Long Course 10.09.2022

 In 13ft Skiff News, 16ft Skiff News, Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club

Long Course: 10.09.2022

Moonen Yachts skipper Daniel Turner had two choices when he rounded the top mark eighth in Manly Skiff Club’s first long course race of the season last Saturday.

He could either stick to the pre-race plan and trust things to come right or enact a Plan B on the run and track a different path back through the fleet.

Turner told his crew Kirk Mitchell and Gus Williams to forget what had just happened and stay true to what they’d discussed back in the rigging park.

“It was a pretty flukey westerly, so it was snakes and ladders all day long,” Turner explained.

“That first lap we got pretty belted and rounded the top mark eighth.

“We had a game plan and the first lap went against that, but we doubled down on it to see if it came good and it did.”

Moonen made its way through the pack as contenders dropped off one by one in the challenging 6-18-knot breeze, winning by almost four minutes from Red Pumps (Bruce Savage), Sail Racing (Felix Grech) and Red Pumps Red (Tyler Dransfield).

Explaining the decision not to panic and change tactics, Turner said: “We thought it was a pretty traditional kind of westerly and we chose the left-hand side of the course as the favoured side.

“The second time around we stuck to the left and it did what we thought it would do.

“It’s just a matter of backing yourself and believing in the strategy. Good crew work helps as well.”

New-born babies, work and a desire to have a clean break over winter meant Moonen hadn’t hit the water since March.

If there was any rust, it was well concealed.

“We jumped straight back into where we were (six months ago),” Turner said.

“You’ve got to be patient, stay calm and be confident in the boat and the crew work.

“It definitely helps to have that combination. You know it will eventually come good if you stick to what you discussed.”

Turner is in the enviable position of having two quality bowmen – Mitchell and Matt Stenta – to call on for what shapes as the busiest of seasons.

“Our line-up really depends on whether Matt’s got a lunch booking at Queen Chow at Manly or not,” Turner smiled.

“He’s been there the last two weeks with his new bride, so we’re just waiting to hear back.

“I think we will have a shared bowman role with Matt and Kirk. We are very fortunate to be able to call on guys of that calibre for such a big season.

“I haven’t seen this much energy and so many boats in the water this early in the season.

“Everyone is really enthusiastic and wanting to be part of it.

“There’s some good silverware to be won and there will be no relaxing.”

Racing continues at Manly next Saturday with two short course races.

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Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club