Sunday, September 25, 2011

3rd and 4th Heats - 24th September 2011

Good morning..!!
Have you all recovered from that epic day on the bay.??
Well wasn't it another amazing weekend for those of us ON THE WATER..!! Perfect blue skies.. 27 degrees and a solid 15kts from the North.. Wouldn't be dead for quids..!!!
The rigging lawn was chockers.. With five 12's on their side, and four 18's, it is starting to look like a real skiff club..!!
The 12's were split down the middle rig wise.. With a 15-20kt forecast Ghetto Sled and ASM went for a safety conscious 3rd rig day, while the cowboys onboard PB and Squid opted for a top end second rig..!! The tide was coming in like crazy so it was pretty flat out there.. Speedy speedy..!!
Race 1
The first race was delayed for tardy starters.. We eventually got underway and it was Squid who got the gun.. Ghetto Sled once again did their port hand bandit thing but it didn't really pay.. Squid and PB headed left straight away to get out of the tide.. Both boats were showing good speed to windward and there was not much in it.... With the wind in our hair, plenty of height and speed, spirits were high on PB.. Until that horrible sound of carbon scraping the ocean floor was heard.. We were on the bottom..!!! Squid quickly tacked off but we were stuck fast... DAMN..!! Our new Bushido c'board is a little bit longer, and I can tell you it did not just kiss the bottom, they made out like 16 year olds at a school dance..!!
We finally managed to tack her around and sail off the bank but we had been pushed back to 4th place.. Lucky for us, the starting committee set a marathon course and by the top mark we had found ourselves in second place behind Squid.. ASM and Ghetto Sled were not far behind.. Both of these boats spent time up the middle of the course, and found themselves pushing tide..
So the kites went up and Squidgee were looking famous..!! First race of the season for them and they were first to the top mark.. Woowoo..!! They gybed early so as not to run aground.. PB followed suit.. The ride was fast and the boats were flying.. The boys on Squid were having way too much fun and missed the next lay line by a mile.. PB cut inside them and sailed straight to the bottom mark.. Squid had to drop the kite to get back to the mark.. UNRUCKY..!!
So it was PB leading for the next lap.. Squidgee in second and then Grove not far behind... Trouble aboard ASM had them two sailing to the bottom mark from a long way out.. UH OH... Fortunately for them, Ghetto had a slow drop.. When I say slow, I mean the kite came down faster than the retrieval line was being pulled and the kite went under the boat... Splash.....
PB showed their class by sailing a solid second lap without hiccup to take the win by 1min 27 seconds over Squid.. ASM was next and Ghetto Sled brought up the rear. A quick debrief after the race, and the course was shortened.
Race 2
The breeze kicked in a knot or two and the boats carrying 3rd rigs were looking quick... A little bit of controversy as to whether ASM were over at the start, but as there was no individual recall issued, we can only go by the starters call.. Sorry Benny..
ASM got the gun and headed left.. They had plenty of pace and were looking pretty. Could this be the 3rd rig race they were banking on..?? Ghetto did their signature port start ducking the fleet.. PB and ASM headed North.. PB had good height and by the first tack ASM had to duck us.. PB tacked not long after.. Ghetto and Squid were having a duel of their own up the inside of us.. ASM were looking fast until they stopped for a quick tea bagging.. Not sure if someone pissed in their wetsuit and needed to rinse off, or if there was a communication breakdown.. Couldn't tell from where we were.. Either way it was enough to give PB some breathing space and we were first around the top.. ASM were not far away though.. Squidgee was next followed by Ghetto Sled. The drag race down to the bottom mark favoured the 2nd rigs, but ASM showed a super clean pair of heels and held on to us.. PB rounded quickly and kept a relatively close cover on ASM.. Squid and Ghetto were chasing but the gap was too much.. Around the top for the final time and it was PB, ASM, Squid then Ghetto... The wind was up and the fleet flew down towards the finish... Things were looking solid for PB.. We went through the final gybe with no problems and were scooting straight for the finish line.. Just another day at the office.. Or so we thought... That's when we got hit by a black one... Suddenly we were heading 15 degrees below the finish line.. Bugger me..!!! ASM had gybed a bit earlier and were charging straight at it.... We had to do a quick drop and two sail to the finish... There is no more anxious feeling than two sailing to the finish line when over your shoulder you can see the second placed boat hurtling down towards you at full noise... PB managed to scrape through with the victory making it 4 from 4 for the season, but only by 36 seconds.. ASM were 1min 4 seconds ahead of Squid and Ghetto were a couple of minutes behind them..
The exhausted crews hit the beach and shared war stories over a beer.. What an awesome day on the water.
With the cherub QLD state titles being held next weekend, we're looking for more starters.. It's a good opportunity for us to show those youngsters which skiff class they should all move in to.. Allwood Sails and Challenge came close to starting this week with both skippers coming down to the park on Saturday for a look.. The whether is getting warmer and the racing is already scorching hot.. Get excited boys and girls..!! Come out and play..!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heat 1&2 Results - 17-09-2011

