Teralba Regatta Report
OK. I’m struggling to find reason why attendance at association regattas is down this year. If it is because the weather isn’t to you liking then there was no reason not to attend the TT heats at Teralba – we had everything!
The weather bureau seems to get it fairly right these days. With predictions of thunderstorms correct, most crews spent the morning running in and out of the shed avoiding the showers whilst trying to rig. And trying to work out what the wind would do. As each storm came the rain & wind would increase and we’d get a great lightning show on Sugarloaf. Then it would pass, and so the breeze would follow it and die. Fortunately the storms were to the west so it was safe for a course to be set. Six boats lined up for a NW course start. Unfortunately at the gun the breeze swung N so it became a drag race to the first mark. Firestorm & Troy Botting Shipwright got the best at the start, with John, Dale & Lindsay on Firestorm rounding the windward mark just ahead of Col, Troy & Greg (capably subbing again for Adam) on TBS. There was only a boat length or two in it but, typical of anything out of the north or west at Teralba, there were gusts & holes everywhere. Firestorm picked up a nice gust & opened up a lead they would never lose. TBS eventually got into the same breeze & closed the gap at times, but on a one-sided course it is hard to pass & so had to settle for 2nd.
The race for 3rd was close all day, eventually going to Brian, Daniel & Tim on Under Pressure 2. They made their move on the last lap when they headed to the eastern side of the course & held good breeze to make up a few places. Very observant!!! The Zephyr boys had been doing this all day and were well in the race, despite still tuning a boat that has been in hibernation for some time. Eventually they finished a close 5th.
Tim, Jason & Hugh on SFC Computers were not far behind UP2 in 4th but were happy with the result, considering the time lost on a speedy kite run that turned sour when Tim was ejected off the back of the boat.
Bozo on Paul Boslem Building also had issues downwind when the tiller broke. Dom & Kev knew something
was wrong when the boat started going straight for a change, but eventually it ended in tragedy with a swim & a DNF. But as this is the TT series it is the handicap result that counts. On this front TBS claimed victory from Firestorm, with UP2 3rd.
As I said earlier the full spectrum of weather was dished out this weekend. Again six boats rigged on a warm sunny day with a nice steady SE’er blowing. Missing from the fleet today was Zephyr but filling their place was Alex, Jason & Jamee on Plan B. After testing the water with a quick dip before the start Alex was pin boat at the start & sped off towards Shipbuilders. SFC also made a good start & did similar to Plan B, but with a little more height. Similar again were Firestorm, albeit with more height again. These three jumped clear of the rest with SFC holding bragging rights, holding first place as the fleet crossed. Tim, Jason & Hugh had good speed
today & were looking good up the work, until getting a bad shift down near Marmong cost them dearly.
First round the windward mark was Firestorm, who had stuck to the eastern side of the course upwind & proceeded to do so downwind. This seemed to pay dividends, as they held 1st to the finish. Under Pressure 2 also used the east side of the course well & rounded the top mark 2nd. They held this place for a few laps until TBS, recovering from a poor first work, made their way through the fleet to claim a comfortable 2nd.
Brian and the boys held on to get 3rd despite a charging finish from Plan B, who had overcooked the finish mark & came in smokin’ on a two-sail reach. SFC never really recovered from the first work and the sometimes soggy conditions didn’t seem to suit them, eventually finishing 5th. Mick Turton made a welcome return to the VS fleet today at the helm of PBB, hopefully passing on some skiff sailing tips to Kev & Dom. They finished not to far adrift in 6th. Not a bad effort considering PBB is using an old mast that doesn’t suit their new sails.
But once again the handicap result is where it matters in these TT races. Getting the money, albeit only by 10 seconds, was SFC Computers from TBS with UP2 just a minute further back.
The next association event is the Nationals at Gosford, starting 5th January. NOR and details are on the web site. The Gosford club is very keen to have us & Chook has been showcasing the VS class on Brisbane Waters this year so it would be good to see a good roll up. It is only 6 afternoons of one week of the season you have to commit to so why not work out how you can be there rather than why you can’t.
Hope to see you there !!!!!!!
Hawkesbury - Regatta Race Report
You should have been there! It was another great Hawkesbury weekend. As usual the guys & gals at the Hawkesbury club went out of their way to make us welcome& to give us some good races. It was nice to sit under the trees on the beach & enjoy the unique venue that is the HKPCYC sailing club & surrounds.
And whilst it is always good to catch up with the Gleeson's on Under Pressure 2 & Alex, Peter & Myff on Wobbygong, it was especially nice to see a couple of new crews joining the fleet. The Sheldon boys have purchased Measurement Solutions & Tiarne, Meg & Bec have left the Flying 11’s & are now campaigning VS 2200. All members were pleased to see some ‘new blood’ in the fleet but seemingly none more so than Col, who went out of his way to meet the boys personally & show them his boat close up...
