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12s – Sandgate Centennial Regatta
The twelves went on tour this week.. I know the usual practice is that what goes on tour stays on tour.. I’ve always been one to kiss and tell.. Sorry ladies.!! Here’s a sneak peak as to what we got up to..!!
Sandgate yacht club held their centenary regatta over the weekend.. 100 years ago a 12 footer led the charge and 100years later the 12’s once again lit up the bay..!! The regatta was held over both days and there were two heats each day.
We arrived to the club early.. Real early.. I’m talking my hangover hadn’t even kicked in yet early.. The race was to start at 11:30 AM..!!
There was a bit of confusion.. I was clearly not the only one who left home in a clouded state.. Buoys, rescue boats and tool boxes were forgotten that morning.. The last one was the killer for me.. It contained all my fittings so PB couldn’t even step a mast.. Tristan quickly drove home and got them leaving us 30mins to rig and sail to the race course… I sat on my ass and picked a rig..
The fleet was split.. Ghetto went 3rd while PB and Squid threw in 2nd.. It was blowing 15kts from the East and was forecast to ease..
The fleet hit the water with PB still on its side… Hurry hurry hurry..!!
The channel at Sandgate is a nightmare.. Shallow and narrow.. Perfect when you’re in a rush.. We only kissed the bottom once.. Ok so we sucked face with it.. Both on wire, both sent to the forestay.. Tristan threw me back up in to the boat and I brought her back down.. Lifted the c’board and reversed off the bank.. With mud pouring out of the bow pole we were gob smacked as to how we landed that awesome bow stand…
Lucky for us the wind had swung around a bit and the start was delayed… The breeze was easing as predicted and was now about 12kts.. Uh oh.. Sucks to have 3rd rig in..!! We started the race with the 18’s.. PB and Squid went left and Ghetto went right.. It was a couple of 18’s around first, then Ghetto and then PB and Squid.. PB with the 2nd rig sailed low and fast, while Ghetto got stuck under a Taipan. The breeze continued to die and we stayed in that order.. It wasn’t until the last lap that things got interesting.. Not so much on the racing front, but the breeze was back..!! Yeeha.!!
The second race was looking hot..!! With the breeze up we were all in our ideal rig range.. Richards grin was from ear to ear..!! I’m sure Benny had given him a bit of curry about having 3rd rig in for that first race…
We all started together.. It was neck and neck.. The two 18’s were up there with Winning Appliances rounding first and APC getting in our way as we all converged on the top mark.. Ghetto got the jump and rounded first.. PB quickly powered over the top for the 2 sail reach to the wing mark… Which mark you say..?? Winning had their sights set on the laser course a few miles away, we all realised at the same time and gybed to head back to our course… PB had the inside line and were first to the bottom mark.. Love it..!! Screw the extra 6 feet, 12’s rule..!!
Ghetto were also close in toe and up the next beat closed the gap even further… As our main flapped I could picture Richo’s 3rd rig grin.. GAME ON.!!
Although they threw everything at us, PB stayed on top to get the points.. Winning Appliances managed to pass us at some stage but APC and the rest of the 18’s fleet were eating our wake..!!
Ghetto got a standing ovation from the dredging barge.. Massive mine on the way home right in front of them..Did I mention the waves are steep and deep on this part of the bay..!!
With the rides from Saturday still fresh in our minds we were amped.. Well as much as we could be while plugging in big rig… The forecast was for a sick easterly… We were all hoping it would kick like Saturday but it was not to be…
The 12’s were all late to the start giving the other division 1 fleet racers a sporting chance.. PB crossed the line first and caught the rest of the division 1 fleet by the wing mark.. The wind had dropped out and we could only pull one string.. LAME. Ghetto were chasing hard but the gap was too big.. PB won the race no sweat.. I’m sure the elapsed times would tell a different story, but hey.. Gotta be in it to win it..!!
The second race was better with all the 12’s on the line on time.. PB shot off the line at the pin end and made gains in some breeze..
There wasn’t much out there so we spent the whole time searching.. Ghetto were hot on our heels but couldn’t quite catch us on the triangle… The next beat was much of the same.. Searching for some puff.. Ghetto had pace on us and we were very aware of their presence.. They were pulling two strings up hill so made some quality gains.. Around the top it was still PB but Ghetto were close.. We took off downhill and got a lucky break when Ghetto couldn’t lay the top mark and had to throw in a few extra tacks.. We thought we had it again.. That was until Ghetto put up their new kite and got “the” puff.. They got towed 15 degrees and picked up all the ground they had lost plus some..!! At the bottom mark it was tight.. Ghetto were in front but PB got inside them and called room.. Ghetto obliged and then proceeded to sail out from under us.. OUCH..!! We tacked off but that was the end of us.. Ghetto found their sweet spot and put the hammer down..!! We were stuck in that almost pulling two strings but not quite situation.. No chance! Ghetto opened the biggest lead of the day on that one leg.. Impressive!
We followed them for the remainder of the course..
Over all the 12’s cleaned out the silverware with PB taking the division 1 and overall regatta.. Ghetto got second and Squid got 3rd.. The podium was all about the 12’s, Gotta be happy with that..!!
Thank you to the race officers and Sandgate Yacht Club for a great regatta.. I probably won’t see you at the next centenary regatta, but I’m honoured to have my name on that trophy..!!
SEND IT, DON”T BEND IT..!!