them, though it wasn’t something we were looking for heading into this regatta. For us it was about the experience. A massive thank you to John for all his support and for giving us the opportunity.”
 
Just three training sessions then straight into a gusty day up against some of Australia’s best keelboat sailors while weaving in and around fleets of J70s, Ynglings, Etchells, old 18-footers and classic boats on a track between Chowder and Rose Bay was no easy feat for the debut MC38 helm. On the feel of driving, a chilled-out Sarah said: “It’s heavy downwind but I had a feel from other Elliott asymmetric spinnaker sailing I’ve done. It was nice and fast. After the first race we nailed down a few things that we thought were potential flaws and from there we improved.”

Bacon and crewmember David Sampson picked up Lazy Dog from Puerto Rico and imported it to boost the local fleet. Their plan is to sell it to an owner looking for high-level one design racing and in the meantime Lazy Dog went from its shipping container to winning Saturday’s first race, all in three days. “That gave us the opportunity to give the RPAYC youth team a chance to mix it with the best Grand Prix fleet in Australia on the Dark Star,” Bacon said.

A blowy monotone Sydney day tested all teams. By the end of lap one of race one Ghost Rider and Easy Tiger were out with sail damage, and more spinnakers would meet a similar fate. In the screaming down-winders a couple of MC38s wiped-out, sending crews scrambling to regain control of the temperamental beasts before the spill cost too many places.
 
From four races there were four firsts over the line: Lazy Dog, Ginger, Steve Barlow’s Lightspeed and Hooligan to finish the day.
 
The forecast for Sunday October 15 is south-easterly 10-15 knots turning easterly below 10 knots in the afternoon. The remaining three races are due to start at 1000hrs under the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s race management team headed up by race officer Rob Ridley.
 
Results click on MC38 Act 1 Summer
 
For replays of live videos from Saturday go to Facebook

MC38 2017-18 Summer Series act 1
Pos Pts         Name         R1        R2    R3 R4
1 7.00         Ginger         2.00       1.00   2.00 2.00
2 11.00 Hooligan         3.00       3.00   4.00 1.00
3 17.00 Lightspeed 4.00       6.00  1.00 6.00
4 18.00 Lazy Dog 1.00       4.00  9.00 4.00
5 18.00 Maserati         5.00       2.00  6.00 5.00
6 22.00 Vino         6.00       5.00  3.00 8.00
7 26.00 Easy Tiger 10.00    8.00  5.00 3.00
8 28.00 Dark Star 7.00       7.00  7.00 7.00
9 37.00 Ghost Rider 10.00    9.00  8.00 10.00

By Lisa Ratcliff
MC38 Media
Ghost Rider and Easy Tiger in the distance - photo by MC38 Media
Fleet heading to the top mark on a grey Sydney day - photo by MC38 media

MC38s Ginger-fied in Summer Series act one

15 October 2017
Event: MC38 2017-18 Summer Series act 1, October 14-15, 2017 on Sydney Harbour hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron
The rolling dominance of Leslie Green’s Ginger team extended to the opening act of the Summer Series for the 2017-18 season, the usual players stretching their day one lead to 10 points over three more races on Sydney Harbour.
 
 
ESE winds 8-11 knots on Sunday October 15 contrasted with the opening day’s 16 gusting to 25 knots of breeze out of Rose Bay on the harbour’s eastern shore. Regular Ginger (CYCA) strategist Julian Plante, who helmed for Green, agreed “Sunday was a change in tempo. It was pretty shifty out there with big pressure changes. You had to stick to your guns.
 
“In the first race we were in the lead, tried to be conservative and ended up fourth. We realised we needed to sail looser, which we did in the last two and came out with better results (two wins). The fleet lifted with the extra boats and the quality of people, which was great to see. It was tighter and tougher and the start lines were much busier. Leslie was following us keenly online and he’s very excited to get back out and do some sailing.”
 
Neville Crichton’s Maserati (CYCA/RNZYS), with Farr 40 owner Martin Hill driving, won the first race then followed up with two seconds, a performance good enough to warrant the North Sails boat of the day flag and move them into second in the series on a countback. “I haven’t beaten Tom Slingsby since 1992,” joked Maserati’s tactician Joe Turner of his good friend who went onto win an America’s Cup and an Olympic gold medal in sailing.
 
“With Neville unable to attend but watching on, I was pleased we got there against Hooligan,” Hill added. “It was a very windy first day then lighter for the second and once again fleet positions changed quite dramatically. In the Farr 40s you would expect to extend from a top mark lead as you wouldn’t get dirty air but with the asymmetric kites there’s a lot more to do and positions swap with the speeds of the boat downwind. It can be cruel racing.”
Tactician on third overall Hooligan (RPAYC), Tom Slingsby, said a couple of bad starts on a course off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron clubhouse up to a top gate at Point Piper, led to them playing catch up. “It was our first regatta with a few new to MC38s. Nine boats made it very competitive and Sunday’s light to moderate winds and flatwater was perfect for these boats.”
 
Fourth overall was Steve Barlow’s Lightspeed (RPAYC) and fifth was John Bacon’s Lazy Dog (RPAYC), which is available to buy. Racing in their debut MC38 regatta, the majority Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club crew on Dark Star recorded their best result, a fifth in race six.

The next event for the one design class is act two of the Summer Series on Pittwater over the weekend of November 18-19.
 
Results click on MC38 Summer Series
 

by Lisa Ratcliff
Summer Series act one to Ginger- photo Tilly Lock Media
Second Maserati MC38 Summer Series act 1 - photo by Tilly Lock Media
Hooligan third overall MC38 Summer Series 2017-18- photo by Tilly Lock Media
Lightspeed & Harbour Bridge- photo by Tilly Lock Media
Summer Series act one winner Ginger & Harbour Bridge - photo Tilly Lock Media