Sydney dumped an ice-bucket on MC38 crews racing on Pittwater in Act 3 of the season, Marcus Blackmore's local Hooligan crew shaking off the dismal winter conditions, and their classmates, to land back on the one design class podium for the first time in a while.
With Daniel Turner driving, Ben Lamb calling tactics and Blackmore's regulars pulling the strings, Hooligan put five points between them and second-placed Lazy Dog, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart's Middle Harbour-based MC38, after seven races. Third by three points off second place was Indy Beck's InfoTrack, sailing for the Greenwich Flying Squadron.
"Marcus has a great team and he was pumped with the result,” Daniel Turner said. "While it was a cold and wet Pittwater weekend, we all agreed it was still better than a Pittwater non-event, with no wind. We managed to avoid the scenario of ending up on our side in the gusts on Saturday. Really, we just tried to stay clear of Joe Turner, otherwise there would have been serious words at our next Christmas gathering," the stand-in helm joked.
Daniel’s brother Joe is InfoTrack’s tactician and last time the fleet met, InfoTrack prevailed.
“Saturday was pretty fresh - SSW 20 knots up to 26. Full credit to Merro (Steve Merrington, race officer) and his team for getting us out there and amongst it,” Daniel added.
There was a question mark over Saturday’s program with a severe weather warning issued Friday afternoon for the following day on Sydney’s northern beaches. MC38 owners and the race committee deemed Saturday morning’s 20-25kts manageable and the run-sheet rolled on.
Breeze in the upper range led to minor breakages and several knock-downs among the six-boat fleet. Across four races, Lazy Dog scrambled to recover from a shredded kite, blown winch and a jib failure that meant they were way more than fashionably late to one start. Amazingly, Lane and Stewart's canny team climbed their way back to second by the finish.
"There was a lot of pressure to cancel the series early, but things turned out in our favour,” said Lane, co-owner/skipper of Lazy Dog and the MC38 Australian Class president. "Merro and the guys were amazing; races went off without a hiccup and the racing was pretty clean. Conditions like that are what the boats are made for."
Cold southerlies moderated on Sunday June 20, 15kts SW gusting to 20 as plenty more rain saturated crews for a second day.
The class thanks the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s staff and volunteers for another great regatta.
Act 4 of the MC38 season will be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club on July 24-25.
By Lisa Ratcliff - Australian MC38 Association media