Skiff Black Rock Open Weekend 2012
Article: Tim Hill
Photos: Russell Bates
11 Mustos gathered for a hastily reconvened Open Meeting
at Black Rock, having been moved on from the scheduled
Sail Sandy resail. First time out was super Sabre sailor,
Wayne Bates in the demo boat, and returning newlywed
(a thousand women sigh) Marcus Hamilton sailing Mario
Kart, Jon Newman revving up for the upcoming Worlds
at Weymouth and Tim Hill launching his new boat, again
Jon Newman opened his account in choppy, solid 15 knots
south westerly, taking the first race in a close fought
affair from Marcus Hamilton. The pair got away on the
first run, in third place Paul Newman was at the head
of a close pack that included Tim Hill and Richie Robertson.
The second race saw the breeze build to 15-25 knots
and the chop rising into some big closely spaced waves.
Richie Robertson led to the top mark from Robin Dayes,
Marcus Hamilton and Richard Ekberg. On rounding, Richie
pitch poled on the set, Robin lost his kite over the
side avoiding Ritchie, Jon Newman didn’t make the gybe
and Richard sailed on by the bottom mark with a kite
that wouldn’t come down. Meanwhile, Marcus skipped through
the flotsam and jetsam to take an unassailable lead.
Jon Newman, Tim Hill and Tim Moorhouse followed Marcus
to the line.
With the light fading and the edge coming off the breeze,
the race committee opted for a shortened race 3. Richie
Robertson led to the first mark and through the line
from Richard Ekberg, Marcus Hamilton and Tim Hill.
The first day saw Marcus leading from Jon – Tim some
points back in third, with plenty of war stories to
swap over BBQ and Broos.
The scheduled morning start for day 2 was delayed because
of no wind. Marcus, Tim and Robin made the short trip
from Sandringham to Black Rock, deposited their boats
on wings on the beach and joined the wait, eventually
sent out at midday to a building sea breeze and sunny
Jon Newman led to the first mark in race 4 from Paul
Newman, Richard Ekberg and Mark Elsworth. Tim Hill flew
down the run to round behind Jon on the work. Jon covered
up the second upwind with Tim closing in light, unsettled
conditions at the top mark to a close second. Tim split
to the left on the run and crossed Jon to take the win.
Race 5 saw Jon bolt from the start pursued by a close
pack including Tim, Marcus, Paul Newman and Richard
Ekberg. Jon continued to extend his lead, winning comfortably
from Tim, Paul and Marcus.
The final race saw Jon in a comfortable points lead,
with Tim and Marcus neck and neck for second and third.
The sea breeze, light and swinging through the previous
heats finally began to settle in. Jon once again led
to the first mark with Marcus and Tim close behind,
each rounding the bottom mark within a boat length.
Jon and Marcus took a short hitch out to sea and tacked
back to the left side of the course while Tim opted
to stand off to the right, losing ground on a left hand
swing. Marcus gambled to the left of Jon and took the
lead at the top mark, Tim some 50 meters back in third.
Marcus led to the finish, covering Jon and a fast finishing
Tim, each boat finishing head to tail through the finish
line, followed by a lonely Richard E in 4th and an amazing
Paul Newman who sailed most of the race with a broken
tiller extension – with the broken end wedged back onto
the bottom bit – a good add for Ronstan tapered tiller
With one more round of the open series left to sail
this season, but with one full weekend to drop, either
Tim or Jon can take home the title of Victorian Champion
with Richie Robertson looking good for third.