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12s – Points 20th December 2014
With Christmas upon us once again, the QLD 12 foot skiffies can think of only one thing.. Kiwi scalps..!! The Interdominions are just around the corner and final preparations for boats and crews are well underway.. I know of one QLD crew who has a 4 day training camp scheduled this week..!!
Saturday saw the closing of the first half of the season.. I’m almost sick of saying it, but we had a glamour day once again on the bay.. A delightful 15-20kts, sunshine and the bay to ourselves.. It was truly awesome..
5 boats turned up with 4 on the start line well only 3 really, I was on another planet and gave the fleet a 10 second head start..!! Tank Girl and CST went left with The Wingman heading to the smooth waters on the right.. Ghetto had a bet each way and when we converged at the top it was Tankers looking the goods.. Shame they put it in the piss trying to tack around the top mark.. Ghetto swooped in and rounded in first place followed shortly by The Wingman who had to pull some interesting moves to get around Tank Girl as she was now upright and blind sailing as the crew tried to climb aboard..
Up went the little kites and a smoking flat water ride followed.. Ghetto gybed and the fleet followed.. No changes to the order at the bottom mark..
The second leg saw the two leaders gain and lose ground as they each found a bit of puff.. Ghetto tacked about halfway up the leg.. The Wingman stayed solid out to the right to try and make the most of the split.. At the top Ghetto had made a slight gain as the breeze out to the right was patchier that BMads beard.. Ghetto rounded first with The Wingman still well within striking distance.. The skinny skiffs charged downwind in some good pressure, Ghetto gybed, they were a bit premature and The Wingman continued on.. With Ghetto having to gybe back to the bottom they two skiffs rounded right on top of each other.. We both headed right with the Wingman grinding some height on Ghetto.. When Ghetto decided to tack The Wingman had worked enough height to cross on Port.. We tacked to cover.. GAME ON BITCHES..!! Ghetto tacked again and ducked The Wingman.. Why we didn’t leebow them I’ll never know.. Instead we powered on in some good pressure.. We tacked soon after but Ghetto now had the jump.. Ghetto tacked and crossed us but they were low and weren’t making the top mark..!! It was on, we put a little in the bank and tacked back to go around the top mark.. With 5 boat lengths from the mark Team Ghetto got a freakish Westerly gust (I’m calling it a hand from god) and managed to squeeze up around the mark..!! The sprint to the finish was hot with Ghetto gybing a little early again and a port starboard collision was looking likely.. Neither boat wanted to give an inch as the finish line was just there… Ghetto got a little squirt and cleared the bow of The Mighty Wingman to take the hard earned win.
The second race was looking a little less awesome with the breeze dropping a bit in between races.. However when the start gun went there were some pretty good puffs coming down the course if you could find them..!! CST won the start with The Wingman once again letting the fleet go on ahead (I really have to pull my finger out and stop starting second row in a fleet of 5..!!)
The breeze had shifted East and The Wingman and Ghetto tacked off early.. By the time we got to the top it was Ghetto with the inside lane around first followed by the Wingman.. CST and Tank girl were close behind the leaders.. Awesome racing! Ghetto gybed and The Wingman followed (this is getting old) So this is where the situation changed.. Charging at full noise both skiffs were headed for the bottom mark.. All of a sudden the puff ended and The Wingman was pointing 30 degrees higher! Ghetto ghosted the last of the pressure with a strange mega low groove and by the skin of their teeth managed to drop and round the bottom mark while goose swinging their jib.. CST and Tank Girl caught up and rounded with The Wingman.. It was closer than Jono (QLD) is to his phone now that he’s on Tinder.. Ghetto stretched their legs but The Wingman had some good height and pace and started reeling them in a bit.. Tank Girl claim to have made gains on this leg but as they were reaching around the course it’s hard to compare boat speeds..
The Wingman was once again rounding the top not far off Ghetto.. With CST and Tank Girl following right on behind us just waiting for the mistake.. Unfortunately for Tankass the mistake was made but it was on their own boat and they found themselves swimming with the fishes.. The downwind leg was almost a carbon copy of the first one with Ghetto gybing on the lay and The Wingman following suit.. Just on this gybe, I’d like to call it now, Jono (crew on The Wingman) pulled off an absolute beauty.. The kind of gybe you picture in your head when you’re telling the boys back in the bar.. It was fizzing.. Crack bang Zoom is the only way I can describe it.. Anyway enough about the gybe of the season lets get back to the race.. Ghetto and The Wingman were fanging it towards the bottom mark with The Wingman high fiving after the gybe.. Unfortunately that elation was short lived with a demoralising drop in breeze and another 30 degree lift.. Dang it..!! Ghetto once again managed to scrape around and yet again remind me why my race would have been so much faster if I’d started 10 seconds earlier..
The next work was a little disrupting for us on board The Wingman… I noticed that my little stopper on the top of the rudder pin had disappeared.. The only thing holding the pin up was a bit of pressure on the box..!! I stopped the boat and pushed the pin back up to the top of the box.. This was going to be an interesting remainder of the race.. We had CST hot on our heels now, Ghetto had gone.. WE had to sail the last lap with the rudder pin ready to drop out at any stage.. The massive clumps of jellyfish were the worst as the bumping of the blade bounced the pin down.. We tacked on the lay with as much downward pressure as I dared on the tiller to try and keep the pin in place.. We got around but it wasn’t pretty…. We got to the top with the pin only having dropped about 5mm out of a possible 10mm.. We figured if it was going to go we might as well have the kite up so up it went.. We ripped our way down through the finish.. To be honest I think I spend 99% of the time watching the pin.. Jono tells me it was a quick ride..
CST got 3rd with Tank Girl 4th.. Havoc (the 5th boat) never made the start line with a few technical issues ashore.. By technical I mean their repaired c’board didn’t fit..
So it was a great way to end the first half of the season.. Best of luck to all sailors competing at the Inters in Sydney, especially the QLD and the rest of you Aussie boys.. I want full noise both on and off the water..!!
Until January SEND IT DON’T BEND IT..!!