Racing at the Melges 24 2012 NSW State Titles started at 5pm last Friday afternoon, in cloudy overcast conditions, SSE five to ten knots, after two races boats returned to the dock at 8pm. Crews mingled on the Deck of the Yacht Club overlooking Lake Macquarie assessing their trials and tribulations on the racecourse.
Chris Links Northshore Marine left wondering in race one when they had just crossed Dave Bull Jester for the lead on the final run only to finish the wrong side of the boat having to sail back to a fourth place. Jester was in their own world of pain after leading the race their kite halyard knot came undone metres before the finish line, Jester recovered quickly to claim the win only eighty three seconds ahead of the last boat in the fleet. Hat’s off to PRO Russell Cummings and the race recording the results.
Heath Walters sailing Amigos for the regatta, breaking in new local crew member AJ Millington for the regular team took a race to wake up but where never headed in race two leading from the start, Harley Walters calling tactics.
Leading the regatta heading into day two, after consistent racing and on five points were the Nixon family Accru, Damian Huon Huey II second on eight points and Gary Shanks Outrage Us, Amigos and Northshore Marine all on nine points in third.
Day two on Lake Macquarie and a classic building sea breeze with a worn left hand track made Green Point a well used headland. Some competitors enjoying the lift a little too much overlaying the mark.
The Nixon family on Accru played the shoreline and demonstrated effective boat handling as the afternoon wore on and the wind increased. An almost clean sweep for the day for Accru leaving them in the envious position of first place going into the final day of racing ten points ahead of the next boat David Bull Jester. Bull needing to sail well with minimal errors on day three in order to fend off Damian Huon Huey II. Damian sailing with his nine year old son James in the crew sailed a good regatta peaking towards the end, one point behind Jester at the end of day two but another four boats well within striking distance.
After two years of racing and training the Nixon family gave their most polished performance to date at the 2012 NSW Melges 24 State Titles finishing victorious. The crew on Accru are in full campaign mode as they prepare for the 2013 Melges 24 World Titles in San Francisco. Entirely a family affair consisting of Husband and wife team, Kevin and Glenda Nixon, their children Bonnie and Daniel and their nice Grace who is flying in regularly from her home in NZ to train and attend regattas. The final wrap up, Accru finished ten points ahead of Dave Bull Jester in second place, Huey II a further two points behind third overall, consistency paying for both teams but neither able to catch Accru.
The final days sailing tested the fleet, Accru needing to deliver in race six in order to cement the win in a very light and tricky Northerly which proved no obstacle, cheers as they crossed the line and secured the regatta. Damian Huon Huey II had picked the shifts on the work to lead at the top mark only to have the breeze drop away and then build in from the East favouring the three boats including Accru who stuck to the Eastern shore, much to his frustration.
Race seven, the final race of the series, the wind kicked in from the North East, Accru and Huey II getting a jump on the fleet at the start and were never headed to cross the line first and second place respectively. South Australian Gary Shanks Outrage Us had excellent speed planning downwind threading through the fleet working his way from seventh to third place.
Trophies and Prizes from One Sail and Gill were awarded at the presentation at the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club. After a quick pack up everyone was on the road heading home including the two South Australian boats to prepare for the Australian Championships at the Festival of Sails in Geelong in January, followed a fortnight later by the South Australian States at Adelaide Sailing Club.