No time to get the feel of the boat again for the Brisbanites on the weekend, who had to stand up to 4th rig, and what a battle it was.
The start of the 2014-15 12ft skiff season started with a bang in 20-25kts and an increasingly alarming Waterloo Bay chop.
5 skiffs pulled their 3rd rigs on, then a few ducked the wind swept seagulls and settled for a last minute 4th main as the breeze kicked a few knots right before launch time.
The gun went off for the first race of the season and Tank Girl, with her fresh splattering of “Moon Jizz” paint, had the early lead with Ghetto Sled chasing to the corner, and newcomer Josh Franklin in Havoc hitting the harbour to avoid the swell. Of course, time off the water prevented the ability to navigate to the top mark, so Havoc took an early lead with Tankers and Ghetto reaching back down to the top mark. Tankers with a slow kite set and Havoc with a very rough bear-away had all three blasting downhill within a couple hundred metres of each other. 3rd rig kites were up on all and it was a massive wake-up call after hibernating all winter. The bears took a while to limber up the muscles and both Tank Girl and Havoc hit the piss around the first gybe area. Ghetto blasting from behind took the lead and was never headed. Ben and Craig had a few swims but came good for 2nd and Josh limped in 3rd, ready to do it again.
Meanwhile, Laurie may or may not have left the beach after trying to rig his 4th and discovering a significant luff curve deficiency. And BMad, the Cougar, started the race, but managed to split his inspection hatch, sinking half the boat and keeping Terry on the RIB busy.
Race 2 was a bit of a shambles, with the kite boarders going first, and Guymer doing a practice start. The skiff start was a procession, with Tank Girl tacking out early and Havoc following shortly afterwards, all chasing flatter water. Havoc splash tacked near the top, Tankers took 27knots down the mine at the bear-away and Ghetto also had a quick swim to even things up. Only Ghetto was above the water on the run and once again was never headed. Josh pulled the pin after a lap and a dozen swims, and Tankers were further back than fullback after running without the kite for a bit. Lots of epic rides, with 3rd kites all round and some deep holes to drop into. Need to charge up the GoPro, to show the world what we do.
Seriously brave efforts by all for an untypical start to the season. The newbies braved it, but need to respect the power of the 12ft skiff before they’ll see the podium in 25kts. With new boats, crews and gear all around the boat park, it’s shaping up to be an unforgettable season.
Photos courtesy of Goura Whitehurst