QLD – Club Championship Race 1

IMG_3563After another long week of crazy forecasts and probably a little too much smack talk amongst the lads, the QLD 12’s were fired up and raring to go when Saturday finally came..!!

The breeze wasn’t quite as strong as the early week forecasts, however a magic sunny 27 degrees with 10-15kts greeted the sailors when they go to the rigging lawn.. A split between big rig and second was on the cards with Squid, Wingman and Ghetto all putting in their biggest gear.. Havoc, Cougar and Marina/Death by Chocolate/Pool Pony/”Laurie’s new ride” all played it safe and put in their 2nd rigs..

The vibe on the lawn was great even though we were missing a couple of boats.. The smack talk continued until we hit the water. Ghetto were their usual slick operation and were first to be heading out the leads.. The rest of us followed shortly after and game faces were donned. The start was somewhat pathetic.. Most boats opted for a second row start except The Wingman and Ghetto Sled.. All boats went left except Havoc and it was Ghetto who hit the corner first.. The Wingman tried to sneakily dump on them but less than perfect execution of the tack found saw spat out the backdoor with Ghetto then turning on the afterburners and leaving The Wingman to suck on their jet stream..

Meanwhile out to the right Joshie on Havoc found some positive tide and a great little lift which he utilised to perfection and when the fleet converged on the top mark it was the 2nd row bandits who rounded first followed by Ghetto, Wingman, Squid and the rest..

1897792_802445583131341_4167985557860112834_nHavoc must have really liked that side of the course because they did a quick gybe set and headed straight back out there.. Ghetto had a slow hoist due to a kinked Halyard.. The Wingman caught up the lost ground and it was on like Donkey Kong..!! Ghetto gybed off to clear his air and The Wingman and Squiddy continued out to the corner..

Around the bottom it was tight with Ghetto just hanging on to a narrow lead ahead of The Wingman, Havoc and Squid.. The Wingman tacked off to find some clear air.. Ghetto didn’t cover much to their delight.. All boats wanted to make use of the tide out to the right so when Ghetto finally tacked to give a loose cover on The Wingman, The old girl tacked back out to the right.. The Breeze was strengthening to a solid 12-15kts.. Anyone who’s sailed a 12 with big rig in 15kts knows you’ve got a bit on trying to control the bucking, pigrooting skiff.. Woohoo..!!

Around the top Ghetto had extended their lead on the fleet and shot off towards the wing mark.. The Wingman and Squiddy followed them but there was a slight mishap aboard Havoc which saw the super sub Nathan (who has spent a lot more time on 18’s than 12’s) take one too many steps back after a ball tearing acceleration, needless to say Nath found himself swimming with the fishes..

10702130_802445729797993_2891212010646549275_nGhetto dropped their kite after the gybe as the second reach was too tight for their big rig and they headed for the bottom mark on white sails.  On board The Wingman we took a gamble and carried the kite a bit further straight in to an Etchells fleet.. When we popped out the other side we dropped the kite and scooted to the bottom mark on a pretty sketchy two sail big rig reach.. We were hanging off the back and praying that the nose would stay above the green stuff.. We made up the ground we’d lost on the previous work and rounded once again hot on the heels of Ghetto Sled. Squid were right on our transom too.. What great close racing..!!

With our cunno blocked out and the mainsail flagging Ghetto were once again able to stretch out a nice little advantage on the windward work.. The fleet watched anxiously as they did their final tack of the race half expecting them to execute their now “world famous” splash tack.. Not today, these boys were on song and rounded the top with a comfortable lead and they just set and sent it down to the finish line on what was a cracking top end big rig kite ride..!! The Wingman was next with Squid completing the podium..

The second race was abandoned due to a severe thunderstorm warning and some ominous clouds heading towards the fleet..

It was a sensation day out and it’s great to see boats are starting to get their crew work together and are getting fast again..

You will have noticed there was no mention of Tank Girl this week as they were not racing. Instead Ben was off getting married. On behalf of the QLD 12’s Benny, congratulations on your wedding Benny and Christine.. However you did miss a sensational day of racing..!!

Until next weekend Send it, Don’t Bend it..!!

Skinnyman

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Results 2014-09-27

QLD – Patron’s Trophy – 20th September 2014

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It’s taken a few weeks to shake off the rust, however the QLD 12’s are definitely starting to find their feet..!! Nobody knew what was going to happen weather wise this week with some forecasts saying sub 5kts and others saying 20kts..!! When we got to the rigging lawn smiles spread across the faces of all skiffies.. (Except BMad because he was on rescue driver duty)  A delightful 15kts from the South East with a few gusts getting up to 20kts.. 3rd rig..!!

The Wingman decided to make a few last minute alterations by adding some more non-skid to those hard to reach places..  You know the ones you only stand on when it’s blowing snot and you’re trying to grip on with your toe nails.. Fruities were also added just in case the wind vs tide scenario threw some famous Moreton Bay ramps our way.. (Here’s hoping..!!)

