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12s – Alan Reid Memorial 2
With only one race being run, it was quite the monster course.. We started off Green island (nowhere near Cairns) and headed out in to the open waters between King and Green..!! Plenty of tide out there let me tell you..!! The breeze was light so all three skiffs put in their biggest gear (Turn it up Turner only has a second rig..)
The starters were on song and tardy skiffs paid the ultimate price..!! Challenge had a guest skipper on board with QLD 12ft skiff legend Donny Robinson driving the old girl hard and fast..!!
In fact it was Challenge who took the early lead after the gun.. PB followed and Quillon brought up the rear.. Challenge (Old Yella) had the legs early but tacked off and headed right.. PB trucked on out to the left and took the easy route with about 18kts of tide pushing them towards the top mark.. It was great! At the top mark it was PB who rounded with the 18 footers.. Yep.. They couldn't shake us up that beat and boy did they look frustrated..!! I'm pretty happy with our big rig speed just quietly.. We rounded the mark and headed back down to the bottom… Challenge were next around but going right really hurt their chances of leading the QLD champs around the course.. It was a fairly uneventful downwind leg with PB not really making any ground on either the 18's or Challenge.. That Ciba-Geigy kite Challenge are carrying is enormous..!!!
Around the bottom for the second lap and both skiffs headed left to make use of the mighty tide.. The legs were long and it took a fair bit of fitness to keep the big rig pushing along at max speed.. Challenge actually held in well up this beat and when we got to the top mark they were about the same distance behind. Quillon had finally crossed the start line by now and were looking pretty good.. It's a shame there wasn't a couple of extra knots of breeze as they were slightly under cooked with second rig.. They were out there however, and they looked good..!! They had a couple of kite rides, and from all reports they felt fast..!!
The top mark loomed ahead and PB rounded behind the 18's.. A little further behind, but the 18's weren't making the sort of gains one would expect with their additional 6 feet of waterline length..
PB coasted back down to the bottom with no problems.. Challenge still on their tail.. It was a two horse race and PB were quite aware that they were being followed..
The last lap was interesting.. Halfway up the windward leg PB's crew Tristan fell straight through his trap harness.. One of his mighty love handles busted through the harness and Tristan was lucky not to have fallen in to the water… He managed to reach up with one hand and grab the eye of the trap line before he hit the jelly infested water.. How he did it, I'll never know.. Reflexes like a steel trap..!! We raced the rest of the lap with only 70kgs on the wire.. It hurt us, and Challenge certainly made up plenty of ground.. We managed to scrape through with the victory but how different it would have been if the trap harness had let go one lap earlier…
PB headed home with yet another bullet, and all three boats had some great times on the bay. Challenge tried valiantly to carry the big kite up the channel but boys it was NEVER going to happen.. A couple of beers and a hot dog after racing was the perfect end to a great day..!! The day may well have been the catalyst to get young Donny back in the game.. With the Interdominions in Brissie, and the QLD fleet growing the way it is, there would be no better time to get on board..!! I'll be sending him the list of skiffs for sale today ;o)
Can't wait to have a few more boats out next time, the Nationals are just around the corner and the QLD team are looking strong..!! Can't wait to race you all in Sydney..!!