With tropical cyclone Blanche dissipating over northern Western Australia, Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay was blessed with beautiful sailing weather during the whole weekend for the 2017 Ronstan Victorian Tasar Championships.
The fleet included the current Tasar state champion, as well as a national champion, world champion and dual Olympian in other boats, Krystal Weir, along with previous Tasar world champions Rob and Nicole Douglass, as well as Rick Longbottom and other world champions such as Glenn Collings, topped off with a host of national and state champions from Tasars and other classes.
Day one set the scene with the temperature in the high 20s and a steady 10-16 knot south to southeasterly blowing across the course. The teams of Chris Dance and Jeremy Elmslie, and Rob and Nicole Douglass showed why they were current champions and shared the wins between them, ending up with Rob and Nicole just one point ahead of Chris and Jeremy.
The second day started very differently with a 30-knot easterly blowing across the course, but by the time the fleet launched it was only 15 knots and easing off. The first two races were sailed in light conditions and saw a mix up of the points, except for Chris and Jeremy who ended with two second places.
Daryl and Michelle Stone from Albury, sailing in the newest Tasar in Australia, showed their talent to win the difficult second race. The fleet broke for lunch as the wind stopped and again a lovely southerly came in for the afternoon race. Current state champions Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne won this race to put some pressure on the leaders, but Chris and Jeremy went into the last day with a six-point buffer over Rob and Nicole.
Day three looked like a day on the beach due to no wind, but by the time the fleet had to launch, a nice southeasterly was filling in. Two races were held in a breeze building from 10 knots to 15 by the end. In the first race Heather and Chris were the winners, Glenn and Vanessa Collings were second and Rob and Nicole were third.
Chris and Jeremy had their worst race for the series with a hard-fought fifth, which set the scene for the final race with Heather and Chris needing to win with Chris and Jeremy fifth or worse, and Rob and Nic only one point behind.
The final race of the series was in perfect conditions and class stalwarts Mike and Kim Paynter (Super Grand Masters) won, followed closely by the other class stalwarts Alistair and Tracey Murray.
Alistair and Mike have sailed numerous Tasar state titles together and won a Tasar Nationals 25 years ago, showing they have not lost any of their skills. Chris and Jeremy kept a close watch on Chris and Heather, sealing the overall win for them, while Rob and Nicole finished a strong second overall.