Port Phillip Bay was at its best and ready to accommodate the 49 eager Wally racers from Qld, NSW, Vic and SA, with an age range of 12 to 70. The wind speed was at 10 to 12 knots and building so course racing was scheduled for the day.
The competition was tight in the ideal conditions. Several races of windward return were held in the morning. After a quick lunch all headed back out for more course racing in a southerly breeze that peaked at about 18 kts with challenging waves to negotiate.
A great start to the regatta which was run impeccably by Nick Bez and the Parkdale Yacht Club crew.. The day finished with a welcome dinner at the Club House that was much appreciated by everyone.
A clear blue sky with light SW winds in the morning. The free style competition area was conveniently located in front of the clubhouse. Making the clubhouse deck an ideal viewing platform. A PA system on the deck pumped out music continuously throughout the day and commentary during the free style event would have made Roy & HG proud. There was some excellent talent on display and Mark Lloyd finished off the session with a strip tease.
After lunch the SW wind had picked up and the slalom course was set up close to the shore in front of the club house. The format consisted of a double elimination (2nd chance) series. Without a doubt the highlight of the series was Mel’s kick-arse performance against the boys. The grand final race comprised of a few races to decide the Slalom winner.
The entertainment at club that night was charcoal bbq souvlaki dinner followed by a live band.
The Marathon Race day. The race started in a medium strength SW breeze. The course consisted of a work, run (in line with the club house) and then a long reach along the length of the beach north towards Beaumaris, another work, run and then a return reach along the beach back to the club house.
The wind dropped off significantly after the first work. Which made the following run leg difficult in bumpy conditions with waves outrunning our boards. The remainder of the race was in light winds so it was a pumping race.
In the afternoon Greg John’s presented the new WINDSURFER LT board which will eventually be the base board for the windsurfer class. More details on the announcement are here.
Saw a return to course racing but this time competitors were faced with 40 degrees of heat and a northerly wind that gusted from 5 to 15kts+ with massive direction shifts. This made for interesting races with many lead changes.
Standout performers were Mark Lloyd and Will Grimshaw (actually a Junior too) in lightweights, Nic Bez and Tim Elliot in medium weight, Simon Jones and Scott Buckingham in heavyweights, Paul Grimshaw and Gerald Nailon in Super heavyweights. The Women’s category was dominated by Mel Webb.
By early afternoon all racing was completed. No protests or unsavoury incidents so yet again this fleet is like a big happy family. Drinks and food at the clubhouse for the presentation that followed.
There were many tired but exhilarated sailors at the finish of a wonderful 4 day regatta. Bring on the next one.
The full competition results are available here: PDF