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505 Nationals: local lad lands national title

Champion boat Alvin Rides Again. (Credit Jan Cummings)

Champion boat Alvin Rides Again. (Credit Jan Cummings)

Lake Macquarie locals Michael Babbage and James McAllister followed up their December win in the NSW 505 Championship with the narrowest of wins in an exciting Australian 505 Title on Lake Macquarie.

Second to Babbage only one point adrift, was class veteran Michael Quirk and crew Shane Guanaria.

In third place, a further three points back was Kevin Cameron and crew member Sam Herriatage, while another very good local combination of Ryan Menzies and Nathan Quirk sailed a very consistent series to finish fourth overall.

Consistency was a problem for Haylee and Nathan Outteridge who won four of the eleven races to finish fifth overall. Skipper Haylee visited the podium several times as the best placed lady, best junior and best “rookie”.

The Championship was only decided in the last heat with most observers believing Quirk had won the event from Babbage after they crossed the line in sixth and ninth places respectively. However the “drops” were affected by these results and Babbage prevailed.

Final points – Babbage “Alvin Rides Again” on 24, Quirk “Strife” on 25, Cameron “Alarm Innovations” on 28, Menzies “Yeah Buddy” on 30, and Outteridge “Swing, Steer & Swear” on 31.

The regatta was sailed in moderate sea breezes with only a couple of the races really “lighting up” the fleet with strong breezes. Lake Macquarie (as always) provided a great sailing venue for the 505s while competitors praised the facilities and management of the event by LMYC.

The presentation dinner saw an awesome array of previous 505 champions in attendance. Three times World Champions Chris and Darren Nicholson, World and Australian Champs Dean Blatchford, Gary Bruniges, Tom Woods, Peter Hewson, Alan Ovenden, Greg Gardiner and 5 times Australian Champ and World 505 Champ Reg Crick resailed many a great race as the evening wore on.

By Russell Cummings, LMYC


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