Vamos wins J70 Australian Championship

With two strong days of racing down in the 2021 J70 Australian Championship, the weather served up testing conditions for the racing crews and Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron race management team on the third and final day. 

In what could be deemed the most challenging, yet exciting race of the series, race seven was a battle from start to finish. With the course set at 160 degrees, and the south-easter blowing directly from the club with the outgoing current, the shifts, which came in waves of pressure, were significant. 

Reg Lord, defending National Champion and his team on Juno were first to identify a left-hand shift during the start sequence, and popped at the pin cleanly as the gun went. Current regatta leader, Tim Ryan and his crew on Vamos were just off their hip, and second-placed Celestial were to windward of them, but opted to tack onto port shortly after starting, as did Karyn Gojnich and her team on The Jackal. 

The next pressure line came from the right, and Celestial and The Jackal looked to be making the most of the pivoting course. The local teams of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and the all-female team on Spike, and the only NSW Corinthians, Maybe J were able to slip up the middle of the course while those on the left were left flailing in easing pressure. 

The rounding at the first mark of the course, and the second gates were the same, with Celestial leading from Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Spike, Maybe J, and The Jackal. 

On the second work, a pod of dolphins joined in with the racing, making for a happy distraction for crews while trying to join the dots with the fickle pressure. 

Celestial skipper Sam Haynes and his crew of David Chapman, Johnny Warren and Locky Pryor continued to lead around the final mark, but it was the local heroes on Jumpin’ Jack Flash who stole the gun on the line thanks to the final puff coming more from the west to push them over the line. 

Laura Harding and her all-female youth team from Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron rounded out the podium finishing in their best place of the regatta so far. 

The results also meant that Tim Ryan on Vamos and his crew who had been sailing a near perfect regatta, would have to race in race 8 to secure their win over the closing team of Celestial. 

You can watch the whole of Race 7 here

After a lengthy delay under AP, the breeze finally settled once again at 165, and the J70 fleet for the first time of the regatta saw a change in the course, from a two-lap windward leeward to a three-lapper. 

Vamos triggered at exactly the right time at the pin to lead off the line, with the second-placed team of Celestial right on their hip. Vamos had their eyes on the prize and kept themselves in between Celestial and the next mark, and the local team Joust70, skippered by Rod Warren slipped through to take the lead around the first and second marks of the course. 

Celestial opted to split from Vamos, and took the left-hand turn at the bottom gate, while Joust70 ahead of them, then Vamos at the same time as Celestial, and then the youth all-female team on Spike all opted for the right-hand turn. 

The next phase of the breeze came from the left, forcing Celestial back to fourth, dashing their hopes of a chance to take the title. 

The commanding Vamos team of Rob Greenhalgh, Charlie Gundy and Jess Grimes, led by skipper Tim Ryan took the lead up the second beat and were not challenged for the remaining two laps. They crossed the finish line to take their sixth race win of the series, and the overall championship with a race to spare. 

“We finally got one, it’s fantastic” said the newly crowned Australian Champion, Tim Ryan. “It’s been a really hard campaign, but we’ve had a good benchmark in Reg Lord, he’s been winning for quite a few years. My team were just great to sail with. Rob Greenhalgh is a guru at this sort of sailing, and Charlie Gundy and Jess Grimes were fantastic”.

“This is a great club, it’s a great body of water to sail on” he said of Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron and it’s racetrack. “I’d come back here any time, if they want to have the Australians here again, I would be back here, for sure”.

“We’ve doubled the size of the nationals in the last couple of years, and we should see that happen again in the next few, so hopefully we have thirty boats to race with in the coming years” he finished.

Rod Warren’s Joust70 with Aaron Cole, Tim Smith and Ollie Vanderslot took second place, with Laura Harding and the all-female youth team on Spike backing up their race 7 performance with another third place. 

