Since Christmas, VS State & Travellers races have been sailed at Sunshine, Vaucluse & Yarra Bay. I’d like to say great sailing conditions at all venues, but I’d be lying. But certainly the quality of the racing (and the après sailing activities) since the nationals has been first rate.
A steady southerly breeze saw a good roll up of 12 boats hit the water on Saturday. Unfortunately not all finished. At a congested start area Measurement Solutions had a minor bingle & returned to shore. Runaway made the start, but proceeded to break trapeze lines at regular intervals throughout the race until they also DNF’ed. The fleet was very pleased to see our mate Bozo return to sailing after his heart attack, and PBB did a few steady laps before coming ashore. It shouldn’t be long until Paul, Kev & Oden are back in full swing.
On the water, Firestorm grabbed the lead from the start to the finish by a small margin. There was a fierce battle for 2nd between Purple Headed Warrior & Ol’ Yella with positions being regularly swapped, until Col, Adam & Troy picked a good final run to claim 2nd. Dynamic Route never really hit form for 4th with Add 123 again showing nice form for 5th. To their credit, Wildtrack was involved in an incident at the start but sailed the race and finished with a fair hole in their side. Very focussed… Add 123 scored the handicap victory.
Sunday saw the southerly breeze continue to blow, albeit a little fresher. With flat water there was some great rides & sailing to be had by all. From the start it looked like it was going to be a repeat of Saturday. Not quite. Firestorm suffered a broken D1 up the first beat & fell through the fleet. Runaway tore the spinnaker tack pulley from the pole on the first set & made repairs, but not until losing a lot of time.
Up front Meika, Dev & Peter on PHW were revelling in the fresh conditions. Ol’Yella & Add 123 were keeping them honest whilst Firestorm & Runaway tried to make up places. In the end Firestorm managed to grab the lead up the final work but PHW did not give up, grabbing victory within boat lengths of the line with a great spinnaker set. Well done. Ol’ Yella & Add 123 showed their KI heavy weather form was no fluke with 3rd & 4th respectively. PHW scored the double with a handicap victory from Ol’ Yella & Add 123.
Those of you who attend will know the Sydney weekend is unique. The congestion & chop on the harbour is enough to make a man drink. Luckily the Vaucluse club turn on a great presentation & dinner, with generous prizes from sponsor Musto and a boat load of beverages. And with the party in full swing in the penthouse overlooking the harbour in full swing until the wee hours, most VS’ers forgot the anxiety of the sailing. (Some still recovering well into the next day??).
On the water a good roll up of 8 quality boats in a light NE’er meant very close racing. After 1 lap all the fleet was together at the lee mark. From here Firestorm eked out a small lead to win from Runaway with Raptor an easy 3rd. In what could be significant in the final point score, Ol’ Yella had a good run to the finish to pip PHW by seconds, with Add 123 just behind. No surprise that Raptor took handicap honours.
We moved the Sydney weekend forward in the calendar looking for better breezes, but once again Botany Bay was glassy. A southerly was predicted, but when would it hit?
A light westerly finally filled in, enough to set a course & start. Clean, uncrowded waters were a welcome change to the harbour chaos. Once again the light breeze kept the fleet together & things were tight for the first lap with most boats having a go at the lead. Firestorm & Runaway hit the front at the right time, just when the breeze clocked & it became a soldiers course. With no more than a few boat lengths between them, these two held places to the finish, with Ol’Yella 3rd again just beating PHW 4th. Runaway took the handicap prize.
The final TT race is scheduled for 2 April at Port Hunter. At the moment Add 123 & Purple Headed Warrior equal leaders, with Stowe & Raptor both just 2 points adrift. The states results were decided on the final day & so will the TT series. Good luck…
VS Race Secretary.