Jollyboat Auckland Championship 2015
The Jollyboat Auckland Champs were held at French Bay this year in a NW gradient breeze which produced testing and shifty conditions. There was close racing throughout the weekend as competitors negotiated the minefield of gusts and shifts in what was some very close and tactical racing.
Thanks to Brendan for some excellent courses and to the FBYC on the water, shore and galley crews for making it all possible.
Jollyboat Nationals 2015
The Jollyboat class convened at Manly again for the second year running from the 20th-22nd March to hold its National Championship. This year, in contrast to last, to be greeted by a brisk Easterly and mountainous seas.
In a class that can be sailed single or double handed, it was the turn of the big boys and the double handers to rise to the top of the results table.
Day 1 - three races were sailed on a triangle/ windward leeward course. Rob and Dan Neeley scored two wins to top the table at the end of the day, followed by Roger Hall and Matt Hall-Smith, who won the first race. Richard Bicknell got submariner of the day after some gear failure and multiple capsizes. Another retiree was Bill Hewitt from Maraetai who broke his gooseneck.
Day 2 - a tad more breeze and an even larger sea state, and with the arrival of the Zephyrs (sailing their Auckland Champs) saw the course swap to a trapezoidal course to keep the fleets separated. Under the excellent officiation of PRO Kim Admore and the Manly team, the Jollys sailed another 3 races and the Zephyrs 4. Rob and Dan won the first race and narrowly lead the regatta at the end of day two after a stand out performance from Graham Fleury who won two races, in spite of having to do a penalty turn at the top mark in one of them. Day two also saw double handers Andrew and Cam Brown claw their way into 3rd spot with two seconds and a third. Breakages of the day were Alan Longmire with a broken tiller and Phil Clark with a broken boom.
Day 3 - The breeze was lighter than the previous two days and the sea state much reduced which lead to a re-balancing in the placings bringing some of the lighter air crews into contention. Standout performance of the day was Fergus Thomson from French Bay Yacht Club, who after having a strong coffee in the morning, managed to make his way to a shift which put him ahead of the fleet by more than a minute at the top mark in race one. A lead he held to the finish. Sadly, there was no espresso machine on the track and he couldn't manage a repeat performance.
Snafu of the day went to Cris Brodie who elected to remove weed from his centerboard on the run by doing an involuntary capsize and bottom inspection. Refreshed by his swim, Cris recovered well and went on to get a bullet in the final race.
The two handed crews Andrew and Cam Brown and Greg and Kaylia Wilshire remained highly competitive in the lighter conditions, with Andrew and Cam placing third overall and Greg and Kaylia placing third in the double handed. There was not much in it between the single and double handed boats at the front of the fleet and it's part of the Jollyboat's attraction that the boats can be moded to suit different crew weights.
As the boats returned back to the beach Rob and Daniel Neeley's effort on Sunday cemented their dominant position at the top of the Jollyboat fleet for 2015 with an overall win, after a six, one, two scoreline. They won the Auckland champs only a few weeks prior, the Sir Peter Blake Regatta last December, and have been the most successful crew all season at their local club French Bay YC.
Fitting in between the double handed crews on the podium was Class President, Graham Fleury from Torbay Sailing Club. Graham took out the highly prized single handed trophy for the first time. He sailed a very consistent regatta with an exceptional display of heavy air / big sea sailing on the second day. Graham placed second overall, a really well deserved result that matched the class and style of his boat's paint job and sail inventory.
Matt Hambrook, in his boat Bull Rush, took out the Handicap Trophy placing 9th overall and showing steady improvement over the weekend. He was last seen hurrying home with the 'munted mermaid', the teams trophy which was won for the first time by the team from French Bay Yacht Club.
Grim takes the Single Handed trophy, and Rob and Daniel win the National Champs and Double handed
Team French Bay win the Munted Mermaid for the first time
Closing Comments ...
A huge thank you to the team at Manly Sailing Club for your hospitality. You have a great venue for dinghy sailing and thanks for making the Class feel so welcome.
It's a shame that the fleet size was not up to usual Jollyboat standards, those who opted to stay away missing out on some exceptional racing in conditions that suited the Jollyboat perfectly, with opportunities to pass, and be passed on every leg.
To Kim Admore, our PRO, and all of the race support team lead by Sean from Manly SC, thanks for laying supremely accurate courses that lead to thrilling reaches and some wild downwind rides. Well done guys!
Thanks also to Cris for the excellent t-shirts and also to the Zephyr class for joining together for the BBQ on Saturday, good times!
The Jollyboat Class now looks forward to 2016, where we hope to see increased numbers afloat at all the clubs sailing this exciting class plus some new boats on the water.