I’ll argue with anyone who says VS racing is not HOT! As if the +36 degree temperatures weren’t enough, the state & TT series crowns were on the line at this regatta, so the racing was an intense as the temperature.
Unfortunately one of the reasons it all came down to Sunshine was the cancellation of the Vaucluse race. As I have reported previously the club was nearly destroyed in a winter storm. They have fought back and, whilst cancelling their annual regatta this year, have club racing each week. We couldn’t get enough starters this year but I would appeal to you to make an effort next year. The VS class started here, the sailing is ‘unique’, and they make us feel very welcome whenever we show up. It’s getting harder to get clubs to invite us (without paying for the privilege) so lets do it next season!
But I am just as excited about the Sunshine racing so here is a blurred summary-
With 36+ degrees temperatures for the past few days, the best place was to be by the water. And Sunshine delivered. A light breeze at the club built as we sailed to the start of the usual NE course. And it was a good fleet. Bozo & Kev grabbed a 16’ skiffy sailor to get PBB out of Teralba waters for once. Another welcome traveller was Devocean, as Roger & Nick teamed up with Lyndon. Unfortunately both had early showers. Devocean broke a rudder & PBB a mast step. Bad luck boys.
Also cursed by the DNF fairy was Brad, Chris & Ryan on Stowe, who were looking forward to exploiting the power in the crew as the breeze built, but instead ripped a spinnaker pulley from the deck. Tim, Kirra & Scott also DNF’ed after Scott crushed Kirra quickly against something unforgiving; whereas Jeremy, Tom & Hugh retired SFC after the boat slowly wore Jeremy down. Yep, we all remember how cool it was to sail on shorts & nothing else. Now the non-slip decks & other fitting abrade the skin quicker than a NS sailor runs from a shout. Jeremy was raw on most leg joints but soothed the pain with Dr VB on Saturday night.
So for the rest is was a great race. Firestorm opened up a handy lead after a lap but relaxed & swam on a gybe. Not used to this experience they then had another couple for dips later for good luck. TBS & Meeks saw the opportunity & had a great race – TBS gaining upwind & Meeks downhill. Around the final upwind mark with a run to the finish TBS had a small lead & set a kite. But they were hit by the gust of the day & took off at over 20 knots – great, except it was in the wrong direction. Meeks & Firestorm decided to two sail reach & looked ready for a close finish until Firestorm again tasted the tide.
Meeks had the pressure relieved & continued to take the gun, and the state title!!! Well done Meeks. Mick has been in the class on and off for a decade now so knows what it takes to win. With Robbie, Mark (& a few fill in’s – Phil & Geoff ) the Meeks crew have built a boat & a team that sailed consistently well throughout the series. No place lower than 2nd is a true championship-winning scorecard. I’ve always maintained any championship should be hard to win so it is enjoyable. Hopefully Meeks enjoyed the experience…
Back to the racing, and while Firestorm were arguing over what to do when the centreboard points skywards, Black Diamond were slipping though into 2nd place. Riley was absent but Chook & Hayden had recruited Pete Sullivan for the weekend. They enjoyed the breeze & sailed well and deserved their 2nd place. Firestorm recovered for 3rd, as did TBS for 4th.
Joe, Mitch & Kye on Raptor had a big swim on the first run but then kept pegging back the fleet to finish just behind TBS. Just a little further back was Incognito, with Andrew & Chris missing Greg (on MJ duty) but joined by Justin, another Hawkesbury local. With a retuned rig the boat looked better & Justin sailed well but they missed the synergy only a good crew can provide. Still they were not far off the pace & scored a 2nd on handicap. Very important in the overall results…
Still hot (temperature & the VS fleet!) but a forecast of a cool southerly raised our spirits. We missed a few from yesterday – Devocean & PBB succumbed to breakages & Black Diamond lost Pete to fight catastrophic fires. This was bad luck as Chook was well in the race to win the handicap trophy.
In the lighter conditions the start was hotly contested. So much so that Firestorm was called OCS. They enjoyed the course & annoyed the leaders but ended pointless. TBS lead around the first mark & went north on the first run whilst Meeks went west. In the end west was best & Meeks lead around the leeward mark & was untouched again to the finish. Another bullet to finish the regatta & the series. Can’t do much better…
TBS again sailed well to get 2nd, but behind things got close. Jeremy, Tom & Hugh sailing SFC Computers were forced over at the start by a pesky Skate but, sailed a good race back through the fleet to beat team ‘sponsor’ Tim on Plan B, home by less than a minute. But Tim showed experience is priceless when Plan B put Raptor in their place, beating them by a minute or so.
Next home was the Stowe boys; Brad, Ryan & Chris, with Incognito bringing up the rear. As seems to be the case with Andy, Greg, Chris (& fill-ins) they are either on the pace or off. It seems like a switch. But they have done plenty to develop their rig & boat this year and, excluding this race, sailed all races & finished well. As such I’m pleased to announce they have taken out the handicap state championship. Congratulations Andrew, Greg, Andrew (& Justin). I seem to remember this crew won the same title a few years ago under similar circumstances. Focus on the positives!
As for the TT series, only one boat finished all races. Meeks Real Estate. But this wasn’t the only treason hey won this series. They sailed consistently well all series! Again, congratulations to Mick, Robbie & Mark.
So that is the end of the association sailing events. The AGM & state presentation date will be confirmed soon, as will the nationals dates for the series at Neranie Sands. Keep an eye out for emails or updates here!