100th AUSTRALIAN 18 FOOTERS CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS SATURDAY Post from Frank Quealey: When the 23-boat fleet from NSW and Queensland lines up for Race 1 of the 100th Australian 18 footers […]Read more...
12s – 13th October 2018
Well what a weekend of skiff racing..!! Wet and Wild is not just a theme park on the GC, it’s the perfect description of Saturdays racing..!!
With the forecast changing hourly, it was anyone’s guess as to what to expect out there… The WingMan played it safe and threw in 3rd, while the old hands Paulo and Steve had a couple of extra weetbix and put in 2nd.. Rig for the lulls was their motto, and once again being old and wise paid off..
Giddy up left the beach first and shot off down the harbour with their giant 2nd rig towering over all the lasers.. There are speed restrictions in the harbour Paulo..!! WingMan was a little tardy to leave the beach, but with a 20kt Southerly, they never looked like missing the start.. The ride to the startline on The WingMan was EPIC..!!! Any offseason rust was swiftly blown off as she screamed down to the Northern course… I was starting to worry about the decision not to put fruities on the boat!! One quick gybe and a perfect drop was enough to get our hearts pumping and our confidence soaring..!! Sitting waiting for the start we were smug and super happy with our decision to go 3rd.. Second rig is a handful on the bay in 20kts at the end of the season, let alone your first race… The start gun went and the little blue boat got a cracker of a start.. WingMan was a few seconds behind but with the sea state and our little rig we quickly caught up and were higher and faster than everyone.. Jono had a grin from ear to ear.. GAME ON BITCHES..!! We tacked off to head up to the top, and that’s when it happened… The squall finished and the rain set in…. There are no words to describe the frustration of carrying your little rig in 10kts… Sitting inside the boat and watching the old boys sail straight over the top of you is honestly the worst feeling in the world.. Well it is for those of us who don’t sail at Lane Cove each week… I assume you can build up an immunity to said feelings over time…
So that was our race done.. By the top mark Paulo had ghosted his way to half a leg lead… There was a silver lining in those clouds though… When we got to the top mark, our hearts were beaten and bruised, but the bay had a trick up its sleeve… Kite went up and the breeze came back..!! WOOHOO..!!! We had a cracking ride out to Green Island, the waves had flattened and the 20kts was back baby..!! YEW..!! We gybed and sent her hard towards the bottom.. Smiles were well and truly back on our faces as WingMan skimmed across the top of the water at ridiculous speeds..!! We rounded the bottom and decided to head back out to Green to play in the new breeze.. We got halfway out there and it died again… Blob blob blob went Winga’s.. Giddy up slowly stretched away again and that was that.. When we finally got to the top mark half a leg behind and once again our heads were low.. Being the optimist that I am, I was kinda believing that the breeze would come back once the kite went up.. You’d never believe it, but she did..!!! Kite went up, Jono came out and WHACK..!!!! 20kts again..!! WOOHOO..!!!!! WingMan flew down to the finish with both of us just bouncing off the walls… There is nothing like a 20kt 3rd rig kite ride.. NOTHING..!!
As we sat waiting for the second race we were quietly hoping for this new breeze to stick around… Of course it did for the start, but half way to the top, she ran away again…. Funnily enough, the race turned out to be a carbon copy of the first.. It was disappointing to have the wrong rig in the boat, but that disappoint was nothing compared to the elation and excitement of every single kite ride!! It was a day which highlighted what sailing 12 footers is all about.. It really is all about the rides..!!
With the State titles next weekend, here’s hoping the breeze sticks around..!! Let the weekly rollercoaster ride begin..!! Smells like 2nd..!!