Whether you believe the forecasts are luck or skill, the weather for the Teralba regatta weekend was exactly as predicted. Which made for a good Saturday but unfortunately a bad Sunday. So to the good first.
The forecast for Saturday was for a light to moderate E to NE breeze but not building. And that is exactly what we got. 8 – 12 knots with enough NE potential to suck you into shipbuilders but then leave you stranded as the boats that went south in pressure arced around you. But if you got that puff from the NE…
For various reasons the fleet was missing a few boats but still 9 eager crews lined up for a pin biased start. Young guns Raptor & SFC tried for the ultimate port hand start and became tangled at the buoy, as the rest of the fleet got away cleanly. But that didn’t matter. As I hinted earlier, if you were in the right place at the right time you could make some big gains. Jeremy & Joe would both be back in the action again soon.
Together around the top mark was Absinthe, with Mick, Dev & Gabe continuing to enjoy their new ride, and Troy Botting Shipwright, proving their hot form so far this season is no flash in the pan. Firestorm, Runaway, Stowe & SFC were in the next bunch, all crossing tacks numerous times up the work. This was the theme for the race, with Raptor & Meeks always within striking distance.
With the course not overly long and the wind gentle it was not a physically tough day but it was mentally exhausting. If you lost concentration you could easily lose time.
No such issues for TBS. Up front Col, Adam & Janine sailed TBS brilliantly and eked out a margin on every leg, to eventually take the gun by over 6 minutes from Absinthe, who held off a late charge to take 2nd from Firestorm by 1 second. Not quite as close, Jeremy, Hugh & Hayden on SFC finished a ‘huge’ 17 seconds further back, after trading gybes on the final run with Dale & the boys.
But it might have been lucky the SFC lads were looking forward. Stowe had not gone away and flew down the final run, in the end finishing just 9 seconds adrift of the SFC. The ‘old master’ Michael joined Robbie & Mark on Meeks for the weekend & had a reasonable race, but got caught in several Teralba holes, leading to calls after the race of ‘bring in the concrete trucks & turn it into a car park’. But then again they were only another 30 seconds behind…
Guest crew Jason joined Steve & Dom on Runaway, but they didn’t have the best of days, also seen parked under Shipbuilders several times. They didn’t finish far off Meeks, but were looking for more breeze, especially with Jason’s leverage.
Joe, Mitch & Kye don’t have the grunt in the Raptor rig for these conditions but kept plugging away after their start and their skills were rewarded with a 2nd on corrected time. Don’t forget that is what this TT series is all about. With Purple Haze undergoing major surgery Alex again joined Brian and Kal on Narwahl. It was good to see the Hawkesbury boys here, but a borrowed mast in need of some tuning didn’t help their day, finishing a little behind Raptor.
When reviewing race results I always smile when I see a crew that I think has sailed well and finished above their peers gets a good handicap placing. It proves the handicapping system works. TBS did sail well, and earned a 3rd place on corrected time, but there can be no argument that the Stowe boys deserved their 1st place gong for the day. They finished less than 30 seconds behind Absinthe & Firestorm. Tim, Scott and Lennon are developing their teamwork and I’ll predict now that in the near future Lennon will be just as good as the previous graduates of Tim’s youth development program. Well sailed lads!!!
Now to Sunday. The forecast was for a gusty westerly building in the afternoon. And when arrived at the club on Sunday morning, guess what was blowing? A gusty westerly. It was a good sailing breeze most of the time but every few minutes or so through would come a real rattler. With the nationals just over a month away one by one the crews packed their boats away. In the end a few Impulses & NS’s ventured out but no VS’s. Good to see everyone is focussed on Neranie…
Speaking of which, as I write this the T-shirts have been ordered & should be available before Christmas. Big thanks to Michael N for his design & ordering skills. I’ll let everyone know when the shirts are available in case you need to give one as a present.
Apart from that you all should know the drill for Neranie. Get your entries sorted before the start of the series (NOR with entry form and SIs on the VS web site) and have a great time. When the series is finishing Wendy & I will thinking of you from Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. We’ll check it out for a future VS nationals…
Good luck all