You can watch the whole of Race 8 here

Charlie Gundy, Rob Greenhalgh, Jess Grimes, and Tim Ryan with the BYS Vice Commodore Matt McCarthy
Sam Haynes with the BYS Vice Commodore Matt McCarthy and his crew, Johnny Warren, Locky Pryor and David Chapman

With the Championship and runner-up positions already decided, Vamos and Celestial opted to head back to the beach for the final race of the series to allow the teams on Juno skippered by Reg Lord, and The Jackal, skippered by Karyn Gojnich to battle it out for the final podium position. 

Juno opted to cover The Jackal in the pre-start forcing them to the right hand side with an early port tack duck off the line. 

With the easing breeze, and the outgoing current, the top mark was a mess, with multiple crews doing turns for nipping the first mark of the course. 

Juno took command of the race, and took the win, securing third place in the overall Championship for the defending champion Reg Lord, and his crew of Tom Grimes, Murray Jones and James Hodgson. 

Local team Jo Jo Zip skippered by Ian Cooper with Neil Taylor, John Lindholm, Dean Taylor and Callum Burns had the best race of their series finishing in second. 

Michael Nash, Peter Nash, John Watson, Garth Davies and Maria Nash on Maybe J finished third to secure the Corinthian Division for 2021. 

Laura Harding, Ella Grimshaw, Daisy Laing, Hannah Danks and Harriette Singh finished in sixth, to not only take the boat of the day bragging rights, but the Youth Division for 2021. 

Karyn Gojnich, Sara Ladd, Ewa Lindelof and Kyle Dodds finished in fourth place to secure fourth overall in the championship and the Female Division for 2021. 

Start of the final race of the series – Race 9


PositionClassSail NoNameSkipperCrew 1Crew 2Crew 3Crew 4ClubCatNettRace 9Race 8Race 7Race 6Race 5Race 4Race 3Race 2Race 1
1J701567VamosTim RyanRob GreenhalghCharlie GundyJess Grimes CYCAOpen9(15 DNC)1-5113111
2J70507CelestialSamuel HaynesDavid ChapmanJohn WarrenLocky Pryor CYCAOpen15(15 DNC)42-421222
3J707071JunoReg LordMurray JonesTom GrimesJames Hodgson CYCAOpen171-8-11232333
4J701130The JackalKaryn GojnichSara LaddEwa LindelofKyle Dodds RSYSOpen ladies304-763445-64
5J701303Maybe JMichael NashPeter NashJohn WatsonGarth DaviesMaria NashRSYSCorinthian343-12465664-8
6J701319Joust70Rod WarrenAaron ColeTim SmithOllie Vanderslot Blairgowrie YSOpen4092-9575-1275
7J70196SpikeLaura HardingElla GrimshawDaisy LaingHannah DanksHarriette SinghBlairgowrie YSCorinthian Youth Ladies436338-1479-117
8J7070JavelinHayden HardingHayden BrownAlex BoltonMatt Hunter-ScottZoeBlairgowrie YSCorinthian / Youth5279-13710-10856
9J701284Jumpin’ Jack FlashAndrew LittleMartin KudnigWayne BatesAndy McIntyre Blairgowrie YSCorinthian5681111211-1349-13
10J70876Notte BiancaEthan O’BrienJames HackettHamish BoltonPhillipa DanksEdward WarnerBlairgowrie YSCorinthian / Youth58510-14969-11109
11J707055YknotStephen BradyAdam BrownAndrew ParkesDavid Jackson Drummoyne Sailing ClubOpen6211-147(15 RET)8117810
12J701129JabberwockyAndrew TompsonRichard AllenSimon Winston SmithAlexia Biggs Middle Harbour Yacht ClubCorinthian671258-139-14101211
13J7083Jo Jo ZipIan CooperNeil TaylorJohn LindholmDean TaylorCallum BurnsBYSCorinthian68261210131213-13-14
14J701482SkyhookAnthony LandgrenMark HoughtonMatthew O’BrienSean O’Brien Blairgowrie YSCorinthian7610131011128-14-1412

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