I won’t go into too much detail about crashing into the marina because Mark has already kindly described it here for me. (At least you know you are getting an unbiased account of events.)
The breeze was blowing straight down the channel, requiring much tacking and swearing to escape the labyrinth of moored boats and concrete.
We underestimated the speed required to complete a tack. We got stuck in irons and reversed unceremoniously onto a pylon. In true super hero form, Mark stripped off and swum out to help, along with a random guy on a surf-ski who, despite his good intentions, only managed to accidentally punch our for’ard hand, Tom, in the face.
We towed Queenslander back to the ramp with the help of Paul and the rescue boat team. After catching our breath we tried again. This time we made it out of the marina before taking another swim.
18ft Skiff Sailing Tip No. 3
Go fast. Tack fast. There is no slow.
In the kerfuffle of getting out of the marina, Michael Glancy had smuggled himself onboard and proved to be a great help in keeping us upright. With his well-placed ballast, we gained control pretty quickly and started really enjoying the day – tacking, running and reaching with minimal carnage. Needless to say, we missed the start of the race and actually passed the Sydney boys on their way back in, having finished the race.
You may remember a recreational catamaran called the G-Cat from the 80’s. It had an extra trampoline in front of the mast for maximum sunbathage. The G-Cat ads used to show images of permed, bikini-clad beauties lazing on the forward trampoline while a glistening shirtless hair-do with teeth whiter than Paul Christofis’ head sailed it around turquoise coral islands.
Well, that was us on Saturday! If Michael had been wearing a bikini, we could have made our own ad!
Well, we’re no David Witt, but I think we are starting to get the hang of it. It’s been 3 days since then and I still have aches in strange places, but it was by far the best sail I’ve had in 30 years.