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05 April, 2015
Augusta Yacht Club Annual Blackwood Challenge '12
The 2012 Blackwood competitors The 2012 winners, Bruce Quail & Steve Heywood, A good turnout from the GP14s Close finishes were the order of the day
discuss the day with Commodore Brenton Air
AUTUMN WEATHER IDEAL FOR AUGUSTA YACHTIES
The Augusta Yacht Club held the ninth annual Blackwood Challenge Regatta sponsored by Augusta and Districts Bendigo Bank on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of April. The Blackwood River was a scene of frantic activity as a fleet of 19 boats from Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club, Mounts Bay Yacht Club and Augusta Yacht Club competed for three separate trophies over a four race series and under the warm, sunny conditions with light winds, tactics became very important. The original Blackwood Challenge was only for invited GP14s and as the years passed the club decided to add a trophy for junior sailors and this year another trophy was added for mixed fleets to encourage local sailors.
The mixed fleet and GP14s competed under a handicap system and the juniors sailed on an “across the line basis”. The larger number of boats than usual meant that the start for each division was staggered to avoid congestion on the small start line. Time keeper/starter Don Hosken was kept busy the whole weekend with many boats finishing within seconds of each other, a situation that required some rapid recording of results.
The DBYC junior sailors were a credit to their club, the enthusiasm and skill of these youngsters was fantastic to watch and we are sure that some will go a long way in their chosen sport. The Cowan brothers, racing each other, must create some headaches for their parents with both finishing either first or second in all four races.
The visiting fleet of GP14s was the largest we had seen at the club for some time and the close racing they provided all weekend made for some very exciting finishes. There were four GP14s each from DBYC and MBYC, with these boats also competing for the Flying Fish Trophy, an annual teams event held for GP14s. The light winds meant that it was the first time in the history of the event that we did not have one GP14 capsize over the weekend. Standout performer for the GPs was once again “La Rousse”, sailed by Bruce Quail and Steve Heywood from MBYC with a first across the line in all four races, thus managing to retain the trophy.
In the mixed fleet, “Big Red Dwarf” sporting her two new sails had a successful weekend with two firsts and winning the inaugural mixed fleet trophy on a countback from “Seabird”.
On Saturday night, competitors, friends and families enjoyed a BBQ at the club, attended by nearly fifty people. Sunday racing was held at 10am and 12 noon, followed by a sausage sizzle and the trophy / prize presentation, allowing those who travelled from Perth to make the long trip home.
BENDIGO BANK BLACKWOOD CHALLENGE 2012 RESULTS
GP14 TROPHY 1st - La Rousse : Bruce Quail, Steve Heywood
2nd - Aeolus : Peter Hale, Peter Wagner
3rd - Flying Fish : Andy Whittel, Wendy Mewett
MIXED FLEET TROPHY 1st - Big Red Dwarf : Brenton Air, Sue Air
2nd - Seabird : Brent Ettridge, Leanne Ettridge.
3rd - F Troop : Peter Compton, Ray Pond, Murray Macarthur
JUNIOR TROPHY 1st - Spinnow : Dean Cowan
2nd - Wahoo : Chad Cowan
3rd - Comet : Pierce Jackman
FLYING FISH TEAMS TROPHY 1st - MOUNTS BAY YACHT CLUB
2nd - DUNSBOROUGH BAY YACHT CLUB