The VS association AGM is on 23/7/23 @ 13:00 - Teralba Amateur Sailing Club.
There is a call for:
Well. That’s it!!! End of the season. And the end of chapter 1 – Firestorm.
The final regatta in the VS calendar has been sailed. The TT race at Newcastle Sailfest. The Cock of the Harbour. And yet again the VS’s have dominated 😊.
After a week of cold temperatures and bleak weather, the skys cleared and the sun shone. We were missing a few of the usual suspects from the rigging area – Meeks (mast fatigue), Black Diamond (CHS fatigue), Wobbygong (holiday fatigue), Devocean (heart fatigue*).
But SFC, Troy Botting Shipwright, Stowe, Runaway, Incognito & Firestorm to were all up for the trip to Stockton. After an “all in” start a cherub took the early lead but quickly the big cats and two up 16 overtook the fleet. As did the VS’s. Ignoring the big cats and the rogue 16, Steve, Jeremy & Troy on Runaway lead around the first mark with Firestorm close on their tuck. Stowe was not far behind as was SFC and TBS, albeit squabbling over luffing rights. Incognito was just a bit further behind trying to work out the start timing sequence.
In 10 knots Firestorm is fast, so John, Dale & Courtney soon took Firestorm to a lead they would not relinquish. And with the ‘generous’ VS yardstick they also claimed the Cock of the Harbour trophy. A trophy they haven’t previously claimed so it was a nice departure gift…
Steve, Jeremy & Troy have found good speed in Runaway since recutting their main and hung in for a good second. A little further back was SFC, with Mick & Gabe joined by Pete on the sheet, subbing in for Lennon, who is O/S (life is tough). Col, Adam & Janine were not far behind in 4th on TBS but just did not find their mojo today. Incognito recovered to finish 5th, with Tim, Craig & Luke in Stowe coming home in 6th, after a quick swim by Luke (who moved that gunwale???).
SFC won the day on handicap, from Firestorm & Runaway, but that wasn’t enough to stop Stowe from claiming the overall Travellers Trophy win. Congratulations to Tim, Ryan, Luke, and Craig. The Travellers Trophy is a series that counts the results of all VS regattas so is a recognition of season long consistency. Few could argue Stowe hasn’t shown that. Well done Lads.
Next up will be the States & TT presentation & AGM. Dates still to be finalised but it will be sometime in July/August. Hopefully see you there.
* The heart fatigue mentioned above was a LOT more serious than can be expressed in words. Roger suffered a cardiac arrest and was heading to a world of endless Herons, catamarans & pussy NW’ers, until Kath brought him back. A few broken bones and ligaments but well worth it, What a legend! I want Kath in my corner... I know I speak for all in the VS community in wishing Rog a full and speedy recovery. We all can’t wait to see you soon mate.
What a great regatta! Good breezes, good temperatures, great sailing and great company. There will be many stories to be told from the weekend. Here are a few...
Saturday Race 1. A tale of the tide...
As is often the case on the river, going to the correct side of the course can make a huge difference. And so it was in this race. TBS had good upwind speed in this 1 lap sprint and held a handy lead around the top mark, followed by SFC, Firestorm & Black Diamond. Yep. Alex, Andrew & Rob had shown good upwind speed and knowledge of the tide to round the mark hot on Firestorm's tuck. They were soon past them as Firestorm slipped to the back of the fleet after snagging the buoy rope.
But unfortunately, the tide was about to come into play. TBS had completed one of their legendary gybe/sets and headed left towards Challenger Head. Black Diamond did similarly as did most of the rest of the fleet, except for SFC and Firestorm. SFC sailed down the middle of the course and took an easy gun. Firestorm found the tide favourable behind Juno and ended up second. Having battled through the tide, TBS held on for third, finishing a few seconds ahead of Stowe.
Saturday Race 2. Very close at the front....
