I was going to give you a report after the Hawkesbury weekend but Covid has laid me low. I am recovering OK but I seemed to lose a week. All I remember of the weekend was:
Congratulations to all the winners.
Are we getting back to normal life? It seems like just yesterday that we were locked down & gatherings were frowned upon. That began two years ago… Yep. Covid19 disrupted everything we knew, and that included VS racing.
But no more! Restrictions are being wound back and regattas are now back on the calendar as usual. Almost. As of November, we were still in a state of flux, so the AGM set a hybrid regatta calendar for the season. No traditional nationals series over a week at Christmas this season, instead replaced by the results from various regatta races. The states & travellers series have resumed in a format similar to previous seasons, being selected races from regattas. Apologies that the usual race documentation hasn’t been published but this would have been documenting details after the event, so as per the AGM resolution and minutes, the regatta schedule is:
So the story so far…
Teralba regatta was sailed but not quite to plan. A stiff southerly lead to the Saturday race being postponed. Two races were sailed on Sunday. Firestorm & Incognito were the only finishers in the first race. Chris, Greg & Tom good enough to win on corrected time. But the starters were a bit cruel and started the second race before they could return to the start line L
Race 2 was a better contest. TBS rejoited the fleet after suffering rig troubles in the previous race, but the revelation of the day was the performance of The Green Boat. 2226 is arguably the fastest boat in the fleet, but she is cranky. Craig and his crew are learning to tame the beast and showed the skills they have, sailing a great race and winning on corrected time. Good one.
Sunshine was the next regatta & it was destined to be unusual. Many of us were still saddened by the recent passing of Alf, founder of South Lakes and long-time supporter of the VS class. Then there was the breeze that was weird. A moderate southerly blew as we rigged then, as the sail past tribute was about to begin, a 25-knot southerly kicked in. Boats capsized everywhere and many chose to stay on the bank. It looked like the race would be abandoned. Then by chance, or Alf’s intervention?, the wind dropped to a 8 to 10 knot SE’er with flat water. Bliss. The track was a bit one sided but there was still ground to be made with strategic tacking & gybing. Firestorm loved the conditions & took out the scratch & handicap double.
The Sunday race was also sailed in lighter breezes but on an unusual Easterly course in “the gutter”. An unpredictable place to sail from previous experiences. And that continued. Steve, Gabe & Troy sailed Runaway magnificently all race and held a comfortable lead until the final spinnaker run. Here the breeze abandoned them, and they watched Meeks & Firestorm slip by on the other side of the course. But the bad luck of Meeks was to continue. On Saturday Geoff, Mark & Dave (yep Dave who sailed with Bozo more than a decade ago & survived) had 2nd place secured but went for a quick swim on the last tack and lost the place. Today, on the two sail reach home, the wind abandoned them and Runaway dipped below them and again relegated them to 3rd place. Bad luck boys.
But the revelation of the day was Jock and this crew on Measurement Solutions. They have been quietly developing, and with a new set of sails, now regularly upend the established pecking order at Hawkesbury. They scored a 2nd on corrected time on Saturday; on Sunday they easily took the win.
This leads to the reason for this report. To try to continue the renewed enthusiasm. For example we were expecting 10 starters at Hawkesbury for the regatta. That is a great fleet.
Hopefully everyone makes the commitment to support the regatta on the new dates 19 & 20 March. Following this is the Newcastle Sailfest on 26 & 27 March.
All races form part of our nationals, state or travellers series. Dropped scores will help you stay in contention if you have missed a race or two, but by far the best way to be competitive is to sail.