June 19 - 25, 2016: Issue 268

 MC38 Winter Regatta 2016 On Pittwater 

Winter Regatta start - photo by Bob Fowler

Winter Regatta And Season Championship To Ginger

June 19, 2016
Event: MC38 Winter Regatta and finale of the 2016 MC38 Australian Season Championship hosted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, June 18-19, 2016

In their own wet weather bubble the MC38 fleet followed the breeze around an otherwise barren Pittwater and managed to complete the scheduled final four races of the season ending MC38 Winter Series, victory going to Leslie Green’s Ginger.

For the class elder the Australian Season Championship trophy was the one missing from his collection. Now Green has the full complement of class trophies, the only owner/skipper to achieve the result. 

“We are very happy,” said a beaming Green back at the host Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. “’Chappo’ [David Chapman] did a great job as usual, and a lot of our success goes to Richie Allanson, he’s really critical on the boat.” 

A poor penultimate race 6 result gave Ginger a mere one point buffer going into race 7. In the argy bargy and pouring rain at the start Ginger was held out, putting them in the back stalls while John Bacon’s Dark Star went out determined, taking the lead.  

Ginger’s longtime tactician David Chapman admitted the nerves kicked in. “I was nervous after our start. We were behind everyone, and then when we were presented an opportunity to pass, we did. Leslie’s the only owner to have won every MC38 trophy; I’m very proud of him.” 

Ross Hennessy in his first regatta back since February with Ghost Rider (RPAYC) and a new executive team finished the MC38 Winter Regatta strongly, second to Ginger by two points. 

Third overall and Australian Season Championship runner-up was Dark Star. Their conclusion was cruelly rewritten in the final leg of race 7 when a windless hole at the top mark trapped the RPAYC crew. On top of a second series OCS this final stroke of bad luck made it too difficult to overcome nemesis Ginger, though they were also pinged twice in the series for their eagerness by PRO Steve Merrington.

“We were winning the regatta at the top mark,” recalled Bacon. “It was like the nationals all over again. We were first and Ginger was fourth then we stopped and everyone sailed past us.” Reflecting on the past season the class president added, “It was another great season, thanks to all the clubs that supported us. The 38s are a vibrant class and we look forward to getting back out there in September.” 

Races 4 and 5 were sailed in the patchy morning sou’easter between nil and 6 knots. The mixed fortunes of racing in winter on a sometimes cruel Pittwater were also epitomised in race 5 when Clare Crawford helming Assassin was mown down by three other MC38s, two coming into the finish in opposing breezes and all smashing the half mile Assassin had established at the top mark. 

The breeze then swung easterly and steadied by comparison and the course was reset further north off a start line between Currawong on Pittwater’s western shoreline and Careel Bay. By the close of racing the wind was oscillating, puffs up to 10 knots and back down to an inconsistent 5 knots.

The oft baffling waterway did Neville Crichton’s Maserati no favours either, his Cruising Yacht Club of Australia entry placing last behind Assassin, in contrast to their round two victory last month on Sydney Harbour.

Before the race committee moved the fleet north a lone seal swam close to Ginger in Treharne Cove, see the video here. 

Today’s Winter Regatta scores cap off an early 2016 season pointscore and the nationals were contested back in February, the win going to Ginger. The owner’s group has a standalone September regatta scheduled before rolling into the 2016-17 season in October. The location of the 2017 national championship is yet to be announced. 

Lejen Marine sponsored the MC38 Winter Regatta by supplying a RIB for umpire David Tallis and North Sails sponsored the daily presentation of a battle flag to the top-scoring boat of the day.

By Lisa Ratcliff
MC38 fleet in the rain - photo by Lisa Ratcliff

MC38 Winter Regatta - Ginger Boat Of The Day

June 18, 2016
Event: MC38 Winter Regatta and finale of the 2016 MC38 Australian Season Championship hosted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, June 18-19, 2016

Light northerly winds dribbled down Pittwater, part of Sydney’s northern beaches, just long enough for the MC38 fleet contesting their end of season Winter Regatta to bank three of four planned races. 

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s principal race officer Steve Merrington made the most of an early start and the pick of the late morning breeze then wisely called an early finish mid-afternoon, Saturday June 18. 

Leslie Green’s Ginger is boat of the day after posting 2,1,3 scores, and rests one point ahead of John Bacon’s Dark Star. Ross Hennessey’s Ghost Rider is in the mix also, three points off the lead boat thanks to a resounding bullet in the third and final race of the day.

