Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Eddie Cowell Perpetual Regatta -2018


Another EC Regatta, conducted by Club Kawana at its sailing arena at Lake Kawana, has come and gone. As is usually the case, the Sunshine Coast lived up to its name, providing a glorious three days of RC yacht racing weather. The sailing weather was somewhat unreliable early hours of each day but luckily the sea breeze came in, usually at lunchtime, to provide 3 afternoons of close and entertaining racing.

We had 44 starters this year with entries from West Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand and Singapore. As is usual with IOM regattas the competition was at times willing, intense and quite often brilliant. There were 15 races completed over the weekend and of these, there were 8 different race winners. The competition was also very close throughout with a great many of the competitors attesting to the difficulty of getting out of both ‘B’ and ‘C’ fleets.

The racing was very ably run by Club Kawanas’ PRO Garry MacMahon, who had to cope with a wind that was varying thru 180 deg. or disappearing completely, at times. He also had to officiate a group of sailors, who are exceptionally competitive and have their own views on what is an appropriate racecourse, where to position the starting line, how far apart the windward and distance mark should be, how quickly we should start the races, how long to give late-comers time to get on the course and so on. Despite this diversity of opinion he managed to get through the weekend relatively unscathed if not somewhat exhausted.

Club Kawana are continuing to fine tune their administration of this regatta and this year provided a sailing committee who were on call throughout the Regatta, as well as an assistant to the PRO, a selected Protest Committee, a dedicated boat crew who were on call all three days, assistants to David Black, parking assistants and two club officials Greg Adams and Derek Cragg who were available all weekend to assist competitors and their family and friends. There were numerous others who organised the port-a-loos, erected the marquis, organised the lunches, provided the drinks on ice, organised the numerous trophies etc, etc. Next year hopefully will be bigger and better.

The result didn’t reflect the closeness of the racing. It became very clear, early on Friday, that there were at least 8 – 10 competitors capable of winning this regatta. The winner was not going to be known until after lunch on the last day. The racing became quite intense toward the end of the regatta with numerous recalled starts, many protests called between competitors and an equal number of calls from the observers for boat and mark contacts. It is a testament to the nature of the sailors that this intense competition was left on the water when they brought their boats ashore.

This attitude was best demonstrated in a ‘B’ fleet race, late on Sunday when an inordinate number on collisions, protests and mark contacts could not be recorded by the officials and the PRO took the unusual step of abandoning the race under Rule 32.1 (d) due to an inability to provide a fair competition for the competitors. He then resailed the race. Needless to say the boats out in front weren’t too happy but the other competitors involved in the numerous incidents were happy to accept the decision. After the resail was completed the competitors, some reluctantly, accepted the decision and got on with the racing. It should be noted that the resail had virtually no incidents.

Congratulations must go to the eventual winner, Paul Jones, who was remarkably consistent with his results and proved to be a deserving Champion. This said, it should be pointed out that the other place-getters Sean Wallis and Glenn Dawson were in a position to win the regatta until late on Sunday and should also be congratulated.

Other trophies were presented to the top international competitor Jimmy Teo, the fairest sailor, the sailor who sailed the most races, David Jones, the sailor who did the most penalty turns, Andrew Wilson, the sailor who finished exactly mid-fleet, Frank Russell (thanks to Greg Torpy for donating a 360 new sail) and the top international sailor after Jimmy Teo, Garry Roberts- NZ (thanks to Garry Taylor –G Tec Sails for donating a new set of ‘A’ sails).

As is usual with Qld regattas thanks must go to David Black who provided all the scoring management and information together with providing ‘Live results’ on the QRYA site, Anne Walker who carried the burden of helping with the scoring, updating the fleet board, managed the fleet roster, helped record the finishers and finally kept the start box operator on his toes. Also thanks to Betty Churcher who had the odious job of directing the car parking and helped call the boats over the finish line. Finally a big thanks to the RC Laser members of Club Kawana who gave up their time to help with the biggest IOM Regatta outside of the Nationals in Australia.

Finally, to acknowledge the many lessons learnt over the weekend, next year the Club will attempt to improve on the pace of race starting, the system of organising the yachts to be ready for the next race, have more flexibility in the sailing instructions to accommodate better and faster race turn-overs and starts and develop a method of marshalling the boats to be ready for the following races. We will also review the QRYA results of the after event survey and incorporate any worthwhile suggestions it may provide. We would encourage all competitors to complete the survey as it is a great source of feedback to all Qld clubs.

Club Kawana would like to thank all the competitors for attending our regatta and extend an open invitation to all IOM sailors for next years EC Regatta.

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