West Aussie Sean Wallis made the longest trip in Australia to compete in and win the 2023 IOM Queensland State Championship in perfect preparation for next year's World Championships.
Exactly one year out from the 2024 World Championships to be held in Gladstone, The GRCYC welcomed 28 entrants representing all States of Australia. 16 races with 2 heats using the HMS were held over the two days.
The Gladstone Marina venue again provided fair breezes from the east through the northeast during the day on Saturday, strengthening in the afternoon with the predicable sea breeze, but still comfortably A-Rig.
Unfortunately, after assurances that a broken-down trawler berthed at the end of the wharf was being moved before the racing started, the stricken vessel created some problems with the course setting for the weekend, but most understood this was out of the club's control. Racing was tight and competitive, with the usual suspects finding their way up the top of the table. Sean Wallis from Champion Lakes, WA, has been consistently placing in the top two or three with one bullet, while his main competitors, Greg Torpy from Eagleby RYC, Qld and Paul Jones Lake Macquarie RYC, NSW, had placed more 1st's, but a couple of mid-A-Fleet Finishes had them behind Sean with no drops. Doug Allen from the Sunshine Coast RSC Qld, Kirwan Robb from Albert Park MYC, Vic
Andrew Wilson from Wynnum Manly RMYC Qld had developed their own little 'scraps', and even though there were moments of brilliance, the regular mid-fleet finishes were affecting their climb up the rankings.
On Sunday, the breeze started lightly from the SE but filled in steadily, moving through E to NE, with some skippers contemplating B rig as the breeze lifted in the afternoon.
At the end of racing, it was Sean Wallis who prevailed, followed by Greg Torpy, with Paul Jones a very close third. After 16 races, there were only 5.6 points between the three of them. Glen Fitzgerald took out the Masters Division.
Even though the top three were standing on the podium, we must say the fleet was competitive over both days, with 7 skippers finishing first at least once and 9 skippers having a top-three finish, an example of the clean, consistent conditions and the closeness of racing.
Thank you to the volunteers who assisted in making the event run so smoothly. Trevor Fisher for being the RO, Gwen Warne for doing an excellent job of scoring for us with Laraine assisting, Phil for observing finishes, Greg for operating the course/rescue boat and Aaron as Commodore for keeping a weather eye on proceedings and adjusting courses to get the best out of the conditions.
The GRCYC would also like to thank you all skippers, especially those who travelled large distances to join us, and special mention to those who embraced the GRCYC philosophy of maintaining a strong sense of competition and drive on the water, and an amiable and social attitude off the water; promoting sportsmanship and camaraderie beyond the competitive arena. We look forward to seeing you all and more in October next year at the World Championship.
FINAL RESULTS HERE