What a great regatta! Good breezes, good temperatures, great sailing and great company. There will be many stories to be told from the weekend. Here are a few...
Saturday Race 1. A tale of the tide...
As is often the case on the river, going to the correct side of the course can make a huge difference. And so it was in this race. TBS had good upwind speed in this 1 lap sprint and held a handy lead around the top mark, followed by SFC, Firestorm & Black Diamond. Yep. Alex, Andrew & Rob had shown good upwind speed and knowledge of the tide to round the mark hot on Firestorm's tuck. They were soon past them as Firestorm slipped to the back of the fleet after snagging the buoy rope.
But unfortunately, the tide was about to come into play. TBS had completed one of their legendary gybe/sets and headed left towards Challenger Head. Black Diamond did similarly as did most of the rest of the fleet, except for SFC and Firestorm. SFC sailed down the middle of the course and took an easy gun. Firestorm found the tide favourable behind Juno and ended up second. Having battled through the tide, TBS held on for third, finishing a few seconds ahead of Stowe.
Saturday Race 2. Very close at the front....
Now the fleet knew which way to go it was always going to be a close race. SFC, Firestorm & TBS traded places for 3 of the 4 laps, until Firestorm made a break on the final work and held the lead to the finish. Runaway had started slowly but was finding speed with their recut mainsail and had moved into second place down the final run. Unfortunately, they took one wrong gybe and relinquished the place to SFC. But they had moved past TBS and Stowe, so the signs were promising.
Saturday Social Evening. Good food. Good company. Great entertainment. Ask someone about the lighting of the bonfire (and how fast Zack can run!!). Too much petrol? Everyone survived....
Sunday. Easy at the front....
TBS had a race to remember. Leading around every mark and easily taking the gun in a nice nor'easter. What more could you want? Runaway continued where they left off on Saturday and again moved through the fleet, this time hanging on to finish second. Mick, Lennon & Gabe sailed SFC to third, but this was enough to claim the Hawkesbury River Cup. This trophy has been contested for over 50 years. You are now part of that history. Well done lads.
The final association race is scheduled for the weekend 15/16 April (day still to be confirmed). This race is the final of the Travellers Trophy series, which is well from a done deal. All scores count in this series so a DNS is costly.
Regardless, sailing on Newcastle harbour is fun. Hope to see you there.