Melges 32 One Design Christmas Regatta

12 December 2010

Melges 32 one design fleet racing provided a spectacle on Sydney Harbour this weekend. Sydney supplied glorious summer racing conditions for its inaugural M32 Christmas regatta hosted by the Sydney Amateurs Sailing Club, run by Melges Asia Pacific and sponsored by the new Rushcutter 25 day cruiser.

Word was out; even Oprah Winfrey on her Australian tour climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge to get the best vantage point to watch the first of four races today.

Five windward , leeward races and one harbour passage race made up the regatta. Today’s racing was in shifty Westerly breezes  sailing upwind towards the harbour bridge before swinging around to the East in the afternoon making for  tricky tactical decisions.

Wining the regatta sailing Funnel Web was Steve Girdis and crew on 13 points, closely followed by Stoney Broke Robin Tedder on 14 points and Rock and Roll  Kim Williams on 15 points.

There was exciting racing right to the end with Funnel Web on the last run splitting their spinnaker and an infringement with Rock and Roll providing the opportunity for the fleet to capitalise on Funnel Webs position.  Geoff Masters in The Business looked like he could steal a race win coming in from the left on a booming gust,  all three monkeys on the sail looking like hands were covering their eyes.  The boats  all converged together into a gybing dual, The Business  eventually left wondering what could have been.  Professional crew work paid off for Funnel Web when another spinnaker was deployed in record time making the difference between a win or not and a nail biting finish to the regatta.

Robin Tedder Stoney Broke  in his first Melges 32 regatta was surprised at how powerful and responsive the boats were to sail. He’s looking forward to racing in 20-25 knots, which may be sooner than he thinks on the return trip up the coast to Pittwater during this week.