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10 May, 2014
2009 West Australian GP14 State Championships, Dunsborough
A weekend of very mixed winds provided a fitting test to the sailing skills of the eleven GP14s entered in this years W.A. State Championships. The Labour Day weekend of 28th February and 1st March 2009 saw the stunning backdrop of Geographe Bay and the Dunsborough Bay Yacht Club playing host to 5 boats down from Perth and another 6 from the local club. Being in the middle of the wine vintage season some of the other likely contenders unfortunately had to put business before pleasure and tend to demands of living in one of the world’s top wine growing regions.
The early afternoon Saturday start for the two short races scheduled for that day saw some relatively strong winds accompanied by very fresh and flukey gusts, with Swift (I.Greenham/G.Hammond) first around the top mark being chased by The Ragged Edge (P.Wagner/A.Sapsford), Cocktail Cherry (L.Proksch/S.Dickinson) and Shallabe (L.Harris/R.Spinks). Some very close and competitive sailing ensued with the result that last year’s winner, La Rousse (B.Quail/S.Heywood) took out the first line honours of the competition followed closely by Cocktail Cherry, The Ragged Edge and Swift. A slight delay whilst retrieving one very waterlogged and tired skipper and crew, saw the second race run in equally strong conditions, with the gusts proving very challenging on the tight reaches. La Rousse again managed to squeeze ahead of Cocktail Cherry followed up by Swift.
Sunday’s first long race began with a very light easterly, which then proceeded to drop even lighter resulting in only 3 finishers, the rest left bobbing like corks on a mirrored sea. Despite having totally contrasting conditions to the previous day, La Rousse again crossed the line first, followed closely but slowly by Aeolus III (B.Baudains/S.Flower) and The Ragged Edge. A postponement after lunch whilst everyone waited for a return of the wind saw some interesting and novel ways of catching up on sleep whilst in the hot sun – a GP14 has many uses!
The afternoon program was then changed to two short races and with a slightly stronger breeze than the morning and Aeolus III showed her dominance in those conditions by leading the race through to the finish, chased hard by La Rousse and The Ragged Edge. The final race of the day and the championships saw La Rousse stamp her mark on the series with another win, this time chased by Cocktail Cherry and The Ragged Edge
Outright Placings were : 1st La Rousse (Bruce Quail/Steve Heywood), 2nd The Ragged Edge (Peter Wagner/Adrian Sapsford), 3rd Aeolus III (Barry Baudains/Steve Fowler), 4th Cocktail Cherry (Louis Proksch/Steve Dickinson)
Handicap Placings were : 1st La Rousse (Bruce Quail/Steve Heywood), 2nd The Ragged Edge (Peter Wagner/Adrian Sapsford), 3rd Swift (Ian Greenham/Geoff Hammond), 4th Aeolus III (Barry Baudains/Steve Fowler)
The Brian Kemp Memorial Trophy for top family boat went to Tamzine’s Joan and Mark Embry with the Top Dunsborough Boat Trophy going to Ragged Edge.
The weekend was once again a wonderfully enjoyable experience both in competitive sailing and socially, with a reminder that some serious fundraising was required so that DBYC could be in a position to host the next championships from their new clubhouse.