This week’s race report gleaned from post-racing trash talk on e-mails. Pics unrelated.
Paulo’s Race Report from the decks of Giddy Up
20 + knots from the SSSE. Always going to be 4th rig. Ignore the mid-week sledging if you went anything but 4th you were crazy.
The wind was so far south that the rigging lawn was quite pleasant with a lovely 10 to 15kn, but the bay looked messy. And then we got on the water and it was lumpy – wind against tide. Even the windward mark that is usually in flat water when stuffed up behind wellington Point had lumps.
Anyhoo… Havoc, Tankgirrrl, Wingman, Giddy Up and Ghetto Sled rocked up and rigged up.
The start sequence begins, but ten seconds before the go, the AP is hoisted. Not to be perturbed all boats hit the line with pace and enough clear air and all charge towards the left side lay line. About ¾ of the way to the first tack Paul and Brad in Giddy Up climb into the boat. To those around, which was everyone, it looked like they were waiting for all boats to clear so they could tack. They did tack, then bear away and head back to the start area… Everyone else continued on, at the top mark it was Wingman followed by Ghetto Sled, followed by Tankgirrrrl and then Havoc. Up went the kites for a wild and woolly speed trial to the bottom mark, plenty of ramps, plenty of near misses, every one survived the hairy gybe, only Tankgirrrl capsized at the kite drop (as is customary).
Meanwhile, back at the start boat…. The AP was down, the sequence recommenced and Giddy Up was manoeuvring for position on the line, against… no one. Clean start by the one and only starter, it was race on to catch the stragglers of the premature starters. The first short work was quick, the bare away was smooth, the kite hoist sharp, the downwind fast and bumpy. “GIDDY UP” you could hear the jockey shout and Giddy Up did giddy up. Clean gybe, “GIDDY UP” and giddy up, Giddy Up did. Clean early drop, round the bottom mark.
In the sights of Giddy Up was Tankgirrrl, lagging after her capsize, the carrot dangling waiting to be caught. By the top mark Giddy Up had caught up with Tankgirrrl with the latter rounding first after a few wobbles on the bare away. Up goes the kites, “GIDDY UP” and giddy up, Giddy Up did. Now we have an issue on the Giddy Up. The vang control line had been
sucked into the kite sheet ratchet block and wrapped a few good turns. No playing the kite. It was jammed. Luckily the kite came down but the new problem after the bottom mark had been rounded was that the Vang could not be pulled on and in a gusty 25 knots, this is not fun. One string to windward while the block was removed, pulled apart on the workbench – don’t lose those ball bearings Brad. Did I say it was lumpy? The vang line cleared and unwrapped, checked for fraying and excessive wear and then reassembled and reattached. I will admit there was some gamesmanship happening here as the next race will not commence until after the Giddy Up had finished this race, and since all the other boats would soon be milling around the start line, now was the time to fix lest we miss the next start while stuffing around with jammed pulleys. Vang pulled on boat stable again, go fast again. Bear away around windward mark, set kite, “GIDDY UP” and giddy up, Giddy Up did. Across the finish line. Only boat to start and finish Race 1.
Now race two, that is another story all together….
Benno’s Race Report from Tankers (aka right of reply)
Paulo, you might have noticed Tankers flapping around at the top mark when you were catching us… a ‘strategic’ repair underway as we re-threaded the kite
sheets the correct way thru the ratchets.. you know, crew pulls kite around forestay on foredeck, re-thread, re-tie, re-pack so we can get in a proper send on that second run! We crossed the line on time, you clowns were 10 secs early for some reason…
Here’s the unpublished Tank girl version..
A strong southerly had been forecast all week. We all know what that means. Skinnyman is more excited than a baby full of red jelly beans. He’s filling the lawn with music that should stay in the 80’s – standing beside the Wingman in his jocks singing ‘Simply the Best’ by Tina Turner didn’t help the rest of us. Bmad (aka ‘The Wangman’) got so excited Friday night he turned up in a suit and tie. Joshy skipped the steer of an 18′ to sail Havoc. Crossy was so excited that Ghetto put third in. Everyone else loaded their 4th rigs and we were ready to go.
The RC decided that 4th rig races are over too quickly and set a monster 1.3Nm course. Now apparently a wave broke over the timesheets mid sequence and stuffed up the first sequence.. so we waited and went again. Paulo and Richard were so excited they crossed the line about 15 secs before the gun while Tankers did an impression of ducking back to the line. AP went up.. now I’m guessing they really meant general recall, and apparently there were two hooters and some waving but all I saw was the rest of the fleet sailing up the course. Eventually Paulo broke and headed back, alone, to be correctly re-started, alone.
The rest of us were excited to get to that top mark and hoist the kite for some proper skiff action. Ghetto, Havoc, Wingman, Tankers. Something like that. Hoist, bounce, bounce slap slap.. Shaun Thompson gets a first taste of a 12 in 20kts plus. Apparently that drunken bouncing feeling doesn’t feel too safe. Try to find a flat spot to gybe.. fail.. put it through anyway. Discover Starboard ratchet block is threaded backwards. Bottom half of the course is getting lumpy. Unfortunately Shaun’s foot slips, you know that tiny slip that lands you in the sidestays. He bounces around sidestays onto the foredeck, we’re going down the mine. I swing past the forestay like a kid on a rope swing, to land on the leeward side looking up at the boat. Never landed there before! The first part of the fleet blast on and we’re left behind. Wingman is leading Ghetto Sled on the run so they must have had a good race, until their rudder pin bent like a horseshoe. Paulo has caught us so we hang out with them for a bit. Finding the layline is nearly impossible, the leeward mark is over half a mile away at the gybe. Looking directly into the sun while getting hosed with salt water didn’t help either; I’m flat out seeing the front of the boat while dodging 505’s and Etchells.
Second Race, we’re ready to go but the Wingman gets towed in. Sequence starts and we’re off! Somehow we’re first to the top mark and Havoc is second. Hoist the kite for a smoking ride. Starboard gybe is two wire, but it’s getting really lumpy on the port gybe. The seas are coming between the islands and bunching up as it shallows near the leeward mark. Port gybe is one wire and the waves are nasty.. we keep bouncing. Grip the tiller harder as the tack of the kite punches though the crest of a wave, and my hand is properly cramped by the time we reach the bottom mark.
Josh and Dan are smoking along in Havoc. I’m impressed, as it’s probably the first time the boat has ever made it round a course upright in this weather never mind keeping up the pace they had. We get to the (distant) top again having held off Havoc for another lap. We see Paulo taking a sleigh ride home, having taken a beating, and we heard Ghetto Sled also retired due to old age and softness. At the bottom of the next run we’re not so lucky.. Something happens as we go for the drop and we’re in the drink. I look up to see Havoc about to pass, but their kite won’t come down and they come and swim with us. We’re up and going quickly to finish the final lap.
After a couple of hours of intense racing I bet we’re all stuffed.. maybe the 1 hour race time was good after all.