Ginan’s perfect start to a Summer of Offshore Racing

It was a clean sweep for co-skippers Nigel Jones and Cam McKenzie on their J111 yacht ‘Ginan’ in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint 2, where thirty yachts enjoyed what could only be described as a perfect summer’s day of sailing in Bass Strait.

“The race was good preparation for us all in the lead up to Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster” said McKenzie “allowing us to get into the swing of things, hunting down the bigger leading boats, as we worked hard on sail trim and sailing tactically to the boat polars.”

Spinnakers fill as the fleet race out through the heads Photo ORCV Media
Spinnakers fill as the fleet race out through the heads Photo ORCV Media

“We’d noticed pre-race, that the pin end showed effects of an adverse current, with the tide through the heads still running strongly,” said McKenzie. “Our decision to start closer to the shore and shallows and out of the current gave us a lead over the fleet who stuck to the middle of the channel, as we edged ahead of Walton’s, Reichel Pugh 46 ‘Hartbreaker’ to clear Port Phillip Heads first.”

“The conditions were ideal for the J111, for its ratio of sail to wetted surface area.” McKenzie went on “Soon as we were clear of the heads, we moved to the A1.5 which is great for sub 10 knots and hardened up to the turning mark swapping only to the code zero when the breeze started to move just prior to the mark.”

“We’ve got some great experience onboard Ginan today” said McKenzie “with five of the seven crew sailing together in the 1999 Westcoaster race on Cadibarra 7. A great race and tactics and introduction for my nineteen-year-old son Will to see, for his first offshore race.”

“A little surprised to claim third on AMS and 2nd on ORC” explained Mark Welsh skipper of the Beneteau First 40, ‘Wicked’. “Wicked is quite heavy and normally isn’t suited for light wind, reaching conditions.” “The winds were as predicted, moving from N to NE and finally SE as we changed between spinnaker, code zero and finally to the jib. We were lucky to reach the turning mark just prior to the winds changing to the SE and building to 15 knots, with our symmetrical spinnaker it was then one gybe as we pushed the angle right to the finishing gate.”

Hobart here we come Photo Glen Cowan
Hobart here we come Photo Glen Cowan

“The well-behaved Bass Strait, gave us that run to ensure everything worked,” said Mark, “as we prepare for the upcoming Westcoaster”.

The results are just “icing on the cake” commented Alex Toomey, skipper of the Sayers 12 ‘Ryujin’ still buzzing after a great race where they pushed hard all day soaking up the joy of just being back on the ocean again and claiming 2nd on AMS.

Most of the fleet using this last race to fine-tune or complete their qualifying passage. They now set their sights on the 50th Melbourne to Hobart ‘Westcoaster’ which starts midday on December 27th.

Top 3 Results being:

AMS 1st Ginan (M111), 2nd Ryujin (1570), 3rd Wicked (SM4)

ORC 1st Ginan, 2nd Wicked, 3rd Alien (R880)

PHS 1st Ryujin, 2nd Ginan, 3rd Hartbreaker (B330)

DH: 1st Xenia (SM1250)

Line Honours Extasea (G10007)

For all the results

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