On the weekend of the 18th and 19th February, 2012 115 adults and 135 kids gathered on the
shores of Pt. Wolstoncroft, Lake Macquarie for the third and final round of the Manly Junior State
The bumpy road to ‘Pt. Woollie’ meanders through the Gwandalan Conservation Park and for the
last five years MJ sailors and families have made the annual pilgrimage to enjoy the spectacle of
junior sailing at its best. Pt. Woollie is the highlight of the MJ Regatta Calendar. Accommodation
and catering is all taken care of by the fabulous staff at the Pt. Wolstoncroft Sport and Recreation
Centre and the weekend is a celebration for all involved. The rolling green lawns lead all the way
to the water’s edge making rigging and launching all too easy, and with the ‘race track’ right in
front of the camp, spectating from shore is very relaxing.
This year saw record numbers attending with sixty-three boats representing Avalon, Bayview,
Cronulla, Hornsby, Manly 16’s, Manly Yacht Club, Middle Harbour 16’s, Port Kembla, Port Hacking,
South Lake Macquarie, Royal Prince Alfred and Wallerawang.
This season has seen a steady growth in participant numbers. The first round (Heats 1-3), held
at Middle Harbour 16’s in October, 2011 saw twenty-five boats competing in the Main Fleet and
sixteen boats sailing their first competitive regatta in the Novice Fleet. The second round (Heats
4-6) at Avalon in November, saw three more entries in the Novice Fleet taking total numbers to
In 2005 a new tradition was born, a new Fleet was introduced as part of the third and final round
of State Championships – the Rookie Fleet. The ethos of the Rookie Fleet is participation, rookie
sailors are, in most cases, in their first season of sailing and have never experienced a regatta
environment. There were twenty-two Rookie boats at Pt. Woollie, and with two more Novice
entries the total number of MJ’s registered with the Association for 2011-2012 was sixty-eight.
Making up the numbers of the Rookie Fleet were five boats from Wallerawang Sailing Club
(past Lithgow). In 2011 the MJ Association was the successful recipient of a Dept. of Sport and
Recreation Participation Grant. The funding was utilised to replace four Mark I timber MJ’s that
the children of Wallerawang and Baradine (past Coonabarabran) were sailing. The families of the
districts meet at the ‘half-way mark’ Lake Windamere (near Mudgee), some traveling 300kms for
a weekend on the water. In recent years drought has had an impact on a lot of rural sailing clubs
who rely heavily on rainfall to keep the lakes and dams full. The four timber MJ’s belonged to
Bill Hoarder of Baradine who has been the keystone in introducing children of the bush to sailing.
Bill’s boats were handed over to Lake Keepit Sailing Club (near Tamworth). The Association hopes
to continue to support the rural groups and encourage all country clubs to ‘dust off’ their MJ’s and
get them and kids back on the water.
This season, with the assistance of YNSW, the MJ Class Development Training was extended to
Port Kembla Sailing Club. Port Kembla was strong in Manly Juniors in the 70’s and 80’s, and now
the children of those sailors are repeating history. Port Kembla fielded five Rookie boats at Pt.
Woollie and all five boats were quickly promoted to the Novice Fleet. Two Sabot sailors from
South Lake Macquarie Sailing Club were keen to participate in the Rookie Fleet and with the
assistance of the Wallerawang group a boat was quickly made available for them to use.
Throughout 2011-12, racing in the Main Fleet at both State and National events, has been
dominated by three boats Tinny (Jackson and Flynn Twomey) Middle Harbour 16’s, Another Dark
& Stormy (Chris Holmes and Angus Metcalfe) Manly 16’s and MWD (Daniel Heyworth and Jesse
Dransfield) Manly 16’s. These boats came into Round 3. with 9 points, 11 points and 13 points
respectively. After Heats 7 and 8 on the first day of racing at Pt. Woollie, MWD and Another Dark
and Stormy were tying on 17 points, 2 points ahead of Tinny.
Heat 9. would be sailed in 5-10knts ESE and after an outstanding race and nail biting finish Tinny
claimed victory over MWD by one tenth of a second. The Overall State Championship winners
were MWD with a total of 19 points, followed by Tinny with 20 points and Another Dark and
Stormy finishing on 21 points. MWD also won the 2011-12 Australian Championships hosted by
Manly 16’s in December/January.
Season 2011-2012 has been a successful one with all nine heats of States and seven heats of the
Nationals started and finished under the Care and Command of Mr Col Chidgey, Race Officer. The
Association is privileged to have the expertise and professionalism that Col brings to every regatta.
The MJ Novice Fleet is always overseen by Kingsley Forbes-Smith whose mastery with young,
sometimes anxious, sailors is a gift.
For full results or more information on the class head to Manly Junior Association.
- Genelle Aldred/Manly Junior Assn
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