We were all pretty excited to get out there, so much so that we hit the water early.. (For those who know the QLD 12’s, this never happens.. EVER..!!)

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On board the Wingman it was our first real sail of the season and it showed.. We showered the bottom of the boat with rust when we started, but after 20mins of tacking practice and a sensational 20kt send, things started to gel a little.. GAME ON..!!

The gun went and unfortunately only one boat crossed the line on time.. Tankers came in hot and crossed the line first.. Wingman was a boat length back with Havoc and Ghetto fiddle farting around behind.. I believe there was a last minute crash tack on Ghetto which put them behind the 8 ball from the get go..

The first work saw Tank-ass go left and Wingman right (to try and get out of the chop).. Tankers came out on top and rounded in 1st..  followed by The Wingman and Havoc, then Ghetto (closer than the shave Benny so desperately needs).. The run was somewhat shorter than expected with B-Mads GPS prowess, or lack thereof, resulting in a “sprint” course.. It was a case of get the kite up, send it for 10 seconds then gybe and hope you make the gate.. Tankers did a good job and The Wingman followed.. Josh lost control through the gybe and was the first watery casualty for the race. We came charging down to the gate in a mega puff and were lucky the boat was so far out of the water otherwise the c’board would have caught the start boat anchor line..!!

Another gybe and within seconds we found ourselves at the bottom mark..!! The Wingman felt the pressure and put it in the piss on the final gybe drop allowing Ghetto to slip through easier than a greased up Scotsman..

The next work saw the top 3 skiffs headed straight for the corner with no real time gains.. That was until Ghetto did their all too familiar splash tack and allowed The Wingman to catch up a bit.. Tank Girl was now well out in front with a smoking 20kt breeze.. Around the top mark for the second time and they were looking slick..!! That was until they got a little too close and personal with the gate.. For those who haven’t yet seen the footage, Tank girl managed to gybe on the gate mark.. I mean that as literally as it can be.. The buoy got caught between the forestay and the mast..!!VIDEO HERE This allowed Ghetto and Wingman to slide up the inside.. (sorry no fun pun for this one)  Ghetto rounded the bottom for the last time with a nice little gap with The Wingman and Tankers battling it out behind.. I’ll blow my own trumpet now, because it was the one and only time all day we did something remarkable.. After rounding the bottom mark together The Wingman opened the after burners and smoked Tankers from underneath.. I’m sure it was as pleasurable for them as it was for us..

Around the top for the final time and Ghetto Sled set and sent it to the finish for their first “Bradbury” win of the season..

The Wingman were second with Tank Girl third.

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The second race followed shortly after the first with Tank Girl once again winning the start (although they must have been pretty damn close to the line……..) Ghetto, Tankers and Havoc headed left with The Wingman once again trying the right.. Unfortunately with two of the worst tacks ever seen on a 12ft skiff (without actually capsizing) We were well behind the fleet by the top mark.. Tankers rounded first again with Ghetto hot on their heels.. Havoc were looking good too until they snapped their jib sheet.. The Wingman watched the two leaders absolutely hammering after setting the kites..  The ramps were epic and the air time was huge..!! If there were any cobwebs still lingering at that stage they would have been well and truly blown out..

The ride to the bottom was much better this time as BMad worked out that there is a difference between a 6 and an 8 on the GPS and the course was that little bit longer..

Ghetto and Tankers battled hard with the Wingman falling further behind after an attempted auto pilot error.. (The kite sheet wrapped around the tiller extension and during the gybe when the kite filled, the tiller did too..)

Ghetto managed to pass Tank Girl at the final bottom mark and from where I stood (further back than fullback) they were able to successfully fend the tankers off all the way to the finish..

When returning to the beach it was a case of thank f*ck for trolley wheels because every crew member was completely exhausted.. We used our last remaining strength to lift the rum cans to our mouths and talk about the crazy rides for the rest of the afternoon..

It’s great to be back and racing.. A cracking 3rd rig day was exactly what the doctor ordered..!!

Until next week when we do it all again,

Send it, don’t bend it..!!

SkinnyMan

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QLD – 2014 Season Opener

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.
Richard
Photos courtesy of Goura Whitehurst

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QLD – Club Championship Races 3 and 4

Screen Shot 02smlPenthouse to doghouse in a challenging Northeaster.

