The Seabreeze weather rollercoaster started early Monday morning and the banter between the lads last week was pretty intense.. The forecast on Saturday was for breeze.. Plenty of it..!! GAME ON..!!
Saturday morning rolled around and after a quick call to the “bayside bogans” we decided to pack our 2nd, 3rd and 4th rigs.. Oh it was going to be a good day.!! Hell, 15-20kts on the bay is always a good day.!!
We arrived at the club to a steady 18-20kts.. Easiest rig selection so far this season.. We all threw in 3rd and started to get excited..!! The four 12?s were joined this week by two Cherubs and didn’t they make their presence felt.. It was great to have more 12ft boats on the rigging lawn as we totally out-classed the 18?s both on and off the water..!!
After a quick briefing, explaining a sausage course for the 18 foot skiff sailors, we got changed and hit the water..!! Well everybody except John and I on the Wingman……. With the breeze picking up, we decided to throw on our smaller rudder blade AKA the secret weapon.. Unfortunately since we got the new rudder pin a few weeks ago, we were only able to get the pin down halfway and it got stuck in there pretty tight.. We were stuffed.. The other skiffs had all left the beach and blasting out to the startline and we were stuck with a rudder box that didn’t fit.. We ended up smacking it off with “The persuader” resulting in a pretty messed up rudder box but a perfectly straight pin.. We threw the big fixed blade on and set off to join the others.. We watched them start as we belted out of the leads.. The race was on.. Here’s hoping we could get to the start before the cut off..!!
We crossed the line late but before the 18?s had started so we knew we were ok… Our only option was to go the opposite way to the other boys if we were to have any hope of catching up and actually racing.. We went right which was actually the logical option anyway in a Southerly with an outgoing tide.. We had flatter water and were smokin.!! We made massive gains on the fleet and rounded just behind the cherubs.. Squiddy was in front of them and Squid in front of Ghetto.. Tank Girl had dominated the first beat and held a commanding lead..
The run was fast and furious from the moment we entered the bear away.. The Wingman had a little sniff and both John and I jumped back and held our breath as the bow popped back out and politely asked is to throw up the new purple kite.. We did just that and sent her hard.. The “flatish” water at the top mark helped us reach warp speed in a flash.. We had the cherubs in our sights but to be honest, they were hammering along very quickly..!! We only made small speed gains on them, but were a mile lower so gybed well inside them.. We looked ahead and Terry was having a sensational ride but being towed down towards the airport.. Miles below the bottom mark.. We went for the early drop and two sailed, cutting the corner on Squid and again making a lovely gain on the fleet.. Richard was a fair way up the beat and if Tank girl were tacking for the lay, Benny needs to get glasses..!! We rounded the bottom mark and had our sights locked on the Slippery Squid.. Terry was in a raging high mode so John and I decided we’d keep the pedal down and low groove the hell out of them.. Tankers, Ghetto and Squid all tacked before the lay line.. John and I were confused as the water was flatter and we were just going faster the further right we went.. I later heard it was due to their depth concerns.. Meow..!!
We hit the corner and were on the lay.. We watched Tank girl hoist and send, Ghetto do their trademark splash tack at the top and Squidgee, helpless against the chop, watched as The Wingman did a dump and burn fly by.. The boys on Ghetto decided one capsize wasn’t enough and put it in again just before the top mark.. We rounded Ghetto and the top mark with a gorgeous bear away and once again up went the purple kite.. The boat was going like a cut snake and John and I were holding each other tighter than a teenage couple at a school dance.. We got to the wing mark and it was time to gybe.. A quick look over my shoulder would have been a good idea as halfway through our gybe we noticed a very fast 18ft skiff pole narrowly miss my head.. Sorry boys, thanks again for missing us..!! We regathered our nerves and got the boat back up to full pace.. The waves had started getting pretty gnarly down at the bottom of the course and I dare say this was my favourite ride of the day.. John disagrees because he got air sick..!!