A smokey start to the day should have given us some clue that this weekend could be different. And, whilst the
weather threw up a few challenges for everyone, Graham, Mark & co applied some wise local knowledge & set us good courses for all races. Now it was up to the sailors to enjoy the nice, flat, uncrowded waters. And from the smiles on Saturday arvo I think everyone did. But as for Sunday…...
Saturday Race - All about the wind….
With a gentle Ne’er blowing & a run out tide, 8 boats lined up for the start. There were many crew changes so it was good to see those who made the effort to chase crews. Firestorm, about the only boat with the usual crew, went for the pin end & headed to the usually favoured northern side of the course with the fleet very close
behind. When the breeze freshened from the NE the entire fleet tacked & enjoyed a flat-water tramp up to the
top mark. It was very nice.
Firestorm rounded the top mark first, set the kite, and with a nice gust blasting them down the northern shore out of the current, looked likely to be unchallenged for the race. But we all know Hawkesbury. By the time they
rounded the bottom mark just a boat length behind was Gordon, Simon & Jason (subbing for a HSC studying Ryan) on Stowe. They had gone to the southern side of the course & made big gains on the run. Also doing similar were Brian, Dan & Elise (subbing for Tim) on Under Pressure 2 and the Raptor boys. Troy Botting Shipwright (with Greg Lowe making a return after 2 years to cover for Adam) & Wobbygong tried similar but ended up at the back of the fleet. There were two breezes – a NE’er on the northern side of the course& a SE’er on the other. The trick was to pick when to change sides. For the first lap or so the girls on 2200 & Mike Sheldon on Measurement Solutions picked it, and were in the mix. It was good to see.
The breeze kept everyone on their toes for the rest of the race. It was light & SE at the bottom mark; moderate & NE at the top mark. At the finish Firestorm claimed the win from TBS, who did a fine job coming back through the fleet, and Raptor 3rd.
Saturday Race 2. - All about the tide….
In the wait between races the wind died. In an attempt to fulfil our wish for two races on Saturday the Hawkesbury officials moved the course up toward Juno & away from the weird breeze near rusty cliff. And what a great move it was. As the day was getting on they decided to send the juniors home. With just the VS’s lining up for the start an 8 - 12 knot Easterly filled the course. But by now the tide had turned& started to run in hard. Now this had to be considered. This time it was Under Pressure 2 who chased Firestorm hard off the start. For this race the trick was to stay out of the tide upwind as much as possible. With boats diving in and out of the channel markers there was some good close racing. First to the top mark was Firestorm, with Under Pressure 2, TBS & Raptor in close pursuit. With the tide rushing in at the top mark it seemed logical to head out into the middle of the river. The front three set kites then gybed. Raptor did a gybe set. By the time they were at the bottom mark most of the fleet was in front of them. As Brian explained later the tide swirls around the top mark & actually dragged Raptor the wrong way. Up the next work, the leaders tried hard to keep out of the tide. Firestorm snuck into the shallows & made some good gains to round the top mark in first. Brian put his local knowledge & boat speed to good use, rounding in second with a nice gap to TBS. This looked like the
finishing order of the top three until 100m from the leeward mark, where Under Pressure 2 found a hole, only to watch TBS run past them to eventually take 2nd from them by 11 seconds. Raptor recovered for 4th whilst behind there was another close tussle underway. This time the locals prevailed as Wobbygong snuck home in front of Stowe by 7 seconds. For a first VS regatta, the Measurement Solutions boys sailed well, finishing just a few minutes further back. Arguably just as good an effort was that of the girls on 2200, finishing just a little
further back in a boat that needs a little tuning (how long since anyone has seen a timber spinnaker pole)..
Sunday- All about survival….
Today was always going to be interesting. The weather forecast was for strong Westerlies before an afternoon
southerly buster. But as we waited at the boat ramp all we could see was smoke. A light NW’er was blowing and it was hot. A couple of crew changes again today, foremost the welcome return of Steve Sims at the helm of TBS. Paige Botting also returned to the fleet, today sailing up front on TBS. Must have heard how good Saturday was. Come start time, seven boats headed to the start line at Juno. A moderate westerly was blowing but typical of this breeze it would pulse through fresh for a few minutes then abate for a similar time.
Unfortunately the start was delayed due to problems with a buoy and whilst another anchor was sourced the breeze freshened more. Measurement Solutions & 2200 had a swim or two and were dragged by the tide around to Patonga. Unfortunately two DNS’s. The rest of the fleet got away & battled to tide back toward the club. Firestorm lead up the first work, chased closely TBS. Firestorm rounded the windward mark first & set a kite in a black one. The same gust tipped TBS just before the mark. They quickly righted the boat but found the vang broken to DNF. The Stowe boys had a few swims and also made for shore. It was similar stories for Wobbygong & Under Pressure 2, except I believe one might have a hole in a sail as evidence of a wild capsize. More DNF’s. So in the end Firestorm was the last boat standing. I can tell you it was wild at times but the kite runs were some of the quickest I’ve ever done. Full results, including handicap places, will be posted
Not quite race related but I know of interest to VS members are a couple of items. Firstly, I know all members will join me in wishing Sam Kelly a full and speedy recovery. For those who may not know, Sam suffered a life-threatening condition recently and has been undergoing treatment in hospital ever since. Latest news is that an operation was successful and Sam is path to recovery. We all look forward to seeing the all the Kelly’s around the rigging area again soon, especially Capt’n Col – I can’t believe how slow he is unrigging without Sam!!.
