This will be interesting. I’m trying to write reports for three races that I didn’t start in! So straight away I cannot use the old “in the end good looks got Firestorm home in first from xx” line. I’ll have to rely on a few other facts. Therefore the report may be shorter than usual but here goes…..
The weather forecast before the Sydney weekend was for an East Coast low to form off Sydney on the Saturday night. With the use of computer modelling, I think most would agree that the forecasts are now pretty accurate. With this in mind, allied with the fact that a 30 knot nor-easter was belting down the harbour, the Vaucluse club cancelled their regatta mid morning. Word quickly spread amongst the fleet & those who had not left or had not committed to staying overnight stayed home, whilst the rest headed into the storm. As usual, the Vaucluse club were fantastic hosts. Capt’n Col, Mark & others dropped by to say hello & were met with the usual hospitality, but without the sailing. Free drinks & food until you dropped kept them entertained until ???
Others, such as Firestorm & Raptor, seized the moment & headed to Double Bay to watch the 18 footer worlds. We all know the 18’s folk law of "sail in anything". Except for 30 knot NE’ers that is !!!!!!!!!!
Yep, we watched them rig then stand around, puffed up ready to go, with postponement after postponement, until finally they abandoned. We learned a bit (show you what next season!) and headed off to Bondi for the night. Walking the streets after diner we thought “gee it’s getting breezy”.
Driving to Yarra Bay on Sunday morning we noticed a few leaves & branches down until we reached Malabar. There we saw police road blocks, houses with roofs blown off, trees up-rooted, power lines down, empty bottles on the street. The East Coast low forecast was true to form! As this was the final heat of the state titles, pretty well all in contention were here ready to sail. Rigged, puffed up & ready to go, the fleet was about to hit the water when we received the call from the starters boat. "Wind speed up to 30 knots. Could be dangerous. What do you want to do?” As championship rivals I immediately thought "send TBS out" but then my conscience got to me so we postponed the start. Copying the 18’s, we monitored the conditions over several postponements until eventually we called it quits.
Again the hospitality of the Yarra Bay officials was exceptional. They would have waited longer but we unrigged, hit the bar, had a few drinks, then headed home. Remember we were skiffys, just like the 18 footers:)
With the states over the final regatta would decide the Travellers Trophy. I have said it endlessly over the
recent years, but again the title would be decided by the final race. Late in the season many had other
commitments, but the hot contenders showed up. The Port Hunter boys always welcome us for their regatta, and with a good yardstick, the VS’s always have a good time. Troy Botting Shipwright, SFC Computers,
Stowe Australia, Plan B & Paul Boslem Building lined up for a start to decide the Travellers Trophy. With a light SE breeze, flat water with an ebb tide low mid race 5 x VS’s faced the starter in a mixed Regatta fleet working to the Pilot station on the first of 4 windward return laps, starboard rounding & kite sets for the run to the Dockyard shore. TBS lead to the top mark with SFC in close company setting up a “bungy cord” connection for the race. These 2 worked the river from both shores as the tide turned with little gain in the margin between them. TBS short tacked the Stockton shore in the flood tide , SFC chancing their uphill attack via the Newcastle shore. Plan B stalking the front runners & closing downhill followed by Stowe & PBB. With 2 ship movements during the race to work into the strategy another good Port Hunter final season race was had by all. TBS & SFC picking up yardstick places in a mixed fleet of Cats, 2 handed 16’s & MG’s in the host clubs annual Cock of the Harbour Regatta. On scratch, Col, Adam & Troy continued their good form of the season & took line honours albeit less than a minute ahead of Tim, Jason & Hugh on SFC Computers. Michael, Jason & Jamee brought Plan B home just a couple of minutes further back in 3rd. Not much further back was Gordon, Doug & Ryan in Stowe. But this was enough to get them the handicap victory for the day from TBS & SFC. And how significant was this! In the final series point score Stowe & SFC finished for a tie on 31 points. But on a count back 1 boat had two wins compared to one and got the title: Stowe Australia. Congratulations Gordon, Doug & Ryan. Yes you have to show up to the regattas to win but you also have to sail well. This crew is always in the mix & travels further than most. Well deserved Travellers Trophy winners. The State series winners were also decided after the Sydney weekend. Full series results are posted on the web but congratulations to all winners.
Why not come along to the end of season presentation & celebrate with them and have a good time with VS friends. And plan next season. Details to be announced soon.