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Lake Macquarie Challenge success!

The Lake Macquarie Challenge was held at Speers Point Amateur Sailing Club on Sunday 7th March, 2021. The Challenge is an historical annual race between the Hartley TS16 fleets from Drummoyne SC, Saratoga SC and the Lake Macquarie clubs, using a handicap start. Last year’s winning club was Saratoga and two of their boats defended the title this year.

The day saw a 5-10 knot breeze that swung between north-east and south-east, making the setting of a course with a true upwind leg difficult and complicating the starting and course strategies of the seven competitors. The worst affected was Uncle Norm, who lost a lot of time early in the race when the wind died near the start line, just as they were about to begin.

Vinca and Freudian Slip made early gains by steering to the east side of the course on the first leg, resulting in them leading the race for the last two laps. Annette, sailed by Ron Johnston, was the fastest boat on the course with the lowest elapsed time. They steadily wound in the lead boats, finishing only five seconds behind the winner. Freudian Slip trailed Vinca right up to the finish line when some local knowledge helped them pass downwind to finish just one second ahead. Vinca’s crew of David and Russell Johnston, Ron’s sons, should be commended for their performance as they had only recently purchased the boat and the Challenge was their first outing. The handicaps worked well, with the first six boats finishing within only two minutes of each other over the 2 hour race.

This year, ‘ The Challenge shield’ was awarded to Drummoyne Sailing Club as their team of three boats finished with an overall nine points compared to twelve of the combined SPASC and Saratoga team. The race served as a good rehearsal for the NSW and ACT TS16 State Championship’s scheduled to be held at Saratoga SC over Easter, 2-4th April, 2021.

Well done, Drummoyne! We'll see you all next year...

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