J70 States & Nationals

The J70 Victorian State Championships and J70 Australian National Championships were held over consecutive weeks in January at Sandringham Yacht Club.

Participating from BYS were two youth boats, BYS club boat Spike, skippered by Daisy Laing and Skyhook, skippered by Ethan O’Brien (thanks for Tony Landgren for the boat loan!) as well the more senior boats Jumpin’ Jack Flash, skippered by Martin Kudnig and Sequel, with owner Tony Landgren on board.

Eleven races were held over 3 days for the Victorian States which, after a well-earned 2 day break, was followed by the Nationals with 16 races over 4 days. So that was 27 races over 7 days of sailing! Although JJF missed a few races in the States due to a torn kite and Sequel also missed a few races due to crew injury.

With 7 boats from Sydney and 7 from Melbourne racing was extremely competitive in good clean winds with a few heavy and light days thrown in.

The pro teams from Sydney (and one pro team from Melbourne) generally dominated the racing, with Tim Ryan’s Vamos (CYCA) winning the open division in the States, followed by Reg Lord on Juno and Rod Warren (SYC) on Joust. In the Corinthian (amateurs) division Jabiru (RSYS), skippered by ex-Olympian Karyn Gojnich and with BYS’s own Gemma Burns on board, took the chocolates over SYC’s Madness with BYS youth team Skyhook sailing extremely well over the 3 days taking third place.

In the hotly contested competition between the BYS senior teams, Sequel just tipped out JJF who would get its revenge in the Nationals. Special mention to JJF crew and SYC member Gus McKechnie who scaled the mast on JJF on the downwind leg of the second last race to retrieve a dangling spinnaker halyard which had somehow managed to detach itself from the spinnaker head during the hoist!

In the Nationals a few days later, Vamos again took top spot on the podium in the open division with Joust second and Celestial, skippered by Sam Haynes and fresh from his Sydney to Hobart win in a TP52 of the same name, taking third spot. In the Corinthian division, Madness got the better of Jabiru this time with Skyhook again in third place (well done Ethan O’Brien, Hamish Bolton, James Hackett, Hannah Danks and Ed Warner).

Back to the BYS senior teams and it was JJF (Martin Kudnig, Rob Evans, Mark Hughes and Angus McKechnie, with Doc Little on the sidelines with Covid!) securing the series win over Tony Landgren’s Sequel (with Matt and Sean O’Brien on board) with JJF third overall on PHS. The highlight for JJF was a second place in race 14, just getting pipped by Joust on the final leg home after JJF had led the whole race!

Special mention to the BYS youth team on Spike (Daisy Laing, Tom Opie, Sally Danks, Mitch Harding and Adita Singh – with Matt Hunter-Smith and Zoe Blochlinger making cameos in the States) sailing very consistently over both regattas and certainly showing the BYS and various other senior teams a thing or two.

A big thanks to SYC volunteers and sailing office for running such a fabulous regatta. Interesting to note that at the regatta presentation SYC Commodore Sue Bowes mentioned that SYC had ordered 2 new J70s with a plan to order up to 4 more to support their adult sail training and youth sailing. Great to see that BYS has set the precedent in this space!

Martin Kudnig

Vice Commodore, BYS






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