MC38 AUS Championship – No barriers. Just fun.
When there are so many terrific things to talk about, it could be hard to find just one thing that shines brightest out of the MC38 Australian Championship. Was it that it was held in the delightful Pittwater in lovely conditions? Perhaps it is because the class is full of terrific owners and sailors who span from 20 years to 84 years? Maybe it was how the hard work of the Race Management team got the full allotment of nine races completed?
Billy Sykes was on Lightspeed, and commented afterwards, “It really is a great class to be involved with, most notably because you have wonderful owners to sail with, and against! Clare Crawford of Assassin was the sole female Skipper. Then you had Leslie Green take out the championship, for the fourth year running mind you, and he is 84 years young! It’s pretty amazing to be a part of all that.”
“Being close, true OD racing, means generally everyone finishes inside a couple of minutes of each other after 60 minutes of windward/leeward racing, with a downhill finish. This makes it fun and exciting”, said Sykes.'
In second place was Neville Crichton. His boat, Maserati, was just two points astern of Leslie Green’s, Ginger, in the end. They had a great final day, with tactician Joe Turner calling the shots. Of course, many people would remember Crichton’s super maxi, Alfa Romeo II, along with his other boats. “It shows that we have a product to suit a 100-footer like Alfa with 3Di RAW, and then also our 3Di Race sails that are doing so well on craft like the 18-foot Skiff, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Whether it’s cruising, club racing, heading offshore, or setting world records, we can help you.”
Class President, James Bacon, drove his Dark Star to third place, and was a further two points adrift of Maserati. Steve Barlow had chartered Lightspeed for the event. Sykes said, “The sails may have been a few years old, but our fourth place shows off both his skills in this Owner/Driver One Design class, and that our sails are not only fast, but durable.”
Now just one point behind Lightspeed in the end was Marcus Blackmore’s, Hooligan, so that was another titanic struggle inside the fleet. Then it was Chris Hancock’s Vino, followed by Assassin, Ghost Rider and Menace. Sykes went on to add, “Sailing with our great clients is rewarding. Three days of good racing, like we had with this championship out of the host club, Royal Prince Alfred YC, means you’re pretty tired at the end. Four races on the Saturday certainly ensured everyone was especially so by the time we returned to the quay.”
“It is very emotional out on Pittwater, for you can go from hero to zero ever so quickly. The MC38 accelerates amazingly well, and you can get a 500m advantage over the fleet if it’s your turn to get the lucky break. Equally, you can be the one stuck in almost nothing, so you are always reminding yourself that you are never out of it, and you just have to keep trying!”
“So a cool head is essential. We have plenty of good sailors from 40-84 years and 18-30, so age or sex is no barrier, and it proves that experience can match it with youthful exuberance. I particularly like how we can get submarine like in 15-20 knots, and during a gybe, everyone is on the new sheet to get the 180m2 bag around to the new set. Hard work is rewarded and getting your tacks and gybes correct is a really big part of it, just as it should be in true OD racing.”
“I would also really like to say how brilliant it was of the PRO, Steve Merrington, to have us well and truly back at the club before the big storm hit on Friday afternoon at around 1630hrs. Great effort by him and all the team out there, in the end”, said Sykes in closing.
North Sails were proud to have provide sails to the majority of the fleet with North Sails 3Di RAW upwind sails, and class leading asymmetric spinnakers, powering the top seven vessels, exclusively. Sykes was also one of four North Sails staff out there racing on different boats. Alby Pratt was on Dark Star, Michael ‘Cocko’ Coxon on Assassin, and Nick Beaudoin on Vino. Nick was also on hand each afternoon to perform any sail repairs that might be needed. So contact your North Sails rep to see how you can make your on water performance even more enjoyable.