Babbage and McCallister win close battle for NSW 505 title

First beat race 4. Deusson/Spencer lead the race to the right
Jeanette Guanaria
The 2011/2012 NSW 505 State Championships were hosted by Toronto Sailing Club.

The forecasted breeze never eventuated and the races were sailed in a shift 10-13 knot North East breeze on Saturday followed by a light 5-8 knot Westerly on the Sunday. 19 boats turned out with entries from South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT making the trek to Lake Macquarie.

Three races were held on the Saturday with three different heat winners keeping the points close.

In the first race, Robbie Deussen and Jordan Spencer from South Australia were in the top 2 for the whole race to win a close one from Michael Babbage and James McCallister. third home were the Castle brothers in 'Yeah Buddy'. In race 2 Babbage and McCallister led early and were challenged in the early stages by Ben Austin and Shane Guanaria before clearing out for an easy win ahead of a fast finishing Deussen and Spencer and Mike Quirk and Simon Reffold.

The final race on Saturday was won by Canberra sailors Daniel Keys and Darryl Roos. They lead early and held of challenges from Austin/Guanaria and Deussen/Spencer who eventually finished second ahead of Mike Quirk and Simon Reffold.

After three races it was Duesson/Spencer on 5 points, Babbage/McCallister on 6, Keys/Roos on 12 Quirk/Reffold and the Castle brothers were tied on 13 with Austin and Guanaria on 14.

Sunday’s races were as tough as they get with very little trapezing opportunities for the crews on offer.

Babbage/McCallister 8794, Castle/Castle 8894 and Austin/Guanaria 8840
Jeanette Guanaria

The race committee led by 505 ledged Wally Hewson did a great job in getting two races good albeit light races away.

The first race was a tight affair with three boats making a big break from the chasing pack. Quirk and Reffold led early before being passed by Kevin Cameron, who was back on the water after a injury to his crew put him out of action on Saturday. Kevin was joined by lake Macquarie local and CEO of Newcastle Yacht Club Richard Howard.

Cameron/Howard hung onto win the race from Quirk/Reffold with the South Australian pair of Deussen and Spencer coming home in third to take a strangle hold on the title. Race 5 was started in even lighter winds and was dominated by Cameron/Howard who were in another league, sailing higher and faster in the sub six knot breeze.

They led from start to finish recording the biggest win of the weekend. second place went to Babbage/McCallister after passing Quirk and Reffold at the last windward mark. Deussen and Spencer were fifth home behind Austin/Guanaria leaving them equal on points with Babbage and McCallister going into the final race.

But with a fickle breeze that is were the regatta ended, Mick Babbage and James McCallister won the NSW State titles on a count back from Deussen/Spencer with a solid day on the water handing Mike Quirk and Simon Reffold third place.

Final Results:

1st: Mick Babbage/James McCallister 8pts
2nd Robbie Deusson/Jordon Spencer 8pts
3rd Mike Quirk/Simon Reffold 14pts
4th Ben Austin/Shane Guanaria 17pts
5th Daniel Keys/Darryl Roos 20pts
6th Joel Castle/Marcus Castle 20pts

2008 Olympian Ben Austin steered "Rum Bucket"into 4th place
Jeanette Guanaria

The 505 class is going through a solid rebuilding period in Sydney and Lake Macquarie with many new and returning faces coming into the class. The Sydney fleet has seen an influx of people this year and will run regular racing out of Balmoral Sailing Club while the Toronto fleet is full of young, enthusiastic and talented sailors reminiscent of the class when it was in it’s heyday.

Next up in NSW is the association coaching clinic on the weekend of March 17th and 18th. Coaching will cater for all skill levels and we will have Ben Austin (2008 49er World champion and Olympian), Malcolm Page (Olympic Gold medalist and multiple world 470 champion) and the legendary Mike 'Coach' Fletcher at our disposal, so make the most of it and get there.

For full results, details on the coaching weekend and contacts for relevant fleet information go to the Australian 505 website