Bundaberg Sailing Club members produced a strong team performance at the Australian Weta Class Association Championships at Lake Cootharaba, near Noosa, last week.
Glenn Foley won the One-Up class and fellow club stalwart Rod Daley combined with 11-year-old Jackson Weber to claim the Two-Up title.
Glenn’s 15-year-old son Mitchell, another club stalwart Dave Vockler, and Bill Koorneef also placed first, second and fourth, aboard Wild Child, Hard Decision and Willy Tippet respectively in the One-Up Handicap category.
Glenn, sailing Not Yet, started with a second placing, before being disqualified and finishing third in his two other races on day one of competition.
The next day, he was again runner-up, before winning the remaining race of the day.
That started a six-race winning streak, which included three events on New Year’s Eve, and two on 2 January after the rest day on New Year’s Day.
With three results discarded out of the 10 events, Glenn triumphed in a quality field of 17 including competitors from as far away as Tasmania, finishing with 8 points, to win by two from Andres Gabarrin, in his boat TBA, from the host club, after he won the first 4 races but finished second to Glenn in the last 3.
It was the first time the National Weta Class titles had been contested, and first ever national championship for Glenn, who started sailing with the Bundaberg club in 1973 and has competed strongly at top level ever since, and he was thrilled to finally pick up an Australian crown.
“It was hard work – the guy who got second, made me work, but in the last 2 days, I won every race to hold him out, and my son came 6th in the same class, so I was pretty happy,” Glenn said.
“I’ve won the state championships the last four years in a row, but this is my first-ever national title.”
Mitchell, who was the only Youth competitor in the field, finished with 42 points, with Dave Vockler 8th on 51, Bill Koorneef 14th on 88, and Bundaberg’s two other sailors in the class, Gordon Myers and Angela Gregory, who was the only female in the category, winding up 15th and 16th, with 93 aboard Minx, and 107, sailing Splash, respectively.
In the Handicap, Mitchell was victorious with 13 net, from Dave (23), with Bill narrowly missing completing a Bundaberg trifecta with his 29 nett, while Angela and Gordon wound up 12th and 13th respectively.
Rod was also delighted to claim his maiden national crown with Jackson his crew on Wet and Slippery.
Rod combined perfectly with Jackson, whom he said was a son of fellow club stalwart Chris Chapman and Jacqui Weber, and was a “good little sailor who has been in the club for a few years”.
“Jackson won a state title in Sabos recently at a really young age, and I noticed how much he has improved, but I didn’t think we would have a chance of winning it, but it was good conditions for us, and we did it,” Rod said.
In the field of seven, Rod and Jackson swept all before them, winning the first nine races, and with the title secure with the three “discards” policy, they withdrew from the last race, claiming the trophy with a perfect score of seven.
Tim Guymer and Karen Boulter, from the Lake Samsonvale Water Sports Association, were runners-up on Sandpiper with 14 points.
“I’ve been with Bundaberg Sailing Club for 25 years and have won quite a few regattas, such as the Bay to Bay Yacht Race, from Tin Can Bay to Hervey Bay, all in previous boats, but I have not even won a state title before this, and it is very special,” Rod said.
Rod said the Weta nationals will be held in New South Wales next season, and that he and Jackson will be hoping to defend the title, as long as Covid-19 restrictions allow them to compete interstate by then.
Bundaberg fixtures resume after the Christmas-New Year recess this weekend, and in the Rum City Foods Intra Cup, there are two matches at Salter Oval tomorrow, with Norths needing to beat the potent East Bundy Magpies if they are to join them on points in third position and keep their hopes alive of claiming that position and contesting the 2v3 semi-final.
Second placed Brothers will be expected to beat Hervey Bay in the other match, with the Royals having lost their seven matches in the competition so far, but hopefully they can get it together in the last seven rounds and resurrect their season.
The Aussie Bundy Big Bash will resume next Friday night, but Juniors will not return until 30th January.
High-profile Bundaberg businessman Mark McLean and Chris Wessel have won two races in Brisbane over the past week with horses that they part-own in large syndicates, Smart ‘n’ Sexy and Arthur in Charge.
Smart ‘n’ Sexy, an ultra-talented three-year-old filly trained by Toby and Trent Edmonds at Gold Coast, won a Benchmark 75 Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday, taking her record to two wins and two seconds from seven starts, after having won the Listed Dalrello Stakes at the same track in her previous preparation in June.
Mark, who rates her probably the best of about 50 horses that he currently part-owns in Brisbane and Sydney, said she will now contest the Magic Millions Guineas Three-Year-Old Classic at Gold Coast next Saturday.
Arthur in Charge, a four-year-old which is trained by former Melbourne Cup winning jockey Chris Munce in Brisbane, won a Class 3 at Doomben yesterday, taking his record to four wins, two seconds and two thirds from 14 starts, after having previously won at Gosford, Kembla Grange, and Newcastle.
Local David Raines and Dallas Beckett, of Gracemere, dominated this week’s Bundaberg meeting, each claiming winning doubles.
David took out the Best 8 with outsider Extra Coins, which made it back-to-back wins, and Restricted Win event with Magic Sue, which recorded just her fourth victory in 53 starts, with both chasers owned by his wife Maria.
After taking out a treble seven days earlier, Dallas was again successful with Qualified in the Terry Signs 5th grade, and he claimed the quinella in the Mixed 4th/5th grade with Remember Col and Craig’s Regret after they had also finished 1-2 but in the reverse order the previous week.
Four other District trainers were also among the winners on the program, Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall with Silky Chiffon, which broke through at her 16th attempt in the Maiden, Garry Cluse with Slick Mac in the Novice Non-Penalty, Stephen Bland with Cambla Doll in the 5th grade Pathway Non-Penalty, and Jodie Sarnadsky with Farmor Watch Him, which snapped a 16-race losing streak in the Uncle Rusty’s 5th grade.