Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
STAWELL’S Noel Grellet was the standout performer of a small fleet which entered the Portland Admella Regatta on the weekend, coming away as series winner.
Grellet performed exceptionally well in the Catamaran section, which was easily the best represented of the classes, winning both races on Saturday and placing third in the final race on Sunday.
Grellet’s performances were enough for him to not only be the series winner in the catamarans, earning him the much coveted Admella port hole, but he was also crowned the best performed boat of the regatta.
Portlander Luke Donovan made up a lot of ground after missing out on a placing in race one to finish second in the following three races.
Brad Hein also had a reasonable weekend with two thirds, while Max Fimmel snuck in for a placing with a third on Sunday morning.
Portland Yacht Club member Tom Englezos said the fleet of catamarans was very strong, and easily the best of the fields.
“The catamaran fleet was a very good fleet, with 10 cats sailing on the weekend,” Englezos said.
This made up nearly half the total field, with a slightly disappointing 22 boats taking to the water.
Englezos attributed the drop in numbers to a number of other events being on the same weekend.
“We had 22 boats enter, which is pretty low.
“That was mainly due to state titles being held on the same weekend in Riverly Bay in South Australia, which drew a lot of boats away.”
Club Commodore and current national champion Denis Baker was also a notable absentee from the races, after a broken bone in his foot ruled him out of contention.
Conditions on the weekend were not ideal for racing, with Saturday seeing light shifting south-easterly breezes provide some tricky sailing, whilst Sunday’s fresh easterly created some large seas outside the harbor which made life difficult, especially for the some of the monohulls in the fleet.
Portland’s Fred Baker made the best of these trying conditions to come away as an easy series winner in the monohulls, after recording three wins and a second from the four races.
Tom Doherty of Portland also performed well, with two thirds and a second in the small field of five boats.
Seven junior boats took to the water, racing inside the harbor on both days to avoid the larger swell.
Portland’s Ben Preece performed very well on the day, falling just short of being series winner after claiming one first and three thirds from the four races.
Ben Trewavis also raced well, and was rewarded with a third in the first race, before missing the final two races due to another commitment.
Englezos said one of the most determined performances of the regatta came from a relative new comer to the sport in Renae Pike, from Warrnambool, who battled hard just to complete the race.
“Her efforts to complete the race on Saturday were terrific, and I think she probably deserves recognition for her efforts.”
The next event on the calender will be the Easter Regatta at Lake Bolac, which should hopefully draw a larger fleet with plenty of Portland Yacht Club members likely to attend.
Race one: 1 – N. Grellet, 2 – G. Kilminster, 3 – B. Hein; race two: 1 – N. Grellet, 2 – L. Donovan, 3 – B. Hein; race three: 1 – M. Kirby, 2 – L. Donovan, 3 – M. Fimmel; race four: 1 – M. Kirby, 2 – L. Donovan, 3 – N. Grellet.
Race one: 1 – J. Murrihy, 2 – F. Baker, 3 – T. Doherty; race two: 1 – F. Baker, 2 – J. Murrihy, 3 – T. Doherty; race three: 1 – F. Baker, 2 – J. Murrihy, 3 – D. Evans; race four: 1 – F. Baker, 2 – T. Doherty, 3 – S. Pyers.
Race one: 1 – B. Preece, 2 – D. Wilson, 3 – B. Trewavis; race two: 1 – A. Wilson, 2 – D. Wilson, 3 – B. Preece; race three: 1 – A. Wilson, 2 – D. Wilson, 3 – B. Preece; race four: 1 – D. Wilson, 2 – A. Wilson, 3 – B. Preece.
Catamarans: N. Grellet (Stawell), monos: F. Baker (Portland), juniors: D. Wilson (Warrnambool), boat of the regatta: N. Grellet.