What a sensational weekend all round..!!
I'm glad you guys got some good rides up here too.. Sydney certainly turned it on for us... The weather gods obviously looked kindly upon all 12ft skiffies..!!
I can't give a proper race report as we weren't actually officially racing.. Although I can tell you one thing.. All 3 QLD 12's are on the pace..
Saturday was forecast for a drifter with occasional showers.. Let me tell you, I was not all that enthused... That was until I woke up to sunshine and breese..!!!!
I headed to the club with both boats on the back.. Craig had PB down there already but had shot off on a date with his cousin... I know.. Weird right..??
Anyway I got down to the club and had a poke around.. Woollahra is a pretty cool little club actually.. Too many Bethwaite boats, but a great spot for harbour racing.. You're right in the middle of it..!! I knew as soon as I got there that rigging was going to be difficult with the amount of distractions walking past.. I believe the term trolling was used for said walkers...
So anyway, the Ben's and Richard arrived and we headed off for some breakfast... A few stories were told and it occurred to me pretty quickly.. This was going to be a boys weekend of epic proportions.. I went and picked up Tristan from the airport (fresh off night shift) and met everybody down the club again.. The breese was about 10kts and from the ENE... Perfect big rig... As it got time to rig, it came in to about 12kts and this certainly threw the cat amongst the pigeons.. Some boats went big rig and others went 2nd.. We went big because both Tristan and I are firm believers in the saying "big sails win big races".. So we set off for the 1500 start and it appeared that every man, dog and monkey was on the harbour.. A bit of sunshine and wind certainly got the people out there... It was pretty cool to be a part of.. Dodging Moths, Yinglings, Hysterical 18's and of course the 100ft maxi's... Finally we got the start underway.. All 3 QLD boats went second row as we decided that it being a NSW championship we should give them a fair crack.. It wasn't long before we reeled them in though..!! On board PB we hit the line at the boat end and squeezed in to high groove... Our big rig has been kind to us of late, and it seems she can climb almost anything.. We got above a few NSW boats and then once we had a bit of clear air we stretched our legs... The boat was trucking.. A bit of ease and smoking uphill.. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves.. Going tack for tack with Garde, Wolfie and DP we got to the top mark in 2nd.. Unfortunately on the hoist we had knot in the halyard and it turns out, that was the end of our race.. There are a few pics floating around of our floor.. Let me just say, Tristan should be on the Euro sports channel competing in the strong man event.. He must have ripped out every fitting on the boat at least once..!! We soldiered on and kept racing as the sea breese came in (after 4pm)..It was a pretty massive effort to lump big rig around the washing machine in a little over 15kts, and I know both of us were feeling the pinch by the end of it... Rich sailed a clean race with 2nd rig in the boat and Benny and Craig were also doing really well until some jet boat wash which sent them to their spreader breaking grave.. Moments before this crash Tristan and I saw their post card pic... They were flying along (over cooked big) with the sun low in the sky and the harbour bridge in the background... It looked sensational.. Good work boys.. Shame about the crash..
I guess the highlight for Tristan and I was probably the mighty mine on the way to the finish line which saw Richard catch us.. For some reason (Probably because we had no pulley inside the boat for the halyard) the kite had wrapped itself around the end of the pole.. We only had one downwind leg to go, so we just sailed with it.. The breese was on and we were pretty bloody over cooked.. We sent her through the last gybe to the finish and in front of us was the biggest mine shaft you've ever seen... The bow went in, I swore, she kept diving like scooba Steve.. I wouldn't have been surprised if we'd taken out a Japanese sub we went down so deep.. Both Tristan and I were well in front of the forestay by the end of it... Thank goodness Tristan is a soft landing.. I saw the pole bend in ways I'd like to forget but when she came up everything was still together.. We two sailed to the finish and then home... BIG DAY..!!
Our plans for a massive night were dashed as we had to do a bit of carbon magic.. Forbsey offered us his shed, so we picked up a carton of blue tongue and got sticky.. We then hit Balmain for some pizza and headed to our respective abodes.. Mine had a king sized bed and a view of Middle Harbour.. Ben and Ben had some Bourbon and spooned on a couch in Lane Cove..
We awoke on Sunday to a mighty Southerly. It was cold, wet and windy... Perfect day for a skiffin if you ask me..!!
We headed off to pick up PB after her surgery and then down to the club.. Did I mention it was cold..?? Well it was..!!
The breese filled in to a solid 25-30kts with the highest recorded gust at 34kts.. It was full 4th rigs all round...
We watched as Johnno broke a stick on the way to the start.. Boy it was going to be fun out there..!!
Richard and Ben decided it was going to be a bit too much out there for their slight frames and for good reason.. It was howling..
PB and Squid flew the QLD flag though and after a sporting kite ride (we borrowed Richards chicken chute) we arrived at the start line absolutely ready to go..!! The gun went and Squid nailed the start... They came in on a smoking two sail reach and smashed the line at about 15kts.. They quickly rolled Garde and that was that... Good work lads..!!
Tristan and I went left and were 5th or 6th around the top mark... Now this next ride was my highlight of the entire weekend... We narrowly avoided Barnyard as he splashed right in front of us.. We hit the corner with pace.. The baby rig loves to be thrown around so that's what we did... Richards advice as we launched "drive it like a rental" was certainly the case here... We were headed off on port when we got hit by a big one... We were absolutely flying..!!! I'm pretty sure I had urine dribbling down my inner thigh.. We were only just going to clear the moored yachts as it was... I couldn't point up, and I couldn't point down... If the wind changed at all it was going to end in tears... All we could do was keep the throttle down and hold on, well we made it... The acceleration of PB blew my mind... Even now as I write this, I'm getting goose bumps... That was one of those 12ft skiff moments I'll never forget... WOOHOO..!! Unlike the previous day the harbour was somewhat empty.. We didn't have to dodge recreational sailors, just the big green ferries... It was pretty lumpy at the bottom mark... Ferry wash at warp speed is insane..!!! PB soared like an eagle, and my grin was bigger than a black man's doodle. We did a gybe drop and let a couple of NSW guys through so as to sail clean... The long beat back up was tough.. There was a lot of wind and boy were we trucking.!! We got to the top mark and were hit by a lull and tea bagged... Although we didn't capsize, we spent a long long time in the drink and let the leaders get away... The next down wind was a little less stressful... I sat in "Bocco Style" and have the bruised butt cheeks to prove that we didn't go any slower.. We finished just ahead of DP in about 5th I think.. The Squidgee were right behind them. Waiting around for the tailenders was a battle... So much so, we ripped our jib track off the boat and had to go home..
An eventful weekend all round.. I was completely rooted driving home yesterday but we made it safe and sound. Both boats arrived unscathed.
I hope there are a few pics from the weekend... Sydney turned it up and we are very grateful..
Thanks to the NSW guys for letting us come and play.. We all had a totally rad time down there.