Now the fleet knew which way to go it was always going to be a close race. SFC, Firestorm & TBS traded places for 3 of the 4 laps, until Firestorm made a break on the final work and held the lead to the finish. Runaway had started slowly but was finding speed with their recut mainsail and had moved into second place down the final run. Unfortunately, they took one wrong gybe and relinquished the place to SFC. But they had moved past TBS and Stowe, so the signs were promising.
Saturday Social Evening. Good food. Good company. Great entertainment. Ask someone about the lighting of the bonfire (and how fast Zack can run!!). Too much petrol? Everyone survived....
Sunday. Easy at the front....
TBS had a race to remember. Leading around every mark and easily taking the gun in a nice nor'easter. What more could you want? Runaway continued where they left off on Saturday and again moved through the fleet, this time hanging on to finish second. Mick, Lennon & Gabe sailed SFC to third, but this was enough to claim the Hawkesbury River Cup. This trophy has been contested for over 50 years. You are now part of that history. Well done lads.
The final association race is scheduled for the weekend 15/16 April (day still to be confirmed). This race is the final of the Travellers Trophy series, which is well from a done deal. All scores count in this series so a DNS is costly.
Regardless, sailing on Newcastle harbour is fun. Hope to see you there.
Sunshine regatta. Or is should it be renamed Ground Hog weekend? Unfortunately it seems to have become a regular occurrence that a great sailing day at Sunshine on Saturday is followed by a blow out / rain out / thunderstorm out on the Sunday. And it happened again this year as a fresh southerly blew through in the morning and did not relent. Sunday's race was abandoned. I think that makes about 3 out of the past 4 that have been a one race event. But Saturday's race was a cracker...
With the temperature in the high 30's inland it was almost a certainty that the predicted NE'er would blow and it was well settled and whitecapping as the fleet lined up for the start. Unfortunately we were down a few from the numbers we saw at the recent nationals - the Hawkesbury boats were missing due to other commitments or crew shortages. Will's preparations for his England journey also meant Devocean was a DNS too.
On a good start line everyone was eager to jump clear and enjoy the conditions. Some were more eager than others, and it turned out more eager than the starter's clock. The x flag came up and Meeks had to return to have another go. Was this costly?
Also giving the fleet a head start was Stowe. Tim & Luke were rigged and ready but Ryan was stuck in a massive traffic jam on the M1. They started about a minute and a half late. Was this costly?
It was close up the first work with boats trading places, eventually for Firestorm to lead around the top mark, closely followed by trot Botting Shipwright, SFC & Runaway. Col tried to keep the speed up on TBS and reach through the set but, as this was a windward set, the kite jammed under the jib & they gave away a few places getting this sorted. Was this costly?
Around the leeward mark for the first time Firestorm held a slender lead over the fast running SFC with Mick, Lennon & Gabe showing their crew work is still in sync. But Firestorm likes a NE'er at Sunshine & John, Dale & Courtney managed to open up a buffer and hold the lead to the finish. Unfortunately, SFC is still struggling to find upwind speed with their new rig and drifted back a few places as the race progressed. Col, Janine & Adam finishing not too far behind Firestorm in second, but would that kite set have made the difference?
Steve, Jeremy & Troy went 'back to the future' and rigged with an old mainsail after struggling with their new one. It seemed to make a difference and, once Steve got into the groove, they were making time on the leaders for Runaway to eventually score an easy 3rd across the line.
Then it got very interesting. And I wish I had thought to video the finish on my phone. It was great. SFC, Meeks, Wobbygong & SFC all coming at the line together, at what was essentially a shy run. The skiffs aren't really set up for these runs & it takes a lot of skill and co-ordination to keep going fast. And all 4 boats did just that. In the end, with kite rolling (but not flagging) SFC pipped Meeks by about a pole length. (that start Mick?). Meeks, with kite rolling & not flagging, crossed the line about 1/2 a boat length of Wobbygong, with Tom, Peter & Macka also showing great boat handling (and again not a kite flag in sight). Stowe was just another few seconds further back after getting 'rolled' by this train. Great sailing by all. The crowd loved it!!!
