Lake Macquarie turned on spectacular summer weather for the 2014 Pusser’s Rum Melges 24 New South Wales State Championships. Lake Macquarie Yacht Club hosted the three day event (21-23 Nov), the largest Melges 24 fleet competing at a State Titles to date. Interstate teams travelled to Belmont to enjoy the quality competition including South Australian Robin Deussen’s Redmist from Adelaide Sailing Club and Victorian team Jonno Bannister’s Penultimate Challenge from Mornington Yacht Club.
The regatta format included two twilight races on Friday evening followed by drinks, food and a catch up on the deck of the Yacht Club, watching the sunset.
Saturday PRO Andrew Miller and his experienced team ran three races, the Laser States providing a spectacular backdrop further down the lake. At the conclusion of racing on day two Cameron Miles Roger That and his polished crew had chalked up two firsts on their scoresheet and led the regatta one point ahead of Robin Deussen, who was yet to hear a gun and Chris Way Easy Tiger 5 both on equal points. Chris Way’s team fresh from their Melges 32 East Coast Championships win a fortnight ago chartered a Melges 24 for the States to enjoy the close racing which averaged less than three minutes between first and last place.
Heading into Sundays races the first five boats were separated by four points. Robin Deussen Redmist started strong in race six and held onto the lead to take the gun, Roger That finishing in their worst position of the regatta in seventh allowing Deussen to snatch the regatta with a three point lead heading into the final race.
The fleet racked up in 10-12 knots in an ESE breeze on the start line for race seven of the regatta. The competition was super close, one point separated Chris Way, Peter Kendall Amigos and Chris Links Pusser’s Rum. The fleet converged at the top mark but the experience, skill and crew work on board Roger That, the 2014 Corinthian World Champion was too hard to beat, Redmist found themselves mid fleet, the result becoming their drop.
A gallant battle on the water resulted in Roger That; Cameron Miles, James Mayjor, John Bacon and Craig Pocklington winning the regatta on a count back. The Redmist crew consisting of Robin Deussen his son Nick Deussen, Georgie Kemp and Matt Hansen made the trip from South Australia worthwhile, second place overall. Peter Kendall Amigos crossed the line in second place for the third time this regatta, consistency paying off and sealing their position in third place overall, crew included dad Peter, Dug Russell, Chris Harrington and Sam Treharne.
Once again it’s great to see such exciting, tight one design racing that keeps us all guessing until the last race, the Roger That team not sure if they had secured the win until reaching the dock.
Plenty more exciting Melges 24 racing coming up with the fleet now heading to South Australia.
– Tracey Walters