South County Rebels venne, e vide, e vinse. They were never conquered in their Melbourne Midwinters 2012 triumph. But enough of the winners.
South County Rebels
The Imperial Poona YC and Albert Park YCMelbourne Midwinters 2013 was held on the 18th August on Albert Park Lake, Melbourne (you could have guessed that bit). A record number of 11 teams braved the best Melbourne winter weather: cold, blow, and the rainy night (Planxty). The forecast was 25-30knts but were are tough in Victoria. Teams, and team members, came from Darwin, Sydney, Poona, and Melbourne to compete in Australia’s largest non school team racing event this year.
Those Imperially Thinking regatta organisers tried to confuse the competitors with some backward thinking. Yes, a port rounding top mark. This was the first time anybody under 37 years had met the mark this way. Coupled with the committee boat at the port end of the start line there was no end to the confusion.
50 races was the target when racing got underway on schedule at two bells in the forenoon watch. Reefed Pacers was the order of the day in the gusty So’wester. The morning leagues were to determine the afternoon Gold and Silver leagues. 25 races were duly completed by noon before luncheon was taken. The highlights of the qualification leagues being the undefeated nature of the Southern Hemisphere Imperial Thinkers of the Imperial Poona YC and the South Country Rebels from points North, South, and East in Ireland (plus Gus). The lowlight being the Lady Exiles attempt to win a race by starting on the finish line: this tactic did not work.
For the aficionados of leagues there were some difficult tie breaks to determine the final standings. The 6 teams that qualified into the Gold League were Imperial Poona, South County Rebels, Young & Dumber, Show Us Yer Cleats, St Michael’s GS, Ducks. The 5 teams sent to the Silver league were Lady Exiles, Monkeys, Panda, Albert Park Yacht Club.
Luncheon was a great spread provided by APYC. Thanks Pam and the rest of the Galley. Mulled wine was noticed at this stage. It was cold after all.
So, the next round. Again 25 races where scheduled. The Silver league was taken out in emphatic style by Lady Exiles ably commanded by Steph Creedy (the only Queenslander on a team of English and Scottish Roses by other names).
The Gold league saw some great team racing. Imperial Poona forgot to win 2 races so the much anticipated clash with South County Rebels was not the event decider that the crowd were hoping for. Young & Dumber and Ducks were taking lumps out of each other whilst the Rebels were winning all in front of them. Their match with Poona was a tight affair with Rebels winning 1,2,6.
So, South County Rebels were the clear winners. Their secret, actually having team raced this year. How embarrassing. In fairness, great sailing by some excellent sailors. The team was Conor Farrell & Gus Henry, Sam Hunt & Claire Pomroy-Cassidy, Alex Barry & Gill Burke. Young & Dumber came second from Ducks on a tie breaker.
As is now tradition at the Melbourne Midwinters prizes were sourced from the tables outside the club. This year two empty cans of tuna were found and presented. Speeches occurred and mulled wine was used for medicinal purposes only.
36 hungry team racers head for a curry and then to the 80′s night at a local boozer. Amazingly, only 2 competitors were asked to leave the pub. In great Irish team racing tradition it was the girls.
So, to the thanks. The Commodore, Committee, and members of Albert Park Yacht Club for embracing the event with such gusto. The Galley. The Start Boat of Chris, Geoff, Tony, Terry. The Umpires of Noel, Middo, Rob, Ben. Brian the Scorer. Lily and Betty for being too nice on the Rego desk. Tom and Chris for rigging the boats. Yours truly. And finally, and most importantly, the Boatshed and Yachting Victoria, for the boats. No Boats, No Regatta.
Until next August.
Prizes & Pith Helmets. Very Imperial!
A Lady Exile accepts the Silver League Empty Can of Tuna
- Conor Farrell writes about himself
Two Imperial Gentlemen