The Annual “Mick Hole” Winter One Design Regatta was contested over the weekend.
This regatta is in memory of Mick Hole, a fierce one design competitor and friend of many at RPAYC.
Competitors went out on the water on Saturday, hoping to get some racing in before the predicted strong westerlies came in.
A first race was attempted, however RO Steve Merrington made the correct call to postpone the first race as the breeze approached 35 knots.
Competitors seeked shelter in the lee of Scotland Island.
At around midday Chris Way was sent out in the Elliott 7 to test the conditions. Some amazing videos were captured as Chris and his crew took off like a skiff under spinnaker hitting high speeds, which at this time has been viewed over 16,000 times and shared over 95 times around the world online. View video here
Club stalwart Murray Gordon, who was crewing for Chris commented that it may be “a bit windy”.
As such the call was made to seek shelter back at the club, and come back a bit earlier for the next day to fit in the racing.
Day 2 got underway in a westerly breeze, ranging from 8 to 25kts.
The combined Etchells and Int 5.5M fleet saw the now notorious “Crawford Boys” weave their magic, somehow reading the top part of the course well, which was playing havoc with other skippers. One skipper who wishes to remain anonymous described the top part of the course as “harder to pick than a broken nose”.
The Crawford’s took the series with a clear 6-point win.
The largest fleet of the regatta was the sports boat class. The club’s fleet of 8 Elliott 7s were all out on the water with a mix of youth and wisdom. Also joining the Elliott’s on the start line was a Melges 24 and a Skud.
Tom Brewer and his team won the Elliott 7 class and as a result this year was awarded the prestigious Mick Hole Perpetual Trophy, with Micks widow Kerrie on hand to present Tom with the trophy. An elated Tom Brewer commented “That was some seriously good fun, my throw together team did a great job and we will definitely be back for next year”.
Out of the 5 races conducted on Sunday, there were three different heat winners in the E7’s, which showed the level of competition.
Two Youth Development and Intermediate Youth Development teams took the last 2 spots on the podium.
Fletcher Walters and his Intermediate Youth Development crew surprised many with their amazing speed and boat handling, particularly as they were short-handed and underweight. Fletcher was able to pip pre-regatta favourite Chris Way off the podium, getting Chris on countback due to their heat win.
The lone Skud surprised many by beating an Elliott across the line in a few races.
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club bought up two new fresh youth crews to experience their first keelboat regatta. The team gained valuable experience and look forward to taking away their lessons learnt.
Back at the RPAYC it was a festive scene, with Matt Viser delivering some moving words about Mick noting “Mick would have been so stoked to see all these young sailors (in addition to the oldies) out there having a crack!)
A big thank you to Kerrie for not only sailing in the regatta (Int 5.5M), but for presenting the beautiful Mick Hole Trophy
Pictured l - r: Vice Commodore - Ron Palmer, 2019 Winner Mick Hole Trophy - Tom Brewer, Kerrie Shimeld & Matt Visser