The recent Adams 10 National Championships were contested over 3 days from Friday 9th – Sunday 11th February at the picturesque Lake Macquarie.

The event was a great opportunity for the local fleet at the Lake to compete against the strong contenders, who braved the coastal sail and the notorious Lake entrance channel to come up from Sydney and from Pittwater. Seven Lake boats squared off against six boats from Sydney and two boats from the Pittwater, making a competitive fleet of fifteen Adams 10s at the start line each day.

Day one was sailed in light to moderate shifty Southerlies to South Easterlies. The lines had to be reset after each of the three races sailed and the locals certainly showed off their superior local knowledge, taking out four of the top six spots on the day and seven of the top ten spots over the regatta.

Tom Braidwood and his experienced team on Backchat led the field to take a 1, 3, 2 (6 points) on day one, making it a hard challenge for the rest of the fleet for the remainder of the weekend. The closest of the chasing pack was Matt Crockett and his crew on Smitten 2, 4, 3 (9 points). Garry Gudmunson on Organised Chaos with a 3, 2, 5.5 (10.5 points), closely followed by Allen Stormon and his crew on Gezzabelle with a 4, 6, 1 (11 points). Dave Young and his crew on Tenacity were right up there with the leaders on 5, 1, 5.5 (11.5 points).

Day two saw a significantly changed weather pattern, with strong Southerlies in the 25 knots + range causing some “interesting” challenges for the fleet, with some boats handling the difficult conditions better than others. The top boats all opted to retain their No 2 jibs, while the more conservative members of the fleet went for their No. 3’s. This difference showed in the gusty conditions as the No 2s stayed powered up in the lighter phases and pulled away from the pack.

Placings in the middle of the pack were hotly contested with six and seven boats arriving at each mark at the same time throughout each of the three races. With much high-volume asserting of claims and counterclaims to rights. Fortunately, these pinch points were sorted out without damage to people or boats – just a few dented egos, as missteps here cost five up to places at the finish!

At the end of the day Backchat again showed why they were the 2023 champions with a commanding display of sailing combined with local knowledge to put them at 2, 1, 1, consolidating their position at the top of the leaderboard with 10 points overall. Gezzabelle climbed into second place with some good sailing, which saw them finish the day with a 1, 2, 2, (16 points), just ahead of Organised Chaos and Tenacity. Smitten had an unfortunate second day and slipped to 5th on the back of a 12, 4, 8 (33 points).

Day three saw another change in the weather, with the wind softening to a gentle 7 – 10 knots shifting Southerly, making picking the correct side of the course extremely challenging.

The fleet remained compressed for each of the three races with seconds separating the numerous boats finishing midfleet.

Backchat took out the first two races of the day 1, 1, for a total of 12 points and the regatta win, with a last race available as a drop. The rest of the fleet had a real tussle for the minor placings. Gezzabelle clawed their way into second place overall (20 points) with hard fought placings over Organised Chaos (25.5 points) and Tenacity (29.5 points).

Congratulations to:

  • Backchat for 1st place overall,
  • Gezzabelle for 2nd place,
  • Organised Chaos for 3rd place, also 1st place for best placed “Wooden Seat” boat (one of the very, very old boats!) and 1st place Masters team (Average age > 50 years).
  • Dave Young and his crew on Tenacity were the best placed Corinthian team with a creditable 4th place.

The Adams 10 Association is grateful for the hospitality shown by the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, who made the fleet welcome and the race committee, ably led by Ross Ahern, who presided over three days and nine close races. Class sponsors Zhik graciously provided prizes for the winners.

The whole fleet had a blast amid some hard sailing, convivial socialising and great camaraderie built over a fantastic long weekend. We look forward to resuming the competition next year in Sydney Harbour.

Tracy Richardson

Photos by Beau Outteridge