The 2012 VS regatta season opening weekend at Taree has been and gone. If you weren’t there you missed a great weekend. The Taree club always makes us feel very welcome. Courses & start times are altered to fit our needs, there is a great rigging area & a nice bar & club for socialising. Sailing on the river is a different experience, but I’m sure, all who sailed will be that little bit better at tacking & gybing from the
experience. So to the racing !!!!!!!!
Saturday - Taree
When we arrived during the morning you could face the river & feel the breeze directly in your face.
Yep a southerly was blowing & it looked like a day of 2 sail reaching. But we are there to sail so everybody got about rigging. But there were some surprises to come…
The first surprise was Brian & the boys showing up with a different boat. Brian had made an offer & bought 2240 Under Pressure 2 just that morning. It was a bit dusty but the boys soon worked out how to fix that!
The second surprise was a breakage on 2236 Troy Botting Shipwright. For those of you that are unaware this is Ol’Yella after a major off-season rebuild. The workmanship is first class & the boat looks fantastic. And it
is fast!!! So to hear that there was a breakage whilst rigging & the boat was being packed up was a shock. But
fear not. The boat was 100% OK & the breakage was only a top spreader. (Col - you should have asked Troy to refurb the mast as well). With all crews chipping in, a jury-rigged spreader was fitted & TBS was ready for
Whilst we were all busy with this the breeze swung nicely to the SE that allowed for a good course to be set. All
boats got away well, with a good work down river to the bay. Firestorm held a close lead from TBS
& Runaway, with SFC also in the mix. From here it got interesting. With 4‘sausages’ of the bay, a freshening breeze and the local fleet sharing a tight course there was some wide eyes as boats approached at high
speeds. I think all boats have a story to tell but one standout incident involved TBS at full speed under kite
heading toward Under Pressure 2 who was on the breeze. It was going to be close but seemed in control
until Col exited the boat via the stern, whereby TBS accelerated (now that 70kg of ballast had been lost) & veered directly toward UP2. With Brian considering taking UP2 back home in a box, both boats somehow capsized, ending centreboard to centreboard but with no contact. At least Brian got the dust well & truly washed off. At the finish Firestorm avoided swimming (just) to win from a well-sailed SFC Computers 2nd & TBS recovering for 3rd. The conditions didn’t suit them but Raptor also sailed well for 4th with Range
having a few swims ending up 5th. On handicap SFC got the gong from Firestorm& Raptor.
Sunday - Manning Point
After a good evening socialising & resting weary bodies the fleets arrived at Manning Point to see a nice 10-12 knot southerly blowing. With flat water the fleet got away to an even start off Harrigans, with plenty of position swapping up the first work. First onto the run was SFC, with a handy lead from Firestorm with Range, TBS & Raptor all covered by seconds. Good tactics by TBS with a gybe set & aggressive running saw them with a nice lead at the bottom mark from the bunch including Firestorm, Range & SFC. Up front TBS & Firestorm jumped clear a little & had a great race, swapping the lead on several occasions, as Firestorm would have an
edge upwind only for TBS to match that advantage downwind. In the end Firestorm held on for a close victory from Troy Botting Shipwright. The rest of the fleet had similar battles. SFC & Range swapped places many times until Steve went what should have been the correct way downwind, only to become becalmed &
watch SFC plane away to chalk up a nice 3rd. Raptor 5th also had to keep an eye out as Brian & the boys started to work out how to sail Under Pressure 2. In the end they finished not too far behind in 6th, which was more than enough to claim the handicap victory from Gordon & the boys on Stowe Australia in 2nd
with Raptor 3rd.
The next regatta is at Hawkesbury this coming weekend 3rd & 4th November. The club has a good fleet of juniors so this is a good opportunity to show them why they should consider a VS in years to come. The
club will have the canteen operating & tow around arrangements are as usual. Contact a committee member if you want more details. For anyone considering staying Saturday night I have been told there are still a few rooms available at the Anglers Rest pub. The gang are also planning on eating at the pub restaurant on Saturday night so if you’d like to come along make a booking. I have heard it gets booked out on weekends.
Hopefully see you at Hawkesbury!