Red Claw Bites the fleet

Saturday’s racing went to plan on board the Red Claw Brisbane 18, moderate NE winds gusting between 16-19 knots and a 4 boat fleet (Red Claw, Queensland, Bulimba Firetruck and Queenslander).

New crew member Toby Poulsen did a fantastic job in the bow (1st Race), Nathan (Smitty) the work horse also did a brilliant job, apart from the buoys being nearly impossible to pick out due to the amount of racing and other marks out there. David Witt (Witty) took an early lead by being the only boat that actually made the start.

The other fleet all converged at the same time nearly 2 mins after Witty had started. We immediately worked through the few 18s that started with us. As we neared the top mark we realised that Witty was sailing to the wrong windward mark, a few hundered meters further to windward – whoops.

Witty come honking downwind with kite, passing the correct mark still with a good lead.

On the second beat to windward we seemed to be slowly pulling time out of the leader. Approaching the top mark we saw that Witty had come to a complete stop, while in the groove we kept coming at them, upon a closer view we saw that Witty and crew were trying to catch a good feed of prawns – their kite was in the water.

Well that sparked the realisation that we were in the lead. Sailing smart, we maintained our lead with no swims .

The last run was something special. I don’t know what speed we were doing, but it was quick. The skiff had that floating-on-a-cloud feeling over the back of the waves and landing on the wave in front so smoothly.

Toby said after the race that is one of the best rides downwind he has ever had.

I have beaten some personal fitness problems too, now feeling back at home on the 18. It all felt great. Not at any stage did we look like going in.

Nathan and Toby used to crew together with me steering on the Healthy Waterways 18. Well, I am very happy, we have a great combo on board Red Claw.

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Story courtesy of Adam Young.