Thursday 02 April 2015

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Closest of finishes for Flying Dutchman Nationals at Paynesville    
Thu, 4 Apr 2013

Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club hosted this year's Flying Dutchman Nationals, providing a great regatta sailed in almost every possible wind strength, which saw a super close series with most heats seeing the top six boats finish in very quick succession.

Friday saw a steady light to medium breeze ease everyone into the series - with race wins to McCrossin / Cook and Mitchell / Macdonald.

The next morning the breeze had died completely....the morning was spent drifting around on the lake in the sun whilst waiting for the breeze. After coming ashore for lunch the race team eventually got everyone under way late in the afternoon, the first race was in around 5kn of breeze and again McCrossin/Cook made the best of the conditions to win.

The second race started in similar breeze, but it kept fading and shifting leading to an ever changing lead all the way around the track with Edgar/Maskiell eventually holding out for a tough win on the final work of snakes and ladders.

Sunday then continued to change it all again. On arrival at the club it was blowing a fairly steady 18+kn and it was decided to wait and see how the front system would go through - an excellent decision as it then built to around 25-30kn for a few hours with rain thrown in for good measure. Again the racing started later in the afternoon and the fleet romped around for two super quick races in great breeze on flat water - pretty much perfect FD blasting weather. This is where the regatta started to turn with Bartels/Bismark taking both races from McCrossin/Cook.

The final day returned to similar weather from the first and again Bartels/Bismark held out McCrossin/Cook in another close race - leaving them tied on points, but with Bartels/Bismark winning on a count-back. Third place was only a further four points adrift with Edgar/Maskiell, and Mitchell/Mcdonald only three points behind them.

A great regatta to end another good FD year in Australia. Make sure you join into the FD class next year to get some training in ready for the Worlds to come to Sydney in January 2015.

by Michael Nolan

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