Challenging conditions for 87th Stonehaven Cup at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron

Cadet Dinghy

The 87th Stonehaven Cup, the Championships for the Australian 12ft Cadet Dinghy, got underway on Monday 4th on sparkling waters of Port Phillip Bay. The light and fluky easterly breezes swung 40° at times making it very challenging for the the race officer and the crews.

The Race Committee decided to run the two invitation races run back to back as the forecast was for 27+ knots to hit the fleet later in the day. A wind shift during the start sequence made the pin end the favoured end for a start and the more experienced skippers spotted this and made their move on what was overall a reasonably close start by all competitors. A relatively short line was set for the 15 boats at the start.

Contrary to the predictions, the wind situation did not improve during the race and indeed, spotting the wind shifts was the primary skill being tested.

All crews enjoyed some very close racing, and as they crossed the finish line one could say that most crews finished in order of their skill levels.

Results from Day One (Invitation Races)

Race One – A.S. (Jock) Sturrock Memorial Trophy

C186 – ‘Dorothy Linacre’ – Nick Smith, Tamara Cole, Joe Hennessy (RBYC)

C181 – ‘Mary-Alice Auxiliary’ – Tristan Cole, Moritz Haese, Stephen Suits (RBYC)

C160 – ‘Mollie G’ – Nelson Dean, Tara Cartlidge, PatrickWalby (RMYS)

Race Two – Andrew Linacre Memorial Trophy

C186 – ‘Dorothy Linacre’ – Nick Smith, Tamara Cole, Joe Hennessy (RBYC)

C183 – ‘John Akhurst’ – Clare Carew, Rosie Murray, Darcey Holmes (RBYC)

C181 – ‘Mary-Alice Auxiliary’ – Tristan Cole, Moritz Haese, Stephen Suits (RBYC)

Well done to all crews! The Stonehaven Cup races start tomorrow.

About Stonehaven Cup

The Stonehaven Cup – the national championship for the Australian 12 Foot Cadet Dinghy – is the longest continuously contested junior/youth one-design dinghy trophy in Australian yachting.

Today, 88 years on, each participating state hosts the Stonehaven Cup on a rotating basis. The event has been run at Largs Bay SC in South Australia, King Island Boat Club, Grassy, King Island, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, and of course Royal Brighton Yacht Club – trustee of the Stonehaven Cup since 1945. Each event is seemingly more memorable than the last. Competitors make friends and develop a camaraderie not readily seen in other classes.

A special characteristic of the 12 Foot Cadet Dinghy is its capacity to carry a crew of three teenage sailors. Most crews are made up of a competent and skilled skipper, a moderately skilled forward hand, and in some cases, a beginner mainhand. Not all young race crews are of high performance standard. Crews are encouraged over many years to steadily build their skills to a regatta winning standard. This process makes our program more accessible to the average young club-member/sailor.

The dinghy itself has been substantially modernised to current standards. Optional modifications approved by National Council include a bermudan rig, side buoyancy tanks, a swing blade rudder, an alloy centreplate, and a beach trolley, with the rules of the Stonehaven Cup permitting any combination of the old and new equipment to be used in competition.

The racing is of the highest standard and most crews display a very responsible attitude to the racing and their fellow competitors.

– Ray Smith 

JPK August 2023
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JPK August 2023
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