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Light winds hamper completion of SA State Titles

Once again the SA 5O5 fleet has been hampered by testing conditions. Previously at the Nationals and now at Port Vincent to try and complete the Sytate Championships. 4 races were scheduled to be run over the weekend of March 18 and 19 but only 2 races were completed on the Saturday.

In the first race winds were light and shifty.  Woolman and Scapens were keen to get a great start to see if they could wrestle the title away from the grips of Higgins and Marsh who seem to win it convincingly every year. But they were too keen and in the zephr of next to no wind was stranded in the line of fire of the pathfinder (Higgins and Marsh) and so was disqualified ending any chance of winning the State Title. Higgins and Marsh went on to win the race with Mal Higgins/Marcus Cooper in second place and local hero Kim Campion/Charlie Longbottom in a well earned 3rd place.

Race 2 for the day started in stronger winds which built through the race - trapezing conditions at the end - a beautiful breeze. Higgins/Marsh went on to win again with Woolman/Scapens in 2nd and Mal Higgins/Cooper in 3rd.

Higgins/Marsh won the states comfortably yet again with Woolman/Scapens in second place and a great effort for 3rd place - SarahCooper and Amy How/Martin Pike. 

We had a total of 11 boats compete over the 6 races and a big thank you to the Port Vincent locals for laying on the hospitality in a way only they can do.

For complete results click on this link.


Well finally we managed to get the fleet back together on Saturday to complete the 4 State Heats scheduled to be sailed at Henley Sailing Club. We ran 3 races on Saturday afternoon and had a cracker breeze. We continued with our new policy of using gate starts so we're all a little better when it comes to national racing.

The first heat saw breezes swinging from SE to SW generally around 15knots but we had a few lulls of 10 or so knots. With the varying angles it was a tricky race with Woolman/Scapens and Higgins/Marsh having a close fought race at the front. Fireball gun Ben Schultz was also lurking with Woolman/Scapens managing a win.

The second heat saw the pressure increase and we saw Ben Schultz round the first mark in front only to have issues with his kite. Woolman/Scapens seized on this and took the lead with Higgins/Marsh right on his tail. A close fought race saw Higgins/Marsh grab the lead on the next work and although Woolman/Scapens were on their hammer they were not challeneged and took the chocolates. Burford/Christie secured third place.

The pressure increased further to around 18 to 20 knots in the last race and we had another close one. The corners were beginning to pay and much of the race was about sailing fast. A drag race ensued between Higgins/Marsh and Woolman/Scapens with Sandy just in front at the first mark rounding - another loop later and it was another port/starboard at the top mark and Sandy rounded in front by the same margin. However a messy gybe saw a wine glass that would'nt undo and Woolman Scapens grabbed the lead and eventually won the race. Higgins/Marsh in second and Pike/Jones in third.

A great day - although a few weary bones were seen at the bar after the racing.  The final 4 races will be completed in Port Vincent over the weekend March 18 and 19.

Placings for the first 4 races (top 3 boats) are as follows:

Higgins Marsh 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd

Woolman Scapens DNF, 1st, 2nd, 1st

Sarah Cooper How 2nd, 8th, 7th, 5th

Follow this link for full results


The SA 5O5 fleet last weekend had 4 races scheduled as part of their State Championship Series at Henley Sailing Club. 2 races planned for Saturday and 2 races scheduled for Sunday. We decided to introduce gate starts for the series giving locals a chance to hone their gate start skills. However things didnt quite go to plan with a 25 knot (with the bridge suggesting a good 30 knots for some of the afternoon) south westerly honking in about 10 minutes before the start. Some boats decided not to venture out through the Henley shore break and those that did go out struggled with the conditions (excpet Sandy Higgins perhaps??). 3 boats broke masts - Woolman/Scapens, Burford/Christie and Agnew/Longbottom and others sustained other injuries and couldnt complete the 1st race. Higgins/Marsh finished unscathed while Pike/Jones in Mal Higgins boat had at least 1 capsize (I was busy with my own dramas to keep count) but managed to keep his mast clear from the bottom but finished incorrectly and so scored a dnf.  Congratulations to Sarah Cooper and Amy How for keeping things tidy and getting 2nd place. Only 2 managed to finish out of an entry list of 9 for the day. The 2nd race was cancelled. It was decided at the bar that the expense incurred by the club to run racing on Sunday for possibly 2 or 3 boats would not be fair to the club and there was a forecast of 20+ knots anyway so we will run 3 races at Henley on Saturday 25th February. It certainly was a tough day at the office!!

Report by Pete Woolman

2018 Nationals

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 International 505 National Championships will be held at Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club from the 13th to the 19th of January 2018. Wangi Wangi is a small town situated on the western shores of Lake Macquarie and is the home club of dual Olympic medalists Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen. As you know the Fleet 8 boys know how to have a good time, so expect this regatta to be a blast. Watch this space for more details.


Shelley White interview — Down Under Sail

The nationals fleet saw a number of great competitors involved, including the talented Shelley White who decided to jump in the 505 with veteran Ian Gregg as she begins her 470 campaign for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Shelley said the class helped improve her technical sailing and she loved the support she received from all the 505 sailors, who were always willing to lend a hand.

She finished in 10th overall out of the 33-boat fleet and was the first female and junior skipper. Check out our interview with her at the presentation below.

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