Four Podium Finishes in Four Big Events!
It has been a busy and relatively successful few weeks for Neptune Racing, competing in a number of events over the Australian summer. The racing saw the team score four podium finishes across four events, including a win at the Schweppes Little Wheel Regatta held out of the South of Perth Yacht Club.
The first event, the Schweppes Little Wheel Regatta, was a great warm up event, with a number of local teams contesting for the title. Not only was the racing competitive, but there was some serious action as the Fremantle Doctor kicked in above 20 knots, resulting in one boat almost getting dragged onto the freeway after a huge broach. Click the photo below for a detailed photo sequence!
In the end, the team took out the final 3-1 over Matt Jerwood and his Redline Racing team. It was a thrilling opening event, and sweet to win it after some incredibly tense racing.
The Australian Match Racing Championships were next on the calendar, again held out of the South of Perth Yacht Club. This saw a number of teams of across Australia, and one from Malaysia competing. After four long days racing in tricky conditions it was Jerwood’s turn to take the win showing a dominant display of racing in the final against Evan Walker from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney. Neptune Racing placed third, having gone down in the semi-final against Walker. It wasn’t our day, having performed strongly earlier in the week, but unable to convert on opportunities in the finals.
Through the last week of January was the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, one of the most competitive youth events in the world, and a unique one, being held in larger Foundation 36 yachts. These boats put a significant premium on boat handling and teamwork than most other classes raced, as they not only require a fifth crew member, but are also much bigger and heavier- requiring changes to a strategy. With teams coming from New Zealand, Denmark, Great Britain, Japan, the USA and all around Australia, all coming to Perth, the 2015 edition was an incredibly competitive event.
We sailed consistently throughout the event to eventually reach the final against New Zealander Chris Steele. With a first to three points format, it was a long series, and after taking out the first race, the team felt confident we could take out the series. Unfortunately, it was the weather playing havoc, and meant a drift off for over an hour waiting for wind. Eventually, when the wind did fill in, it was only one race that could be completed. Steele took the win in race two, and a 1-1 score line meant they had to break the tie based on the earlier round robin, which Steele had finished higher in. It was disappointing to have to settle with second place, though to get to the final was an achievement we were still proud of. Finishing as the top Australian team as well as second overall meant we were awarded with a $5500 travel grant from the Warren Jones Foundation, something that will help the team significantly in our push to compete overseas.
The final event of the summer saw us travel to Sydney for the Hardy Cup, an event that attracts similar teams as the Warren Jones Regatta. We once again reached the final, and were this time matched up against Jay Griffin, the local Sydney team. On the occasion, there was enough to get a series of racing, but having missed a number of opportunities it was Griffin who won the event, in a final that went to the maximum 5 races.
It is now back to the preparation stage for the team, as we prepare for a tour to northern hemisphere over the winter months. Our sailing could not be possible without the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, and the companies that provide our equipment, including Zhik, Gill and Kaenon. We look forward to providing you with further updates as they come!