Well didn't Brisbane turn it on for the first race of the season..!!!
The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and PB Towage was flying..!!
Even with the less than inspiring forecast, there was still much excitement amongst the troops.. 5-10kts increasing to 10-15kts through the afternoon was what we hoped for... The smoky haze from the farmers back burning tried to beat down the sea breeze, but it had no chance.. What we got was a perfect QLD big rig day... 28 degrees, and 10-12kts from the NE...
The rigging lawn looked a picture.. With 12 sailors grinding, drilling holes, and 18's being put together with rubber mallets..!!
It was good to see Timmy and his wife Megan make the trip from Warwick to be there.. Watching his face contort when Richard asked if he should put in second rig was priceless..!!
Once the starters arrived it was go time.. A short and sweet briefing was held, and before we knew it we were hitting the water... Aboard PB there were smiles all round when the new centreboard went down for the first time.. The familiar sounds of the water slipping along her narrow sides were somewhat comforting, and both skipper and crew were quite excited about their first sail..!!
The bay was gorgeous.. The water was crystal clear and the breeze was trying hard to keep us both on the wire.. Heading out the leads was quite the 12's procession.. Ghetto Sled and the boat formally know as ASM not far behind us, and bringing it up the rear was the Mighty Flying Animals..!! It was their first time out and what a cracker of a day it was for them..!!
By the time we got to the starting area the breeze had come in to a very comfortable two string big rig.. Tristan and I did a quick upwind beat and set the kite.. We just wanted to blow a few cob webs out.. We got to the startline and the sequence commenced... ASM were the only boat to get the timing right.. Tristan and I couldn't understand how we got our timing 30 seconds wrong but we did... Richard was even further away..!! Fortunately we were not far behind ASM and just followed their lead... Port tack bandits..!!!!
ASM and PB shot off on port tack towards the RQYS fleet.. Richard and Timmy went left... Boy did it pay.. ASM and PB tacked to join them and when we all came together it was PB, Ghetto and then ASM.. PB had played with some strings and found a magic 5 degrees of height..!! You could throw a blanket over us... The Flying Animals were there too, but missed the start due to joy riding... It was their first kite ride.. I'm not going to judge them..
So to the top mark we stormed.. Around first was PB.. Close behind was Ghetto and ASM. The big kites went up and we headed down to the bottom.. The smoke made it difficult to see the bottom flag but we managed.. The order didn't change and we rounded the bottom mark.. ASM tacked off straight away and PB covered.. Ghetto tacked once he was clear of our line and again the three skiffs were heading left.. Ghetto was first to tack again.. It was a brave move as there was definitely less air up the middle.. However he had to throw something at us as it was the last lap and PB had speed to burn..!! Unfortunately for them it didn't work out so well, and they slipped back to 3rd behind ASM. A pretty straight forward run to the finish and that was race 1... Actually there was some more drama... Ghetto snapped a back stay halfway down the last run so finished their race with white sails only. The Flying Animals were zooming around too.. They had a costume malfunction and only had one functioning trapeze harness..
Race two started with the now too familiar police siren, and once again PB had stuffed our timing..!! We were miles off this time.. I have no excuses other than we are muppets.
As Ghetto didn't want to drop their rig they headed in after the start.. The two skiffs headed straight left.. PB had given ASM a handy head start, but with the height and speed we found in the first race, we had caught them by the corner. It was PB around the top first followed closely by ASM... The Flying Animals were charging too, but with only second rig and one trapeze (cherub style) they were off the pace.. The wind had kicked up a knot or two and was super comfy.. The gybe is where ASM made their move.. They gybed first and PB over laid.. Damn..!!! ASM got the the bottom first but PB dropped quicker and came charging up from behind... We ducked ASM's transom and shot off low groove to leeward.. We cleared our air and got back to our super setting.. We tacked when ASM tacked on to starboard and by the time we got to the left corner we were well clear. Around the top again it was PB followed by ASM.. A casual run home followed.. The finish boat was MIA but we got our times.. ASM looked like they had a great ride up the leads.. With the woof on it's ear, and the kite peeling slightly it was pretty awesome to watch... Terry, you would have loved it..!!
Well done to all of you who made it out there... Sucks to be those who didn't.. What a sensational way to start back up.. The off season is over lads..
It's time to see you ON THE WATER..!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Race Report 11-09-2011

Opening day on the Saturday turned out 25-35knots from the west and 10deg. A unholy mess in our bay and though 4 boats showed up ready to rumble, none decided they were prepared for a beating which may result in floating out to sea. So a day spent on maintenance ensued.

However, Sunday was a nice 15knot westerly. Still unseasonably cold, yet bearable. Only Ghetto stayed around for the DPSS race and was treated to some fantastic 3rd rig sailing, with a smaller than usual newbie crew. After a bad start, we caught the lead 13ft skiff by the first bottom mark and held it for a lap before missing the puff of the day on the second last run to be trailing by a few boat lengths at the bottom mark. Some smooth work and good boatspeed pushed us past them to secure the gun.

I think this photo says it all. More action shots to come.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011