Victorian State Titles 1998
Sandringham YC / Portland YC
BLASSE BLITZ'S AGAIN WINNING VICTORIAN STATE TITLE!!
This year The Victorian State Titles were conducted over two weekends, with the first four heats being sailed at Sandringham Yacht Club as a warm up to the Worlds. The remaining heats were sailed at Portland Yacht Club and were a good way to ease back into sailing for those suffering from post World's exhaustion. The first day of the States was dogged by inconsistent and shifty winds that varied by up to 180 degrees. Of course these are Andre's preferred conditions, as was evident by his win in the first race. The second race saw the usual hot shots take a back seat with good performances from Dougal Watt who had a win, Will Wettenhall 3rd, and Justin Graham 5th. This race also saw a small group including Mark Jackson & Rob Davis take a big risk out to the left, unfortunately the glamour faded fast as they came into the top mark about a leg behind!
Day two of the States was characterised by steadily building winds from the west and a distinct lack of presence by the committee boat. Class diplomat Mark Fisher had more than a few words to say about this! Heat four really started to sort out the men from the boys, with possibly the biggest seas and winds of the season. As always, Gibbo was relishing in the big winds, coming a creditable second. Jamie Wilson also sailed extremely well to finish, especially considering he was flying an old soft sail which resembled a spinnaker rather than an OK main.
Pete Milne had an unfortunate run of bad luck at the Worlds, but returned with a vengeance winning two of the three heats at Portland. Unfortunately this wasn't quite good enough for him to claim the title, being nudged out by one point to our current World Champion. The racing at Portland was fairly relaxed, with the Saturday heat being held in flat 5 - 10 knot offshore winds and the Sunday races in choppy 10 knot winds. It was good to see Marcus Wettenhall make a return to the class for the final heats of the States. Marcus certainly made his presence felt at Portland's nightclub on the Friday night, when, in true OK style he gave the bar staff and patrons his rendition of a human fire hydrant. Don't worry Alan, we've all done it at some stage (or at least most of us anyway!). Unfortunately the class S.N.A.G. (Porkin Paul) couldn't make it to Portland, however rumour has it that his new multicoloured boat should hit the water some time before the year 2000.
Congratulations to Roger Blasse who took the State title for yet another year, with final placings of a 1st and five 2nd's. This was indicative of his consistent performance across the entire season, which culminated in winning the World Title. A victory that has been a long time in the making and well deserved.