With the first VS association races run last weekend at Taree & Manning Point, it seemed appropriate for a quick recap. I believe there is a detailed race report coming so I won’t go into too much detail here.
First of all the regatta race times & full results are posed on the web. Official State & Travellers results are yet to be posted (because I am still updating the spreadsheets!!) but at this stage both series are the same. You can see for yourself it was pretty close racing on Saturday & therefore plenty of smiles on Saturday night. More on the racing later.
Taree club always makes us very welcome & we were privileged to be invited the weekend the club dedicated some new training boats to past members. Amongst those honoured were Steve Masters - VS Life member, Dallas Eggins - multiple VS championship winner, and Wal Humphries – our recently passed mate & VS stalwart. The new little training boats named after these guys look good fun & the kids were having a great time on the water. I’m sure those honoured would be smiling.
So to the smiles of Saturday night? Maybe because of some refreshments, but I think it was in relief that there was no more tacking & gybing that day! A tricky breeze & a bit of traffic meant many changes of direction but to give credit, I don’t think I saw any swims in the race. (We can forget one by Firestorm after the finish – I am trying too…). All boats finished fairly close together with plenty of position swapping throughout the race.
The fleet was down in numbers a little but it was nice to see Alex, Peter & Myff on the water in Marengo. The boat is from Hawkesbury so if you think about it you might be able to reason the name. Another change in the fleet is the latest Stowe Australia. Gordon & the boys have quietly upgraded the boat (it is now the old Dynamic route). Once they get used to the boat I expect them to step up another rung in the fleet.
Sunday at Manning Point saw the fleet rig in very slight breeze, but by the time we started the sea breeze was kicking nicely. The slant of the wind resulted in a slightly shorter course than usual. We chose to do 5 laps anyway, and I think that was a good choice. By the time the fleet finished, less than an hour later, the breeze had built to 20 knots and again there were many tired sailors looking for a quiet lie down. Today the fatigue was not only down to tacking & gybing; there was a few swims too. Unfortunately many of these were due to breakages (rudder pins were popular) or hitting the bottom. But it wouldn’t be a Taree weekend without a centreboard in the bottom, would it?
A reminder the next regatta is at Hawkesbury on 5th & 6th November.
Hopefully see you then.
With the season underway at many clubs it seemed a good time to give you a quick update & reminder of VS matters. In no particular order, here goes:
National Championships. This season’s national championships are to be held at Port Hunter from Monday 2nd January to Sunday 8th. Final details are still being sorted but the club has confirmed that camping will be available at the club. The harbour is a unique place to sail and, with shipping movements increasing on the harbour each year, the likelihood of sailing at this venue in future years might be limited. We are looking to schedule our races around the shipping and might even consider an offshore race.
So if you missed last years nationals because of cost or distance, strike those excuses off and mark the dates in your diaries. There is word a few locals are looking to get on boats too…..
State & Travellers Series. In case you missed them the NORs for these series have been posted on the web site but here is a summary of the dates:
Please note that entries for the state & travellers series both close on 22 October. (It’s near impossible to run a series when you don’t know who is in it). Entry is free to members and can be done by either ticking a box on the membership form or completing the entry form in the NOR, or if that is too hard email a committee member! Just let us know….
Memberships are due. It always seems like a drain on the wallet at the start of the season but the good news is the fees are the same as last year! (and the year before). $10 per member & $150 boat registration. I’m sure payment before or at Taree would be appreciated by treasurer Mark Nugent. But if you cannot arrange that cheques via post or bank transfer are options. Contact Mark to discuss.
I might be preaching to the converted but why join? The VS association has insurances & other fees (YA) that need payment to keep us as a recognised sailing class. The majority of money disappears here. We also have to pay clubs to host our nationals each year. There are other costs, such as website & trophy maintenance but too. Outside of this we try to return the money to members by the way of prizes.
But the prizes always go to the same boats? On scratch there are a few established contenders, but don’t forget all boats are more than capable. For example, who could forget the scratch results at the Nationals: Wobbygong winning 1 heat & leading another; Add123 getting two 2nd places & leading another heat by a leg until a wind shift; Ol’Yella winning a heat with daylight second.
The VS handicapping system is pretty well refined, giving all boats that sail a good chance of victory. Of the boats that competed in the Travellers series last year only 1 didn’t get a victory somewhere in the series. Similarly at the nationals there was only 1 boat that did not get a victory on handicap (Firestorm). The bottom line is the more you sail the better your chances…
But I can’t sail in all the regattas so it’s not worth entering the States or travellers or being a member? For those members who have other commitments or cannot sail at all the regattas, not all is lost. Remember each association regatta race is run as a separate event, with all registered boats eligible for the daily prizes. All boats are allocated a handicap at the beginning of the season. So if you don’t want to enter the States or Travellers series, but decide it would be good to come to say race on Sunday at Teralba – come along!! You can drift around with the rest of us & might get a prize. It would be a shame to have your best race of the season and not be in the race!
And if I haven’t convinced you yet to join/rejoin think about the intangible benefits the VS association offers. Not many associations will help with all aspects of boat rigging or tuning, has a hull mould available, nor helps arrange replacement crews, boats & equipment, etc. Where would we be without Tim?
Heard on the grapevine…