Around the bottom and out to the crap pot lay.. The Tank Girls again tacked early.. They still rounded the top ahead but we were flying around the course like a slot car.. We rounded the top mark and saw Tankers having kite problems.. We immediately thought we had a shot at winning this thing..!! As we bounced our way downhill, we tried to find the finish line lay.. We decided an early gybe was better than a late one with the breeze now gusting an easy 25kts.. We gybed and sent her.. We could see Benny looking back at us as he desperately tried to two sail slowly towards the finish line.. We were foot to the floor and just hoping there was enough water between Tank girl and the finish for us to snatch a cheeky bullet.. Alas we were slightly too high for the finish line so one last gybe was needed to cross.. Benny got the gun and we went through our gybe.. It was ugly.. So ugly we were now going to miss the finish line completely..!! We ditched the kite and crossed the line with white sails only.
Squid finished next with Ghetto in 4th.. The cherubs bailed early as one broke a mast.. Did I mention it was hairy out there..?? It was great to have the cherubs racing with us, and I hope they come along again next week..!!
Benny will do a race two report as John and I went home after the first race due to “injury”..
We’re told it was windier and lumpier.. Can’t wait to see the footage..!!!
Second race report, as Skinny went home like a homo.. [Ben Guymer]
After the first race we were pretty stuffed. Our bodies were saying ‘go home’, a one hour long race in 25 knots is enough. A brief conference concluded ‘we don’t work all week to go home early fuck that’. Quick run around past Terry and Richo and all agreed twice around the top mark was a good compromise. Terry requested a head start and we accidentally let him have it, Ghetto gybed to get back to the start and put it in the piss.. We two sail reached back to the line at about 40 knots and I lifted my butt over Bruce’s outboard as we rounded up to try and catch Squiddy. Terry was having a moment and we blasted out from under him.. but he found a higher groove and stuck with us.. Arno’s weight must have been packing some power. Pretty quickly we got to the port tack layline and had to tack.. Squid had held us out and we ducked them, as we had slowed to approximately 35 knots after the tack. Craig and I figured it was time to sort this shit out and put the hammer down. Turns out Tank girl can be quite the slapper given enough wind. More cunno, more vang (or was that less vang?) we were flat out planing upwind like never before.
Top mark… by now our tacks were reasonable but my bear away technique was getting sluggish. Run square to hoist as the kite halyard is up to tricks again. Bam the kite fills, we’re both out on trap and I look back to check for Squiddy. Pretty sure they’re one wiring… Tank girl lit her afterburners, back to the bottom mark. We capsized at the wing mark after suffering ‘Failure to gybe’ so we just two sailed to the leeward mark, didn’t matter anyway as we were still doing about 40 knots.. The next time round was a similar affair. Boat kept going fast which was lucky, because we were fading! Square run to the finish, no kite, because we could.
After the finish I suffered some overconfidence and asked newbie Justin if he wanted a ride home. 25 knots two sail ride home.. what a way to set foot in a 12. We both got more than we bargained for and after about a dozen unique capsizes (you know how it goes) I worked out a procedure to get home (fast) merely seconds before we died of exhaustion.
Intentionally capsized at ramp. Crawled to the grass, and a complimentary beer from Justin.
Our FTG was good zero to report, but our FNTM (failure not to mine) was 100%. I have not mine so hard in years. A two sail around the top mark in the first race can’t remember which time, but there was 2 foot of mud up the pole! Arno went by me like a flash and around the forestay he went. then I wrapped my left arm in the back foot strap, stood on the back of the centre case and hang on while it drove into the bottom of the bay. In the words of Arno “ How did you like that Ekka ride”. The 18ft follow us got too scared and tried to grannie but they failed that to. He did it again on the two sail reach on the way home (death angle 5 ) through the leads. Bye the end of the day Arno could not pull the skin off a rice pud. But I think he’ll be back.
What a day to sail 12 foot skiffs. WOOT WOOT.