Only seconds in it. The racing just keeps getting better…….
Hawkesbury was a great weekend for VS racing. A good fleet of 11 boats, a flat, uncrowded waterway and a nice breeze (at times) all made for great racing. And whilst it was sometimes difficult with the ebb tide, I think the old adage of ‘if it isn’t hard, it isn’t worth doing’ makes the highs all that much more enjoyable.
And there were a good deal of highlights. Here are a few….
With a gentle breeze blowing & a run out tide, a good fleet of 11 boats lined up for the start. And the first boat
to‘enjoy’ was Battleship. Jono, Andrew & Dean made a welcome return to the fleet after a year in exile & promptly won the start, crossing the ‘big guns’ up the first work. But Battleship weren’t alone. Tim, Jason & Hugh on SFC Computers also made a good start & had their share of the lead up the first work. But the big revelation in the fleet continues to be Brian, Daniel & Tim on Under Pressure 2. Also crossing tacks up the first work, UP2 showed speed & local knowledge go together well and lead the fleet around the first mark. There is no time to relax downwind though. Col, Adam & Troy on Troy Botting Shipwright completed a perfect gybe-set & worked hard downwind, making good gains to open up a nice lead at the bottom mark from SFC with Firestorm, Runaway & UP2 just boat lengths behind. TBS continued to open up their lead but being in the right place for the breeze was the order of the day. Firestorm found a nice line upwind on the 3rd lap to take the lead & open up a nice gap over the next lap but once again clever downwind sailing, and a nice line of wind, saw TBS retake the lead on the final run to take a comfortable win from Firestorm. Just a little further back there was a great race for 3rd with tacks crossed coming to the finish. Range, with Neil making a welcome stand-in appearance for Mick, held on for 3rd by seconds from SFC and UP2 just 5 seconds further back. Just a little further back Michael, Jason& Jamee are continuing to get Add123 into the groove and sailed well for 6th, a minute ahead of Peter & a new young crew on Measurement Solutions. Battleship had downwind issues all day & faded, as did Gordon, Ryan & Matt on Stowe, who seemed to have no height upwind. Rounding out the fleet were Alex, Myf & Peter, who were getting to know Wobbygong for the first time, and Paul Boslem Building, with Paul, Oden & Kev making a welcome return to the fleet. There was little surprise that handicap winner for the day was the Gleeson boys on Under Pressure 2.
With more sun and a steady NE’er blowing, there were plenty of smiles in the VS fleet on Sunday. Unfortunately we had lost a few boats with crew & other commitments but we picked up Bob, Hayden& Chris on Raptor so a racy 8 boats lined up for the start. With all boats stringing two-on-the-wire upwind & down it was good VS sailing conditions. Up front Firestorm, Troy Botting Shipwright & SFC Computers had a great battle for the first lap, regularly swapping places, with UP2 once again in the mix. First to ‘blink’ though was SFC, who found a hole downwind & had a quick swim. Battleship also was pacey upwind but this time found another downwind issue – their centreboard broke! Also with a downwind issue was Raptor. After having been applauded by spectators as being spectacularly fast in a huge gust, the boys made an equally spectacular halt with a big swim. With the tide pushing them towards the rocks& anchored boat, their shot at the lead was gone. A pattern was emerging up front with Firestorm gaining upwind & TBS regaining downwind, such that many times these boat were nose to tail. In the end Firestorm held on for the win from TBS with SFC comfortably 3rd. UP2 once again had a good race, finishing 4th and Raptor recovered for 5th. Peter had yet another new crew on Measurement Solutions but sailed really well, with no swims, to finish 6th, just 1 second clear of Stowe. As I said earlier, only seconds in it…Handicap winner on the day was TBS. The next regatta is Travellers Series heats at Teralba on 24th & 25thNovember. I hope to see you there.