Kiwi brilliance overcame six Australian MC38 crews at the closing event of the class’ inaugural five part championship series that began last February.
Howard Spencer’s Menace, sailing for Royal Akarana Yacht Club, scored game, set and match when the crew was awarded the North Sails boat of the day flag, the MC38 Open Regatta trophy, and, with that victory, the perpetual MC38 Australian Season Championship and half model trophy.
Second in the Open after four remaining windward/leewards were completed between Athol Bight off Mosman and the top gate near Garden Island, Sydney Harbour, went to Leslie Green’s Ginger (CYCA) and third to class president John Bacon and Dark Star from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
In the championship standings Dark Star finished with eight points, second to Menace’s five points and ahead of Ginger on 11 points.
“Though it’s hard to lose to a Kiwi, it was fantastic Howard and his crew made the effort to fly across from Auckland to compete with the fleet,” Bacon said. “Congratulations to Menace Yachting for finishing the series in great style and for repeatedly setting the benchmark so high.”
Seven MC38s took on strong southerlies gusting up to 25 knots and downwind rides of 24 knots of boat speed where the crew was hanging on and the boats were right on the edge. A number of the high performance one designs lost control in the puffs, Assassin’s helm Clare Crawford later referring to today as “type 2 fun….it’s more enjoyable in retrospect”.
Menace’s tactician Ray Davies agreed theirs was the perfect end to the season. “It’s a fantastic way to finish. The team’s worked really hard this year and today we were really in a sweet spot in terms of configuration. These boats sail like a dinghy and you need people in position before you can lean on them. Howard drove really well the whole weekend, very polished and on his game from day one.
“The racing has got a lot closer over the season, plenty of mixed performances though the same three boats ended up on the podium, and there’s a great atmosphere among the fleet plus the on water umpiring is brilliant,” Davies summarised, adding, “All the teams know what they have to work on in the off season.”
Danielle Bowater was the Menace crewperson picked up and thrown off the dock back at the host Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron this afternoon, Sunday November 15, 2015, for her rolling smart-alecky comments. She took her swim and afterwards good-naturedly agreed with the crew’s ruling.
Menace has been on the market for some time but if Spencer doesn’t take a serious enquiry within the week he will remove the For Sale sign and recommit to the next season of MC38 racing. The 2016 class nationals will be held outside of Sydney in February prior to the next Australian Season Championship commencing in its new shorter format, between April and June.
“Trucking a fleet of this size to different cool venues is a great concept; hopefully it appeals to a couple of new owners,” said Bacon. At this afternoon’s final trophy presentation the MC38 association president thanked all the host clubs, class sponsors, boat managers and administrators for their support throughout the season.
MC38 Open Results Overall (Scratch)
- 15.0 – Menace, Howard Spencer
- 24.0 – Ginger, Leslie Green
- 27.0 – Dark Star, John Bacon
- 28.0 – Assassin, Clare Crawford
- 31.0 – Vino, Chris Hancock
- 33.0 – Hooligan, Marcus Blackmore
- 40.0 – Ghost Rider, Ross Hennessy
By Lisa Ratcliff