2017 NSW States Wrap Up
Stephen O’Rourke sailed a near perfect regatta in his Melges 24 Panther on his home waters of Botany Bay to post his first win at an ASBA event following on from his second at the Port Stephens Nationals back in April. Last year’s state champion Peter Ray in his Shaw 650 Barely Legal was the only boat to beat Panther in a race and came in second. Tyler Ratcliff at 15 years of age confirmed his rise in the ASBA fleet in the Ratcliff’s Viper 640 Heat after achieving his first ASBA podium finish with a third.
The first day was abandoned due to strong 25-30 knot westerlies and a steep short Botany Bay chop. However the second day turned on near perfect 8-12 knot E-NE breezes after earlier switching from W-SW. The Botany Bay YC race team did a great job adapting to winds backing to the NE all day and efficiently turning races around so we could sail 5 races on the Sunday.
O’Rourke said “we had experienced the hot ASBA fleet at Port Stephens earlier in the year, we put together an excellent crew for this event run by Botany Bay YC & the association. Good crewing and favourable conditions for a Melges 24 on the northern shore of Botany Bay in 12 knots of breeze, well you could finish last and still love it! Our experienced crew all sail different one designs regularly, continually working to minimise mistakes and improve performance as is required and measurable in one designs. Minimal mistakes from good crew won the regatta for us.”