Frustrating. I think that would be the word that first comes to mind of the crews that sailed in the Teralba regatta. Think of breeze lines that skimmed the edges of the course, fluctuated in direction by 45 degrees, ranged in strength from 2-8 knots, and you’ll have a good idea of the conditions. But on the positive side the boat handling was great throughout the regatta and there were no capsizes…
Saturday. We were missing a few from the fleet – Devocean was out of crew; Incognito was out of the country. But Alex and Andrew made the trip to represent the Hawkesbury club, debuting their new boat Black Diamond. As a result of finding out that the cardinal mark at Belmont slips cannot the ignored, White line Fever has been replaced by Black Diamond. Yep. Chook is now without a boat. It is a shame to think Chook has finished sailing VSs. After only 50 years in the class, you’d have thought he could have hung on a little longer… If we can’t coax him back and this is the end then look out for a tribute. A class legend deserves no less.
So eight boats lined up on Saturday. A late wind shift saw the pin end favoured and SFC made the perfect port hand start to cross Meeks & Firestorm and jump away to a small lead. But this wasn’t a follow the leader day. If you went left you would get a breeze with more north. If you went right you’d get a breeze from the south. Go up the middle and you’d get nothing. So I saw SFC, Meeks, Runaway, TBS & Firestorm all lead the fleet at some time during the first lap. Stowe gave the fleet a bit of a head start by sailing to the wing mark. Black Diamond gave the fleet a head start by missing the start by 5 minutes. Both would recover.
The downwind legs were as tricky as the upwind legs, and it was on the 2nd downwind leg that Firestorm went towards Marmong when the leaders went towards Speers. John, Dale & Courtney on Firestorm scored some favourable breeze and jumped to a lead they would not relinquish. Runaway kept them honest, continually favouring the east upwind and benefiting by scoring a nice second place. Next was Meeks, TBS & SFC, all trading places on the last lap. On corrected time Matt, Mackenzie & Pete gave the newly refurbished Wobbygong the perfect regatta debut by claiming the win. Good one.
Sunday. The forecast fading NW’ers came to fruition. We were pushed to a later start, so Bozo could change the course if required (but that was never going happen), so the wind was very fickle. Seven boats lined up, missing the Meeks mob who were at the 16’skiffs, but there was still some presence from the T family, with Kate standing in on TBS. Other sibling crew changes saw Mackenzie subbing in for Gabe on SFC & Brodie filling in for Macka on Wobbygong. It’s great to see the next generation becoming part of the fleet.
Firestorm got a good start & held the lead for a lap or two, until Steve, Jeremy & Troy on Runaway spotted a good line on the second run and used it well, opening up a very comfortable lead that they would hold to the finish. Firestorm hung on for second but behind them it was close. SFC are retuning their rig following a recent mast breakage so have inconsistent speed. In this race they came through from behind to snag third. But this is no fluke. Michael is a very good sailor. They will be consistently back at the top soon.
Just 9 seconds in behind in 4th was Tim, Ryan & Luke on Stowe, proving that weight is no impediment in light airs. Another 20 seconds or so adrift was Wobbygong, with Matt, Brodie & Pete showing there is more to the boat than a new paint job. TBS was next, seeing the welcome return of Col to the fleet. The boat led the fleet several times throughout the regatta. Col still has it…
On corrected time it was an easy win for Black Diamond. Alex and Andrew are still getting used to the new boat but still know their way around the track. Runaway scored second & Wobbygong third.
Overall Runaway was the winner of the Teralba regatta & is equal leader of the state title series with Firestorm. Meeks & SFC share third. On corrected time Black Diamond & Wobbygong are equal first. This is great. Close competition lifts the fleet.
The next regatta is the Nationals at Teralba. We all know that the wind at Teralba means anything could happen. Come along and see….