On the back of that result Wobbygong won fairly easily on corrected time. As shown with their performances at the Nationals Matt has been tuning the Wobbygong faster than the handicapper can nobble them. But have they peaked too soon?
The next regattas in the series are at Hawkesbury on 4 & 5 March. Both the scratch & handicap series are still wide open so make sure you plan to be there and enjoy some of the Hawkesbury hospitality.
See you there.
Today, the RO and his crew did a great job. With two morning races scheduled on a hot day, the lake was a millpond at 1030 and the predicted Easterly breeze didn't start to blow until after lunch. So, we lost a race as the sailing was condensed to a 3 race back-to-back to back session after lunch. But by then a 10-15 knot breeze had settled.
The results are posted so no need to run through the placings. And you can see from the times how close the racing was. I can't give a race-by-race report as I was concentrating on other things, but I can give some random observations:
Is this the start of a new era? The traditional week-long VS nationals regatta just after Christmas has been replaced by a 3 day event at the end of January. 10 races are still scheduled. Let’s see how us old fellas go with fatigue. But without competing regattas, such as Sydney-Hobart, 16 footers, 13 footers & F11’s, we have a good number of entries – 12 in total. So that is a good start….
With a 8-12 knot SSE breeze blowing the fleet was eager to go. So eager that three boats were pinged for being over early – Wobbygong, SFC & Meeks. In a very wise decision, Matt, Pete & Macka took Wobbygong back. Mick & Jeffo didn’t realise they were also OCS until the dreaded chat with the RO after the finish. So much for that good start...
When the fleet settled Firestorm had found the lead up the first beat & picked some good pressure lines for the rest of the race to hold the position to the finish. Steve, Jeremy & Troy on Runaway also liked the ‘swinging two’ breeze to finish 2nd not far behind the red boat. TBS just didn’t find their mojo in this race but still managed 3rd. On corrected time Rog, Tim & Will on Devocean scored a 3rd, Measurement Solutions scored 2nd, but the winner on the day, and the first to collect the wine donated by our terrific sponsor, Quay Accounting & Tax, was Wobbygong!!!. Told you it was a wise decision to restart.
The breeze softened a little for this race so it was a bit more tedious. A fantastic pin end start from Devocean saw them cross the fleet and lead until Firestorm, Troy Botting Shipwright & Meeks eked their way to the front of the fleet and battle race long for the win. Firestorm thought they had a winning lead until Mick, Robbie & Katie on went hard left up the 2nd work and tailed the red boat around the top mark. Col, Adam & Janine were also not far behind & completed one of their legendary gybe sets and held the breeze down the run to the finish. In the end Firestorm got the gun, closely followed by TBS & Meeks. Runaway and SFC soaked home to 4th and 5th, but after that it got closer. Doddsy completed a great tactical gybe close to the finish line to get Stowe home in 6th, 7 seconds ahead of Narwahl with Incognito just a few more seconds further back. One up for Zac & Byron vs Chris & Greg.
On corrected time it was the same result. Narwahl 1st. Incognito 2nd. The new era continues to emerge…
The breeze was still blowing from the same direction and was better than race 2, but still less than race 1. The start lines were a nice length & true to the breeze so it was hard to pick a favoured position. Firestorm was at the pin & thought they had a good lead until they tacked & saw Narwahl raging away from the boat end on port tack. Narwahl rounded the top mark in 2nd, but on board Firestorm Wade was doing a stellar job filling in for Dale, picking the pressure lines flawlessly, speeding himself, John & Courtney to a nice lead and take the win. The Narwahl boys are still learning the nuances of getting a VS downwind quickly and held on gallantly for 5th, not far behind Meeks, TBS & Runaway. That is good company to be competing with. And they beat Incognito again…
On corrected time it was close. Wobbygong finished 3rd but in ahead was very close. 1 second in fact. Narwahl had sailed a great race, but so too had Jock, James & Issac on Measurement Solutions. They scored the victory by 1 second to get the wine. Well done!!
Our facebook page (VS 15 Foot Skiff Sailing | Facebook) has a bunch of photos from today's racing.
