Latitude 28 by Ian Grant

Alegria IV set for Sail Paradise

Rod JonesRod Jones and his dual Audi Australian IRC class sailing championship winning crew will be back in the hunt for further major Ocean racing championships in January.
Jones has nominated his impressively fast Alegria IV to contest the Grand Prix IRC division in the Southport Yacht Club Sail Paradise regatta from January 10-15.
This will be the first short course regatta for Alegria IV which returned with a convincing Performance Handicap class win in her maiden event, the 348nm Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Race in August.
Alegria IV designed by the Spanish based Botin Careek and built in Europe became the focal point of post race discussions when the power sailing sloop produced a remarkable course time in her initial race.
The time eventually paved the way for her crew to record a comfortable Performance handicap class win over a number of impressive rivals including the 2010 Brisbane to Gladstone champion the Bill Wild helmed Wedgetail.
Naturally the relatively reserved Rod Jones is not making any pre-regatta prediction on the outcome of the Sail Paradise series.
He has sailed too many miles in a wide range of classes and understands that, while the Brisbane to Keppel race was a great result, they will have to back it up when the sails are tensioned off the Gold Coast.
However, Rob Mundle the recently elected Commodore of the Southport Yacht Club has nominated Alegria IV as the short priced favourite to win the top trophy at the regatta.
But first the Sunshine Coast based crew will have to gain consistent results in all seven races to support Commodore Mundle’s confidence.
Several other talented skippers have accepted the Notice of Race and the form guide will remain unclear until they face up to the first race off The Southport Seaway on January 10.
Meanwhile the Alegria IV crew will have the opportunity to spend some important practice sessions off Mooloolaba where they will continue with developing a new understanding with sailing the super fast sloop to her full potential.
“The race to Keppel was very much an exciting and new ‘learning curve’ but it proved the new yacht was quick,” Skipper Rod Jones said at the time.
“In addition there were a few gaps in our sail inventory. However, we were all impressed with the downwind speed.”
It will be a challenging assignment, however, the talented crew of Mooloolaba sailors have shown with their two Audi Australian championships that they will be up to meet the challenge off the Gold Coast in January.

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Idle Time gathers no moss

The design pedigree of the Kevin Fogarty skippered Idle Time has continued to allow the sloop, designed by West Australian based Naval Architect Kim Swarbrick, to remain as the star performer in Whitsunday Sailing Club events.
One of the major reasons behind Idle Time’s domination is the sloop spends very little time lying idle secured to her mooring.
In fact both skipper and crew seem to spend more time on the deck than most other crews; which instinctively builds an understanding on which ‘rope to pull’ to sail the ‘old girl’ consistently above her handicap rating.
Sure the onset of the tropical summer has been wetter this year with record rain drenching the Whitsundays, however, the conditions while remaining challenging have not interfered with Idle Time’s sailing program.
Her skipper has a passion for sailing and his crew are similarly addicted which has contributed to the success they have enjoyed during a full-on program of events during the year.
They have been equally successful in the short course twilight racing and the longer distance passage racing where Idle Time has rarely finished out of a place.
While the Idle Time crew remain as the pace setter they are constantly under ‘the pump’ to protect their sailing space against their Space Sailor and match racing rival Sandpiper skippered by Colin Pruden.
As their design suggests both crews possess an equal opportunity to win the ‘bragging rights’ as was the case in the recent Island passage race from Airlie Beach via the Double Cone Island to the finish in Dent Passage off Hamilton Island.
A light and tricky northerly breeze, which hardly presented the consistent velocity to ruffle the surface of the normally wind tormented Whitsunday Passage, presented the fleet with an unusual light wind test of tactical strategy.
Colin Pruden’s Sandpiper crew sweated it out on deck to win the first stage of the Space Sailor match race and the progressive lead in the three race series for the Advanced Alarms Trophy.
Race two from Hamilton Island to Bowen presented the fleet with yet another test of light wind sailing which ultimately resulted in an important win for Idle Time to share the series lead with Sandpiper.
Thankfully a ‘brute breeze’ gusting to a recorded 30 knots presented the crews with a spray drenching ride on the weather rail for the trophy deciding race south from Bowen to Airlie Beach.
There were times when the entire fleet were hard pressed, however, it was the Idle Time crew who excelled winning the final by a convincing margin from the Hamilton Island Yacht Club sloop Nikon Spirit of The Maid (Bruce Absolon) who just edged out Sandpiper.
Idle Time’s two wins in the three-race series added another trophy to the limited space on the mantelpiece, while Sandpiper and the Jeff Brown skippered Northshore 38 007 filled the minor places.

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Klaus and Eva top their class

Whitsunday Sailing Club Optimist dinghy sailors Klaus Lorenz and his young sister Eva have a lot in common as their respective careers continue to impress with outstanding results.
Klaus already regarded as a top chance to win the Australian championship over the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club course at Pittwater New South Wales later this year respects his training partner who is the top female in Queensland.
Both firmly agree they live and sail in the best environment to develop their sailing careers.
This was reflected in the recent results from the Yachting Queensland Youth championship decided over the Keppel Bay Sailing Club course at Yeppoon where Klaus won the open State championship with Eva finishing fourth overall and first female.
During the past year Klaus has represented Queensland and Australia in several major regattas and has included the major international regattas in Thailand and New Zealand in his calendar for 2011.
Meanwhile, after winning the New South Wales championship last month, both he and Eva have continued with their private training sessions on Pioneer Bay.
They live and sail in a perfect place which allows them to include mid-week after school practice sessions where they sail until the magical Whitsunday sunset disappears over the hinterland.
This important one-on-one training has allowed the self-taught youngsters to express their exceptional skill with their outstanding results in open class Optimist racing.
It is never easy for young sailors who are geographically disadvantaged from competing regularly in big fleet racing.
However, Klaus and Eva have clearly shown that ‘practice makes perfect’ by spending the important extra hours on the water with their mid-week training sessions refining their individual boat handling skills and tactical strategy which paved the way to win Gold Medals at the recent Queensland Youth championships.
As expected Klaus and Eva continue to be acknowledge with their selection in the Yachting Queensland Youth Development Squad which includes access to special training techniques formulated by Brisbane based coaches Ben Callard and Adrian Finglas who continue to be amazed by the sailing skills expressed by the Whitsunday ‘Whizz’ kids.
At the moment little Eva is playing ‘catch up’ following Klaus during their club racing on Pioneer Bay; but what she lacks in the important hiking body weight is made up with her unique personal determination to beat the odds even when the strong winds and foam crested waves test her fresh wind sailing skills.
Just over 12 months ago Eva, sailing in her first Queensland Youth Championship, sailed through an energy absorbing blow and hull-jarring waves to register what was regarded by Beijing Olympic coach Adrian Finglas as the result of the series.
“Sure Eva finished out of a place, but she overcame spending time recovering from a capsize to complete the race, while many other more senior sailors elected to withdraw,” Finglas said.
“Her struggle to beat the odds was acknowledged when senior squad members carried her and dinghy in a triumphant shoulder high March to the rigging area, while others including proud brother Klaus applauded her effort.”