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12s – Season Points – 7th December 2013
Boy oh boy.. Has anyone come down yet after Saturday’s sensational racing..?? I know I haven’t..!!
With clear blue skies, hangovers from Friday nights Christmas parties, 10-15kts and the big open bay, you couldn’t ask for better skiff racing conditions..!!
The fleet was split from the get go with Squid and Ghetto putting in big rig, and The Wingman and Pennyliss taking the optimistic gamble by putting in 2nd.. The breeze on the ramp was hovering at around 10-12kts.. The general vibe was pretty chipper with plenty of banter and all crews happy with their rig choices.. The sail to the start line showed that there wouldn’t be too much in it.. On board The Wingman we soon realised that we’d have to stay in the pressure if we were to have a chance.. There were big holes but at other times we were dumping main.. It was going to be a tough day out there..!! I felt for John, whose head was heavier than Tank Girl’s paint job…
The start was lazy.. Squid were they only ones who nailed it, Wingman and Ghetto followed a few seconds behind.. All three boats went left early with Squiddy tacking first.. The Wingman tacked a little past them in a puff but Ghetto continued left.. At the top mark The Wingman had played the shifts best and rounded first.. Ghetto was next and Squid followed close behind. The Wingman gybed early to follow a puff and try to defend their position against those big rig kites..[singlepic id=1179 w=320 h=240 float=right]
Coming in to the bottom mark on starboard paid off and we were able to dump on Ghetto’s line and round just ahead.. The breeze had settled slightly and was now a steady 12kts.. This allowed The Wingman to lean in to it a bit and hold pace against Ghetto.. We saw a shift and tacked off.. In hind sight we probably should have just covered them, but we were feeling confident in ourselves and continued the aggressive tactics.. It paid early, but we went in to softer pressure and Ghetto lifted out of the right hand side to take the biggest lead of the day.. John and I were pretty gutted.. However we continued to push on and our luck changed when Richard and Benny played about in irons for a minute.. We rounded in front and were back in the game..!! Yeeha.!! We found some great pressure and actually shot ahead.. Unfortunately the breeze swung South and by the time we could gybe we were being towed well below the mark.. This allowed Ghetto to slip back up on us and sneak ahead at the bottom mark.. The new Southerly breeze was now a solid 12-14kts and The Wingman had plenty of power.. We shot underneath Ghetto.. We put everything in to that drag race to the corner and things were looking sensational..!! That was until the breeze decided to ass out.. We had to low groove it to hold pressure and Ghetto slid up alongside with their big rig.. Gut wrenching .. We got to the lay and they tacked on us. They covered us all the way to the top mark and then down to the finish.. Awesome racing.. Terry and Wayno were not far behind and came down to the finish line with great pressure.. Looked like a pretty awesome ride..!!
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The second race was even better still with the breeze settling in to around 15kts and the wind against tide really whipped up the ramps.. John and I were pretty happy we had 2nd rig in…..
All three 12’s hit the line on time but The Wingman had the edge with Squid and Ghetto getting swamped by 18’s.. Haha..!!
We all tacked early to make use of the tide and Ghetto showed some real pace.. Around the top it was Ghetto followed closely by The Wingman and Squid.. We all gybed a little early and had to gybe again before the bottom mark.. Ghetto put it in the piss on the last gybe right in front of us and thankfully we able to miss them.
The Wingman was able to pin the ears back and send it for the next lap opening up a lovely little gap on the other skiffs.. Squiddy was next around the top with Ghetto not far behind.. 50m from the line and Squid were too high, they buried the bow in the gybe and the little Squid just kept driving deeper and deeper.. There was green water flowing over the bow and in to the cockpit.. Terry was fighting gallantly to try and dig her out but there was no coming back… Not even the cheer from the spectators could bring it back and they went over.. Ghetto saw this happen right in front of them and must have thought it looked like fun because not 15m past Squiddy, the Ghetto went straight over the front.. Nice and vertical she stood tall for a moment before Crossy ripped in to her to start dropping that kite.. The race was on to see who could get back up first..!!
Ghetto got there because Squid had a complication.. Their big black bow pole was now in two not-so-big pieces.. Back to the drawing board Smelly.
Great rides and great racing.. That’s what 12’s are all about..
John and I took a couple of Cherub sailors for a spin after racing and The Wingman put on quite a show.. Comfy 2nd rig with steep ramps, Awesome.
Pennyliss won the spinners by not taking the forward inspection hatch for its obligatory ride around the bay.
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Until next time,
SEND IT DON’T BEND IT..!!