Ginger - boat of the day 

MC38 crews came ashore to plenty of excitement after one of the RPAYC’s two youth teams competing in New Caledonia beat the second team to take out the World Youth Match Racing Championship.

Hennessy was pleased with his boat’s first trial against the fleet sporting new Doyle sails. Like all campaigns, a consistent crew is the biggest differential on these near identical design boats and his first-time combination of Gerard Smith on tactics working closely with Chris Williams on main began promisingly.

“It’s all to do with the guys on the boat,” Hennessy said. “Gerard has been with me for ten years, since my Adams 10 days, and works well with Chris, plus he’s had a fair bit of practice on Pittwater.  Our first race started badly and we stayed in fifth. Then we scored a third, and in the third race we didn’t tangle with the rest at the start and led the whole way around. We were very happy with Doyle’s speed downwind. We were on the pace with our sails; we just have a learning curve with trimming.”

A mild morning northerly up to 8 knots tending NNE faded to a couple of knots then glassed-out. “We did the best we could in what we had,” Merrington said. “The customers are happy, and happy customers mean happy race officers.” Video of the end of race 3 

Tomorrow’s rejigged program kicks off at 0930hrs and four races is the committee’s goal. The fleet can expect south-westerly 10 to 15 knots becoming variable about 10 knots in the morning and heavy rainfall. Stronger winds associated with a developing low pressure system are now due to reach Sydney on Monday.

Lejen Marine is generously sponsoring the MC38 Winter Regatta by supplying a RIB for umpire David Tallis and each afternoon the North Sails top-scoring boat of the day is presented with the yellow battle flag.

by Lisa Ratcliff
MC38 spinnaker run on Pittwater - photo by Bob Fowler
MC38 Winter Regatta fleet - photo by Bob Fowler

MC38 Winter Regatta To Decide 2016 Season Champion‏

June 15, 2016
This weekend Pittwater’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will host the MC38 Winter Regatta, the third and final act of the one design class’ 2016 Australian Season Championship.
Early weather models show NSW could be in the path of another east coast low, predicted to bring severe winds and significant rainfall to Sydney late Sunday and into Monday. As always the RPAYC’s race committee will monitor the system and keep owners informed, plus be ready to adjust the on-water schedule should conditions wane.

Painfully light winter sou’easters and a high chance of showers are forecast for Saturday, turning to E-NE winds and increasing slowly on Sunday, June 19. This makes Sunday the better option for spectators to run along the race course perimeter, likely to be just north of Scotland Island, in their own boats and see and hear the hotted-up fleet at close quarters.
Sparring partners Dark Star, John Bacon’s RPAYC MC38, and Leslie Green’s three-time and current Australian champion, Ginger, sailing for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, are in the running for the season crown. The pair are two points apart on the series scoresheet, Ginger on four points thanks to two seconds and Dark Star on six points after two third spots, at Sail Port Stephens in April and the MC38 Autumn Regatta run by Middle Harbour Yacht Club last month.
“We always go one-on-one with Ginger and we are looking forward to doing just that this weekend,” said Bacon.  “We just need to beat them, and that’s never easy.”
Howard Spencer’s 2015 Australian Season Champion Menace, from Royal Akarana Yacht Club in New Zealand, is running second on the season pointscore however the Kiwis unfortunately can’t make this weekend so drop out of contention.
Neville Crichton and his Maserati team rejoined the fray at the Autumn Regatta and top scored, but having missed the opening round they are also out of contention for a decent seat at the championship table, given the no discard scoring system.
Robin and Clare Crawford’s Assassin (RPAYC) has attended all stages and earned a solid nine points towards their final championship tally.
The owner’s group welcomes back Ross Hennessy’s Ghost Rider for this weekend’s season finale, after the crew took a break following the national class title on Pittwater in February.
MC38 Winter Regatta schedule
Saturday June 18
0830 – 0900         Registration and crew weigh-in
0900                      Race Committee briefing at Halyards Bar, RPAYC
1000                      First scheduled warning signal of the day, up to 4 races
Daily Prize giving ASAP after dock-in
Sunday June 19
1000                       First scheduled warning signal of the day, up to 3 races 
Prize-giving ASAP after dock-in
Lejen Marine is generously sponsoring the MC38 Winter Regatta and supplying a Cobia 4.7 RIB for on-water umpiring, and each afternoon the North Sails top-scoring boat of the day will be awarded the prized yellow battle flag.

By Lisa Ratcliff

Reports by Lisa Ratcliff, Photography by Bob Fowler, Lisa Ratcliff,  2016.