33rd Nacra Nationals final day - Close for the podium placings

Nacra 16sq, The Battle Between Warren Guinea and Jared Potter - 33rd Nacra Catamaran Nationals
Maeve Southall
33rd Nacra Nationals final day of racing saw some extremely close racing to decide the minor podium positions in the F18 and 5.8 fleets. While in the 16sq's the experience of Warren Guinea kept the challenge by Jared Potter at bay. As with the rest of the week, the weather also contributed to the capsize carton count.

Two races were scheduled for the day, but the breeze built quickly after the first race and many competitors headed back to shore. As the breeze continued to build, PRO John Woolit chose to abandon racing for the day.

In the F18s, Mick Guinea had wrapped up the title with the final day to spare, and opted to stay on the beach. In a gesture to fellow North Queenslander Luke McMullen, Guinea offered his boat, after McMullen had broken his mast the day before. But unfortunately a rubber join in the steering system broke causing McMullen to capsize and end his race. Guinea was philosophical about his regatta, 'looks like I was only a race or two from a capsize given Luke's incident. But seriously, I think we won the regatta through great mark roundings and our downwind legs. Both of these things I owe to Viv; he was great in picking the pressure downwind.'

Nacra F18, Mal Richardson and Dale Mitchell - Pre-start - 33rd Nacra Catamaran Nationals
Maeve Southall

Going into the final day in the F18s, Mal Ricardson needed to get two points on Dale Mitchell. As fate would have it, Ricardson's task would be even harder with only one race. Ultimately Leigh McNally won the final race to secure forth overall. The race between Mitchell and Ricardson was on of those classic match races with numerous changes in the advantage. Mitchell beat Ricardson over the line by two seconds, finishing second in the race.

Speaking on the beach Mitchell said, 'That final race was close to the end, and obviously I am happy with our regatta overall. My crew Scott Sullivan was a local ring-in and I was stoked with his effort. He did awesome.'

Nacra F18, Third Overall - Mal Richardson - 33rd Nacra Catamaran Nationals
Maeve Southall

Richardson was also happy with his result. 'I think we did well, after being out of the class for few years. I was a bit rusty at times. I had also never sailed with Dan before and he did great.'

In the 5.8s, the Bundaberg crew of Matt Caldwell and Bruce Potter had also secured their title the day before. Reflecting on the regatta, Potter said 'It was one of those regattas that had something for everyone. It had 0 to 30 knots from nearly all points of the compass. We are happy to secure our second Nationals in a row given the mix of conditions. Hats off to Shane and his daughter in second also.'

Nacra 5.8, Second Overall - Shane Russell - 33rd Nacra Catamaran Nationals
Maeve Southall

Shane Russell and his daughter Kimberley had a comfortable cushion in second over third. 'We had the oldest boat and were able to get second', said Russell. 'Lucky I had the youngest competitor on my boat then.' Shane's daughter Kimberley is only 13 and sailing in her third Nationals.

The race for third 5.8 overall had a bit more heat in it. NSW class president, Martin Horder needed to get four points on Southport's Steve Curtis and Kerry Noyes. With only one race sailed, Horder did all he could by winning the race. But Curtis and Noyes did enough with a fourth to secure third overall. 'This was only our second nationals in the 5.8s and this is quite an improvement over our 11th last year', Noyes said.

In the end, Warren Guinea did enough to win the 16sq national title with another first. This was Guinea's first National title in the 16sq, to go with his previous titles in the F18, 5.8 and 5.0. 'Jared did well to push me all the way in his first titles', Guinea said. Jared Potter who is only 16 years old, was happy with his regatta. 'I couldn't really have asked for more', Potter said on the beach. 'I will definitely be back.' Ross Guinea finished in third overall.

Final results can be found on Largs Bay Sailing Club website while presentations are tonight at Largs Bay Sailing Club. At the association AGM on Thursday it was voted that Hervey Bay would the location of the 34th Nacra Australian Championships.

Largs Bay Sailing Club website