Spring Racing

18 Footers Rigging in BrisbaneSpring Racing is on again and there’s not a smelly, cantankerous horse to be seen. No, our steeds are made of carbon fibre and high-tech sail cloth. Our jockeys aren’t midgets with squeaky voices. And, we don’t attract once-a-year-wannabe-racing-fans that just turn up to get drunk and wear stupid hats … although, that’s not to say they’re not welcome.

Saturday saw the return of the Queensland conditions that we know and love – bright sunny day, barely a ripple on the bay and a steady 10-knot breeze – perfect big rig conditions. That is, if you have one.

Four boats started – DashCo Building, Sailtec Sails, Queenslander and Panasonic QLD, although Sailtec were a little late to the start as they had to do each other’s hair. Well, they also had a few last minute repairs to do on their boat from the 40-knot storm that hit us last week. Their mast snapped and ripped through both sails and speared through the deck. Schmittman has been busy with repairs all week, but they still only have a No. 2 rig until a new big rig can be made.

The 18s and 12s started together (news for some). Queenslander got the best start of the day and were second around the top mark. Despite Sailtec starting late and having a smaller rig than the rest of the fleet, they just managed to slide past everyone by a few seconds. Dashco and Panasonic were close behind and both rounded within 30 seconds.

Queenslander had an interesting time with their kite on the first run. They took a dive and the for’ard hand, Flyn, swung off the wing and into the bow, collecting the prodder stays on the way though. Luckily his head broke his fall. Paul used the mainsheet to break his fall. With a broken man and a broken main, it was game over Queenslander.

The other three boats gave nothing away. They were neck-and-neck all the way. Sailtec sailed a perfect race and managed to retain their lead (just) with DashCo and Panasonic QLD hot on their heels, crossing within seconds of each other. It was match racing all the way as they pulled out every tactic in their respective books.

A protest has been lodged by way of boat ramp smackdown “difference of opinion”, which will be resolved out of court over a rule book, a hand shake and a bottle of rum around the fireplace at the next race in Warwick.

Final results will be posted when all members obtain a copy of the same rulebook.

18 Footers in Warwick

The 18 Footers head two hours west of Brisbane next week to Warwick for a 2-day race weekend on the Leslie Dam. It’s fresh, it’s deep and what ever happens on tour stays on tour!

So far there are four 18s, two 12s, some historic 10s and a couple of Flying 11s making the trip. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend with camping on the shore, live music and 5 lucky Warwickians coming for a blast with us in a fun-race on Sunday. Combined, hopefully with loads of local boats, it’s should be a cracker of a weekend.

See you all there, stupid hats and all.

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