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New South wales State Titles 1997

Wangi Sailing Club / Lake Macquarie

24th - 26th November 1997

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The 1997/98 OK Dinghy State Championship was sailed from the Wangi Sailing Club, on the western shore of Lake Macquarie. The series was run over 3 days in light to moderate easterly breezes.

Friday 24th
Mark Fisher and John Gibson have both made the journey up from Melbourne.
No new boats, which is disappointing as we were all looking forward to seeing the result of the 'flop' from AUS-670.
Fisher seems in good spirits (we have photographic evidence of him smiling), and has selected the trusty AUS-680 for this regatta - I've always wondered how decisions on which boat to bring are made? (now there's a story you could follow-up on Justin) - probably because it has won more NSW regattas than any other boat in the country.
Gibbo has stuck with AUS-610 and everyone else has their old boats, except Chocko who is expected to arrive with his new purchase AUS-666.
Peter Horne is back on the scene, and there are a lot of sails being pulled out of shiny new bags - must be some serious racing coming up in the next few months.

Race 1
Friday afternoon and a good sailing breeze 10-15 kts from East, N/East.
Fisher leads at the first mark, Peter Horne rolls him just before the wing mark, and they sail off on a high course, looking for the bottom mark - the boys haven't quite got their lake bearings sorted out yet. The correct bearing of course, is the next bay further down the shore, where the 3 yachts with blue boom covers are moored - I remember seeing them in the background behind the starter's boat. Well, I guess the marks are a little hard to pick up from a distance.
Fisher wins (using a new hard sail) from Pete (new sail), then Bundy and Gibbo - they all have good speed to windward in hard hiking conditions.

Race 2 (Morning, light easterly)
Chocko has arrived, and then goes out and wins his first race in his new boat. Bundy is 2nd, then Fisher and Gibbo( both are now using soft sails). To quote Fisher -"I think we have delivered the weapon into the wrong hands".
Race 3 (Afternoon, medium easterly)
Stronger version of morning race. Fisher, Pete, Chock and Gibbo are all contenders early, but Gibbo finds the slow lane on the square run (everyone sails around him) and drops out of the pack. Fisher wins from Pete, Chocko then Chappo (at the expense of Gibbo).

Race 4 (Morning, light easterly)
Nick Gray and Gibbo (back to his hard sail) go out as early leaders and race each other for the whole course, but they are gathered in by Fisher on the last beat, and he then spoils their party.
Fisher wins from Gibbo, then Nick and Chocko.
Between races Fisher entertains us with his change over of sails (old soft to new soft) whilst wallowing (that's the boat, not the boy) about the vicinity of the start. It's not a pretty sight, but he makes it in time before the warning signal.
Race 5 (Afternoon, light easterly)
Nick and Gibbo repeat the morning performance and stage another light air match race. Nick wins from Gibbo, then Fisher and Bundy.

The series was characterised by some very close finishes. All placings within the fleet were hard won - from 1st to 15th, and it was usual for the fleet to finish within 2 minutes. Fisher wins another NSW regatta in AUS-680, Chocko takes out the NSW C'ship on a count-back from Bundy, "Drovers Dog" gets its name on the trophy for the 8th time, and everyone is anxious to come back to Wangi for another regatta (hopefully with breezes like we had last year).

1AUS 680M. Fisher131136
2AUS 610J. Gibson4452212
3AUS 666P. JacksonDNC134614
4AUS 692R. Buchanan3265414
5AUS 696P. Horne21127718
6AUS 620N. Gray10973120
7AUS644R. Chapman5546820
8AUS693R. Brown6698525
9AUS689G. Yates981291036
10AUS655D. Coleman7129121238
11AUS681J. Corby8141113941
12AUS625D. Swales13715111142
13AUS667J. McKenzieDNC108DNCDNC50
14AUS637P. Blunt121313121350
15AUS660S. Tornai11151514DNC56