Reg Lord’s Juno has prevailed over a small but competitive fleet to capture the 2022 J/70 NSW State Championship title hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from 22-24 January on Sydney Harbour.
Karyn Gojnich, RSYS Rear Commodore and owner of The Jackal, writes, ‘The three day series was raced in predominantly SSE breezes that swung up to 20 degrees at times and fluctuated between 8 and 14 knots for the first two days. The final day was not easy, with two prevailing breezes fighting each other. Eventually only two of the scheduled three races were sailed in under 10 knots giving the series 10 races overall.
Reg and Ben from Juno
The shifty conditions provided an interesting game of ‘snakes and ladders’. Wind calls, racecourse management and overall strategy converted to gaining a place or two in a flash. Mark roundings were crowded and always an opportunity to gain or lose a few places too. Downwind varying modes between low VMG and planing also provided a lot of passing opportunities.’
Unfortunately COVID played havoc with the event, kept fleet numbers down and knocked a few sailors out during the event. Only one Victorian team managed to compete, and even they had to make a last minute crew substitution. Adam Keyes-Tilley from Sandringham Yacht Club who sailed on Madness said, ‘The conditions were very tough for a first-time J/70 crew up from Victoria. Getting off the start line under the cliffs was a challenge, let alone contending with the up/down pressure, tides, big shifts, waves, boat wash and of course the ferries. It all made for constant gear changes which we are still learning.’
Sam Haynes, skipper of Celestial commented, ‘It was close racing – really strong. Apart from the brilliant regatta by Juno and the equally strong Vamos, the rest of us were in hand-to-hand combat every race. And we all still nipped at Reg and Tim’s heels!’
Celestial in the foreground, photo by Darcie Collington
A close, competitive fleet
Karyn continues, ‘A huge ‘thank you’ to PRO Jim Hawkins and his race management team from all of the boats in the fleet. It was a tricky weekend wind-wise, our course on day 1 and 2 was laid a good 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, the target times of 35-40 minutes were reached, and the courses were very fair.
Upcoming events for the J/70 fleet include the Sydney Harbour Regatta from 5-6 March, followed by the Victorian State titles from 12-14 March which will be hosted by Blairgowrie Yacht Club.’
RSYS boats The Jackal and Maybe J in a duel
Photos by Ian Woodforth.
With thanks to the Race Management volunteers: RO Jim Hawkins, Coxswain Bill Fleming, Timing Pat Grace & Ian Woodforth, Flags David Flakelar & Kari Svensen, Recorder Nina Flakelar, Marks Geoff Clarke & James Curr.
The fleet passes the James Craig