Also making news is that Chook has sold Raptor. But what makes this a good news story is that Chook will still be on the VS start lines – he has bought 2232. I’ve heard a rumour the buyer of Raptor is new to the class but an experienced sailor so the move should see another boat on the water. Well done Bob.
Finally a quick reminder about the upcoming regattas. Teralba TT races are on 23rd & 24th of November. The nationals at Gosford have been confirmed, starting Sunday 5th January with racing until Saturday 11th. I have been working on the arrangements & programme with Gosford SC and can tell you they are keen on hosting us. We are sharing the venue with the National E’s. Start planning for it now. Eventually there will be no more VS regattas so get in while you can!.
I hope to see you on the water soon.
Taree / Manning Pt 2013 Report
Taree – Manning Point Race Report
The 2013 VS regatta season started last weekend with Travellers Trophy races at Taree & Manning Point. It was a bit of a disappointing roll up, only four boats made the trip, but with the season starting late at most clubs I guess it could be reasoned that many crews just weren’t organised enough for the trip away. Either that or the class will have to seriously consider dropping more of the away events.
That would be a shame as clubs like Taree always make us feel very welcome & go out of their way to accommodate our needs. George, Richard, David & co set courses & start times to fit our needs, and there is a great rigging area & a nice bar & club for socialising. Sailing on the river is a different experience, but those who sailed will be that little bit better at tacking & gybing. So to the racing…
Saturday - Taree
With a nice little one-to-two on the wire NE’er blowing Raptor & Firestorm made the best of the start. Bob, Adam & Hayden (who is trying to re-adjust to a sailing a boat 85 feet smaller than he has been recently) used a bit of local knowledge and played the shore nicely to soon open up a small lead from Firestorm.
Troy Botting Shipwright (TBS) showed they have lost none of the speed of last season and were quickly in the mix, ducking & weaving through the leaders. Unfortunately a wind shift just when they were ducking caused a clash of masts with Firestorm, allowing Raptor to open us a nice lead and putting SFC Computers (SFC) right in the mix. A trawling exercise with the kite at the first set hurt Raptor, allowing Firestorm through by a small margin from TBS & SFC. After a run of many gybes chasing the gusts Col, Adam & Troy again showed good downhill speed in TBS to close the gap to less than a boat length to Firestorm at the leeward mark. The next lap was very similar. Firestorm opened up a small lead upwind, only to be caught downwind by TBS. This time though TBS picked a nice gust near the bottom marks to be ahead at the bottom mark, albeit still only a boat length in it. With the front two boats pushing hard SFC & Raptor were left to race themselves. Tim, Jason & Hugh also remembered where to find the speed of last season & opened up a small lead from Raptor.
After opening up a gap up the final work TBS rounded the windward mark with a comfortable lead but just as Firestorm found earlier in the race, the boat running behind tends to bring the wind to the frontrunner. This time Firestorm picked a nice gust near the bottom mark and just managed to round the bottom marks in the lead, yet again with only a boat length in it. TBS tried everything to regain the lead, including a swim, but in the end Firestorm go home 1st with TBS 2nd. SFC rounded the top mark the last time comfortably in 3rd but, like the leaders, found the chasing boat brings the wind & had to sail well to stop the hard charging Raptor from passing. In the end SFC held on for 3rd by about 20 seconds.
Sunday - Manning Point
After a good evening socialising & resting weary bodies the fleet arrived at Manning Point to see the building Ne’er most sailors all dream of. But in these dreams the breeze doesn’t continue to build and there is usually a bikini clad model lying on the deck with a beer. By the time George & Richard had set the course it was +20 knots & the tide was starting to tear out. Bob looked at Hayden & Adam, worked out that combined they weight about 100kg, and decided to DNS. Tim looked at his top spreaders, worked out he should have fixed them, and also decided to DNS. With the breeze still building but with boats rigged, TBS & Firestorm decided to give it a go. After a lap in which both boats had great spinnaker runs TBS had a swim and decided to save gear and DNF. With no competition left Firestorm also decided to DNF, throwing a swim in on the way home for good measure. So in the end no finishers but equally no boats or bodies to repair. Which is good because the next association regatta is at Hawkesbury on 2nd & 3rd November. These races are both Travellers Trophy
& State series. Don’t forget we have two races scheduled for Sunday the 3rd.
Finally it looks like the nationals will be at Gosford from 5th to 11 January 2014. More info soon but I’d plan for holidays now. Who knows it might be the last?