Port Kembla Sailing Club was the host of the first round of the New South Wales Flying Eleven State Championship last weekend with a total of 62 boats registered for the event, 53 in the Open Fleet and nine in the Transition Fleet.
The Transition Fleet was a great way for sailors in their first season in the F11 to get used to the boats.
Once again, Port Kembla Sailing Club showed it would rate as one of the top country-based clubs in Australia, with PKSC’s great friendly volunteering members all working together to pull off a successful weekend regardless of the conditions faced.
Doing the sums, PKSC had more than 350 people through the club at some stage throughout the weekend with 40-plus campsites positioned on the club grounds.
Boats arrived from all over the State on the Friday afternoon and the Saturday morning, with the early forecast not looking too great for the sailors.
It was blowing 30 plus knots from the West on the Saturday morning, so Principal Race Officer Sean Lilley wisely postponed with the hope of a fading breeze in the afternoon.
The kids didn’t seem to care too much with the Slushie machine and the club canteen working overtime to keep everyone hydrated and fed.
The breeze was fading later in the day and with support boats on the water, the course laid for the first time and the start boat in position, the Open Fleet left the shore.
It was a brief reach out from the beach and then back, while for others it was time to have some fun in the rough stuff. After several capsizes and also some famous “Lake Illawarra choctops” later, the PRO decided to abandon the start and cancel racing for Saturday.
Some of the Transition Fleet were disappointed they weren’t allowed to go out, but it was a great decision in hindsight by the officials.
The aim was to achieve more than four races on the Sunday and following a 9.30am briefing it was time to hit the water and salvage the regatta by actually getting some sailing done.
Sunday’s breeze didn’t really cooperate with the schedule and only three races were completed with the light winds shifting to all points of the compass throughout the day.
The second and final round of the state championship will be held at the Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club in February.
Results following round one…
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