Red Eagles are the new champions!!!
The “eagle-ey” awaited Finals of the MDM Team racing was all that it was expected to be….
Team racing conditions were near perfect with a moderate southerly wind. Race officer Neil Armitage, set the “S” shaped course commonly used in international team racing events. The racecourse was set in Home Bay with a dedicated finish bridge in front of the Clubhouse.
In the Laser Class it was Dolphins Mark Sadler, Keith Morris and David Shilton against the Eagles Alistar Keytal, Mathew Shaw and Chris Gough.
In the Oppie Class it was Dolphins Greg Wilcox, Alex Burger, Arin Long against the Eagles Tiran Long, Sarah Price, Peter Bendon .
In the 420 Class it was Dolphins Marcus Progli and Calene Loubser; super duo Brevan Thompson and Callum Kilpin; and the two Michaels (M&M’s) Ovenstone and Crosland, against the Eagles Andrea Giovanini and Tammy Shaw; Ian Ainslee and Jenny Robertson (dad on bridge), and mother and son team of David and Bayer Rae.
Racing was extremely close. Victories in at least six of the fifteen races were only achieved in the last three boat lengths before the finish line and winning overlaps only distinguishable by the “Eagle” eyed Graham Roberstson on the finish bridge. Quick-draw rule quoting was the order of the day and it’s delivery in tones of authority, fluster, desperation, confusion and rudeness provided great entertainment for those sipping their Sunday tea at the clubhouse and anybody else who happened to be within a 500m radius of the finish line!
And so the scoreboard went something like this:
First flight: the Eagles gained the early advantage by winning the Laser and Oppie fleets to score 2-1.
Second flight: the determined Dolphins fought back successfully in the 420 and Oppie fleets to square the scoreboard at 3-3.
Third flight: the Eagles dominated again to go up 5-4.…
Fourth flight: …. And again to establish an intimidating lead of 7-5
The Dolphins needed to win all three classes (Optimist, 420 and Laser) to retain their title, while the Eagles required only one win to take the 2009 title…
Fifth flight: The Eagles did more than that and went on to win 2-1 and with that becoming the deserved 2009 MDM Team Racing champions.
For me the incident that stood out amongst the rest was in the last flight of the Laser class when Mark Sadler, exercising his knowledge and experience gained from three years of racing America’s Cup boats, cornered Matthew Shaw a few boat lengths from the finish line and through brilliant boat handling kept him pinned for a very long two minutes –- just meters from the finish line – to allow the last placed Dolphin to catch up and cross the finish line in 4th place rather than 6th.
Sponsors MDM (in addition to providing generous funds to run the event), provided fantastic prizes not only to the winning team but also to the many umpires, officials and many others that helped make the event into the success it was. At the prizegiving Keith informed that MDM had committed to sponsoring the next team racing series and that they had also donated an anemometer to the members of ZVYC – THANKS MDM!
At the prizegiving Pete Shaw took the opportunity to put into words what many of us feel, and that is to thank Keith Morris for the tremendous effort that he is putting into sailing and in this case particularly the vast planning and effort required for a well structured and well run ZVYC team racing series – THANKS KEITH! – we really appreciate that you bring all this enjoyment to our sport!
- Click here to download the results