Well well well..
What a weekend of racing..!!!
The much anticipated QLD Championships saw 5 boats hit the water (even though the 5th only found their c'board halfway through the second race....) and the skiffing atmosphere was electric..!!
We all rigged at DPSS with the 18 footers.. Boy they take up some room don't they..!! There was a sensational 15kts from the SE blowing and all the 12's went 2nd rig... Well that was until Spiesoid did a quick change to 3rd... MEOW..
It was interesting to see that the 18's little masts were not much if any bigger than ours... Yet they have 3 blokes and enormous wings holding them down.. Boy they made our little 12's look small :o) UNTIL WE HIT THE WATER..!!!!
PB were first to launch..
We trucked out to the start.. It was a fantastic mid range 2nd rig out there and the water was quite flat.. You couldn't have picked a better day for it..!!! With the clouds came a bit more puff for some exhilarating kite rides.. It was going to be a great day..!! We sailed up to where the race committee were laying the top mark and threw up the kite to give an indication what our angles are... It was a cracker of a ride and after the gybe we got towed well below the bottom mark.. It was a cracker.
So the other 12's came out to join the party.. All but Brendan who had to drive out to his work to collect his c'board.. Rookie error..
The start was ok.. Ghetto and Squid all hit the line with pace.. PB was a little slower but not much.. We hit the boat end 2 seconds late.. ASM I think tried a cheeky port end bandit, but ducked the fleet.. PB had height and pushed Ghetto and Squid left.. Spiesoid went right.. The top make rounding was a classic.. ASM came in on Starboard.. Ghetto did a sneaky tack inside them on the mark.. It looked marginal from behind, but I've been assured it was well legal.. ASM were able to climb over and past them anyway... Then Squid come in barging on Grove..!! Tristan and I watched but rolled both of them whilst setting kites.. ASM did a gybe at the wing mark but were way too high to make the bottom mark... PB went a little further but with the wind easing we too were high... Ghetto saw all of this and went further still and nailed it.. Straight to the bottom mark and rounded in 1st place.. PB were second and ASM 3rd.. Squid were not far behind either.. The next windward beat was a good one too... Ghetto went right and PB tacked off and hit left chasing pressure... It came and so did a lovely lift... We tacked and rounded the top in 1st.. Grove were not far behind nor ASM and Squid... The breeze had kicked in and we all set out kites before realising we weren't going to make the wing mark.. We sent it for a while before ditching the kite and then putting it up again for the gybe.. Ghetto put it in during the drop and that was the last we saw of them.. The third and final lap was just a matter of covering the fleet and getting around clean for PB.. The real battle was ASM and Squid.. I believe there was even some bumping of boats at some stage.. Coming in to the line was so close nobody knew who had it until the starters came in at the end of the day.. Turns out it was ASM by 2 seconds.. Good close racing that's for sure..!!!
The second race was a bit of a mix up... Some people didn't hear the starters siren.. Even though it's straight off a police car.. The wind had shifted and there was a massive port end favour.. Ghetto nailed it with pace, but PB were still first across the line.. It was a drag race to the top mark with Ghetto getting there first with PB close on their heels.. ASM and Squidgee were floundering around, as fat boats do, somewhere out the back..
Ghetto shot off towards a wingmark... They saw the old course board up before the start and assumed it was the same course.. Alas poor Yorrick it was the gate course (Hence the wingmark being moved to leeward of the start boat creating a gate..) So now PB had the box seat and it was again a matter of covering the fleet.. ASM had a crack and showed good speed with their little rig.. If PB had made a mistake I'm sure ASM would have taken no prisoners.. Ghetto Shed continued around the course by rounding a random 29er training buoy as the wing mark.. I guess it was good training for you lads anyway.. I probably should have given you guys a better brief as you missed the briefing..
All in all a fantastic day to be a 12 sailor.. Boy did we show those 18's a thing or two about sailing skiffs... I'm not sure if any of them got around the course without a swim or 3... It was an 18ft skiff minefield out there..!! During the second race ASM were well and truly mixing it up with the 18's... They had one gybe right in front of them... A massive dump everything and hope of the best was in order... How they missed them I have no idea... Well done guys..!! The course was quite technical with the requirement of 3 gybes every leg... Great practice and all crew came in quite exhausted... The races were a little short, but not ridiculous.. About 35mins..
Personally I enjoyed the different courses... Certainly added another dimension.. Shame about the mix up because Ghetto were looking quick out there.. It's great to have so many evenly paced boats.. It's anyone's race out there and whoever brings their "A" game on the day brings home the bacon..!!
Well done to all and I hope next week is as much fun..!!
Race 1: 1st PB Towage, 2nd Andrew Short Marine, 3rd Squid, 4th Ghetto Sled
Race 2: 1st PB Towage, 2nd Andrew Short Marine, 3rd Squid, DNF Ghetto Sled