Finally, if it interests you, the VS’s were faster around the course than the F15’s in races 1 & 3. Is this a trend that we are faster in a breeze? I hope Saturday is just a repeat of today 😊
Frustrating. I think that would be the word that first comes to mind of the crews that sailed in the Teralba regatta. Think of breeze lines that skimmed the edges of the course, fluctuated in direction by 45 degrees, ranged in strength from 2-8 knots, and you’ll have a good idea of the conditions. But on the positive side the boat handling was great throughout the regatta and there were no capsizes…
Saturday. We were missing a few from the fleet – Devocean was out of crew; Incognito was out of the country. But Alex and Andrew made the trip to represent the Hawkesbury club, debuting their new boat Black Diamond. As a result of finding out that the cardinal mark at Belmont slips cannot the ignored, White line Fever has been replaced by Black Diamond. Yep. Chook is now without a boat. It is a shame to think Chook has finished sailing VSs. After only 50 years in the class, you’d have thought he could have hung on a little longer… If we can’t coax him back and this is the end then look out for a tribute. A class legend deserves no less.
So eight boats lined up on Saturday. A late wind shift saw the pin end favoured and SFC made the perfect port hand start to cross Meeks & Firestorm and jump away to a small lead. But this wasn’t a follow the leader day. If you went left you would get a breeze with more north. If you went right you’d get a breeze from the south. Go up the middle and you’d get nothing. So I saw SFC, Meeks, Runaway, TBS & Firestorm all lead the fleet at some time during the first lap. Stowe gave the fleet a bit of a head start by sailing to the wing mark. Black Diamond gave the fleet a head start by missing the start by 5 minutes. Both would recover.
The downwind legs were as tricky as the upwind legs, and it was on the 2nd downwind leg that Firestorm went towards Marmong when the leaders went towards Speers. John, Dale & Courtney on Firestorm scored some favourable breeze and jumped to a lead they would not relinquish. Runaway kept them honest, continually favouring the east upwind and benefiting by scoring a nice second place. Next was Meeks, TBS & SFC, all trading places on the last lap. On corrected time Matt, Mackenzie & Pete gave the newly refurbished Wobbygong the perfect regatta debut by claiming the win. Good one.
Sunday. The forecast fading NW’ers came to fruition. We were pushed to a later start, so Bozo could change the course if required (but that was never going happen), so the wind was very fickle. Seven boats lined up, missing the Meeks mob who were at the 16’skiffs, but there was still some presence from the T family, with Kate standing in on TBS. Other sibling crew changes saw Mackenzie subbing in for Gabe on SFC & Brodie filling in for Macka on Wobbygong. It’s great to see the next generation becoming part of the fleet.
Firestorm got a good start & held the lead for a lap or two, until Steve, Jeremy & Troy on Runaway spotted a good line on the second run and used it well, opening up a very comfortable lead that they would hold to the finish. Firestorm hung on for second but behind them it was close. SFC are retuning their rig following a recent mast breakage so have inconsistent speed. In this race they came through from behind to snag third. But this is no fluke. Michael is a very good sailor. They will be consistently back at the top soon.
Just 9 seconds in behind in 4th was Tim, Ryan & Luke on Stowe, proving that weight is no impediment in light airs. Another 20 seconds or so adrift was Wobbygong, with Matt, Brodie & Pete showing there is more to the boat than a new paint job. TBS was next, seeing the welcome return of Col to the fleet. The boat led the fleet several times throughout the regatta. Col still has it…
On corrected time it was an easy win for Black Diamond. Alex and Andrew are still getting used to the new boat but still know their way around the track. Runaway scored second & Wobbygong third.
Overall Runaway was the winner of the Teralba regatta & is equal leader of the state title series with Firestorm. Meeks & SFC share third. On corrected time Black Diamond & Wobbygong are equal first. This is great. Close competition lifts the fleet.
The next regatta is the Nationals at Teralba. We all know that the wind at Teralba means anything could happen. Come along and see….
