Hammer Time nails round one of Flying 11 NSW State Championships

Charlie Gundy and James Glassock (1320) and Kirrily Biskupic and Harry Coombs (1338) in Intergalactice Cookie Monster. - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott
It wasn't just the 20-knot-plus southerly that gave the F11 fleet a hammering during the first round of the NSW Flying 11 State Championships on Brisbane Water, Gosford.

Belmont pair Jack Buchan and Emma Jones in Hammer Time handled the tough conditions exceptionally well, winning all four opening races.

From warm and mild on Saturday to cold, wet and wild on Sunday, a challenging array of conditions were dished up for the 172 teenage sailors competing in the first round.

The two-day event attracted a bumper fleet of 86 boats from clubs ranging from Belmont to Sydney including seven from the host club Gosford, some experiencing their first big fleet racing in ``every-which-way' conditions.
On Saturday the wind was tardy to arrive then light and shifty, enabling only two races to be the held.

On Sunday, a 20-25 knot southerly arrived on the scene resulting in quite a bit of carnage and again shortening the race program to two races.

'Survival mode' was an appropriate tactics description for the final race of the day, with 18 boats recorded as not starting at all after being battered in the first race. Another 22 started but did not finish the final race due to multiple capsizes in more than 20 knots and rain. Racing was abandoned after the day's second race when lightning was sighted.

Hammer Time really hit the nail on the head but with another weekend of racing still to be held in Cronulla in February they are still only three points ahead of the consistent Manly pair of Ashley and Daniel Heyworth in 'ifMW' with drops still to come into play.

Jack Buchan and Emma Jones are leading the state titles in Hammer Time - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

As expected the host club's star performers were Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike in 'ifOscar' who won one race and are in third spot just a point in front of James Lawira-Fernandez and Tom Walmsley from Manly. In fifth spot are the consistently highly placed Jarrod Turner and Katelyn Smith in 'Hot Chilli' from Belmont.

The fledgling Gosford fleet all had their thrills and spills, with top half of the fleet placings for Sophie McIntosh and Stuart Brown (overall 13th, best third), Michael Anderson and Yanni Papadopoulos (31rst, best 14th), Bradley Leicester and Samantha Gray (47th, best 16th).

Leading the All Girls division are Avalon's Nicola Forbes-Smith and Natasha Bryant in Bolt who are also sitting in ninth spot overall.

The second round will be held in Cronulla in late February.

Nicola Forbes-Smith and Natasha Bryant from Avalon in Bolt - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

In third place are Kurt Hansen and Lindsay Pike in Oscar. - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

Benjamin Leadbetter and Daniel Mann in Bad Wolf - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

Nicholas Lyall and Alexis Wildman in Ratman on the calmer Saturday - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

Action from Sunday's racing (note capzised boats in distance). - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott

Heading home after racing is abandoned after two races on Sunday. - Fll state F11 titles
Mark Scott