Just a friendly reminder that the first VS association regatta is this coming weekend. I've just checked the weather forecast & the gale force winds will have moved on and the days should be nice and warm. And with the chance to have a closer look and swap tacks with the renovated SFC and Wobbygong (you won't recognise her) what other reasons do you need? Register for Teralba here TASC 76th Annual Regatta & Sabre NSW State Titles - Teralba Amateur Sailing Club Inc (teralbasailingclub.com.au)
The regatta races are also the first in the State & Travellers series. There is no entry fee for these series but you do need to have your boat registered & sailing memberships paid. We have a good number of boats that have already signed up so why not join in and support your association. It also makes scoring the races easier if everyone who is on the water is in the race!!!
It may also seem early days but entries for the nationals are open and those that enter before the end of the Teralba regatta will also receive free T-shirts for the three crew members at the nationals. The deadline is tight. Onya requires the orders by the start of December. We can't alter that but I've seen the design and it is good. So much so that I've already entered. A couple of others have also made the effort but I'd like to be ordering 50 shirts, not 12. Wendy will be taking sizes on the weekend.
If you cannot make it to teralba but want in for the Nationals T shirts promotion please send through your paperwork and payments. Cheque, cash or EFT is fine.
Of course entries for the nationals will be open until 27 January so if your circumstances prevent you from entering now don't stress. The F15's are talking up a big nationals series but I hope we can outdo them both on and off the water. A good turnout of VS's will be a great start.
Hopefully see you all on the weekend. FYI I haven't seen the starting times but I'd imagine we would be no earlier than 1400. I'll contact you in a mad panic if it is much earlier.
Good news. Teralba sailing club has reviewed our NOR for the upcoming nationals and it is ready here http://www.vs.asn.au/documents.html Note that entries received before the end of the Teralba regatta will also be eligible for Nats regatta T shirts. Michael N is working on another classic that you won't want to miss out on. I've already signed up. Why don't you?
Also a friendly reminder that the annual membership and rego for some boats and crews are still outstanding. If you are going to sail in any of the regattas and want to be included in the VS results you need to be a member of the class. Membership gives you free entry into both the State & Travellers Trophy series, which are run in conjunction with the regattas we attend. Imagine winning both races at Teralba but not appearing in the results. Membership and rego forms are on the website or contact me and I'll help you out.
There has been some good racing already at Teralba, featuring the rejuvenated SFC & Quay Accounting. Both look better than new. Come along to the Teralba regatta & see what I'm writing about. See you there. Cheers John
Meanwhile at Hornsby we have 3 x regular boats, Black Diamond (with Chook selling out after 47? years in VS's) is the new boat for Team White Line Fever (look for their old boat at Pickles auctions if you want it - cheap one to fix up). Jock and team Measurement Solutions have young sheethand Emma on board. Brian Gleeson is lurking round and may assemble a life experienced crew for a few key races and regattas provided we can get Brian into gear and keen. Alex.
No. I'm not referring to Rapid Antigen Tests. I'm referring to the grain, and now sail eating, rodents.
Matt did a bit of a clean out of the Teralba club boat shed last weekend and found a few rats nesting in VS sails. He chased the rats out and told them not to return, but suggested sailors who have sails stored under the club check their quiver soon and take the necessary steps to avoid a recurrence.
Sorry this is not applicable to our Hawkesbury members but, if we can catch these rats, I'm sure we could export them so you don't miss the experience and feel left out.
On other news, I'm currently liaising with the Formula 15 reps to finalise the upcoming nationals at Teralba. They are very keen so hopefully it will be a great regatta. Unfortunately they want a joint NOR so it is stuck in the consultation stage but the key item for VS sailors is that T shirts will be included as part of the entry. But we need to know your sizes!!!
If you are going to enter the nationals please let me know the T shirt sizes for your crew by Teralba regatta. 3 shirts will be provided per boat as part of your nationals entry. Additional shirts can be purchased for $30. MIchael Northanm is already working on the design so expect another classic from the legend.
Please contact me if you need more info.