Weather forecasts are always wrong. So when the BOM says it will be 15-25 NE in its Friday forecast and then 15-20 NE on Saturday morning, you’d expect at least 15 knots at the start line. Anyway… 2nd rigs went in as the wind was feeling a big light on. Ghetto, Tankers and the Squid were lining up on the lawn for what should have been a sweet overcooked, flat water ride. As Ghetto hit the water, it was feeling a little soft, but heading out the leads a nice 2-string windward with potential to build was OK. Then the breeze arsed out…. 1 string… Tankers and Squid hobbled by the incoming tide… Ghetto gets to the start line with minutes to spare, but Tankers and Squid are nowhere to be seen. Ghetto wins the start..!! Pin end on port. Chugging slowly up the course in the now pretty sick Easterly.

At the top mark, 20 mins later, an extra soft section of the course under Green Island, Ghetto rounds first by half a leg and teabag capsizes in to windward because there is not enough breeze to sit on the gunnel. Righting a skinny boat with no wind is not easiest thing to do. Once that was sorted Ghetto BLASTED down to the bottom and the rest of the race was a bit of a drag. 1hr 20mins… Win by 6mins to Tank Girl then Squid. The wind had started to fill on the run to the finish..!!!!

Race 2: The wind was now a steady 15kts and had swung a little North. Game on. Ghetto once again hit the pin end on port with Squid following close behind. Tankers must have initially missed the north shift, because they started mid line on starboard. Ghetto and Squid blasted out to the right, drag racing a couple of gin palaces to not get run over on their way to Peel Island for… a few gins. Tankers split left and when we all headed back to the middle 3/4 up the course they had a 200 metre lead. WTF..!! Further north shifting paid for the Tank Girls and they were smashing along in the starting-to-get-lumpy seas and solid breeze.

Round the first mark Tankers were up and gone and Ghetto, with a last minute knot in the main sheet couldn’t ease through the bear away and dived through a double up. The chop was still coming from the east , but was being supplemented by the same from the north, creating a bit of an obstacle for the run. Squid, with fill-in crew Rilke De Vos, rounded smartly just as Ghetto got up and going. Tankers was near the bottom mark as it was now a straight run between the marks.

The second lap went by without incident, Ghetto and Squid seemingly gaining on Tank Girl and they must have eased off the throttle. However, the wind was now gusting 20, and the chop had tripled up, making the sailing… fun but challenging. Another splash-tack for Ghetto and Squid was right there. A splash pulling the 100L of water plus the kite up saw them slide past. Killer ride to the finish on the ear, Rilke yahooing and screaming, and that was that. Tankers wins by 6mins, Terry and Rilke safe as houses 2nd and the death or glory crew on Ghetto succumbing to a fast death.

2 sail home was also a bit “challenging” at the angle of death. Tankers mined near the leads and Squid drove through a few beefy ones, Rilke smiling like a madman. Ghetto going Volvo70 style with all the ropes on the floor getting sucked out the back by green water.!!

Good times, need to see a few more boats on-the-water to make a graveyard on days like that.

Richard

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QLD – Club Championship – Race 1

img_0064Well nobody saw that coming..

Brisbane saw a day of extremes on Saturday with the 12?s leading the charge as always.

The forecast was light and variable.. I remember looking at the readings while sipping my latte in a trendy New Farm cafe and thinking it was going to be a day for the punters..!! The wind to the North of the race course was blowing from the North, the wind on the race course was from the South and the wind down at the Gold Coast (South of the race course) was from the North..!! All readings were below 10kts.. The first two heats of the Club Championship were going to be BIG RIG..!!!

We got to the club and the bay was glass.. Clouds covered the sky and it was cold.. Awesome day to be sailing a 12..!! We all started rigging up with our big gear when John calls out to me.. Hey Skinnyman.. Check it out.. A front was coming from the North.. Was it about to be a game changer.?? With the front came some rain.. Then 20-25kts of cold hard breeze..!! I’ve haven’t had so many expletives go through my head since the infamous starter boat incident.. Basically I had left my little rigs at home about half an hour from the club.. John and I had a discussion.. We waited and waited for the front to pass, but looking at the readings further North we decided that even after the squall there was going to be a good 15-18kts.. Excellent 3rd rig weather for us..!! We decided to take a punt, hope the race was postponed and duck off and grab the other rig.. We took every toll road in Brisbane to get there and back, but we made it in record time.. As predicted a lovely 15-18kts greeted us and the other boys were still on the shore..!! Seemed Saturday was coming up Skinnyman..!! Ghetto and Allwood stuck with 2nd rig and hit the water..

Cue Sunshine..!! The boat was rigged and the sunshine spilled across the bay.. The boys on Ghetto and Allwood were already dancing with the waves out there doing some two boat tuning.. Pennyliss was on their way out to the start too.. How good was this..!! John and I hit the water and it happened.. The wind swung West.. I mean West West.. The kind of West that makes you contemplate poking yourself in the eye with a shackle key West.. We slowed from a twin wire 2 sail reach to a no wire, can’t fill the kite driftathon..

The boys had started the race and it was neck and neck between Ghetto and Allwood.. (I know this because I watched from my stationary pontoon otherwise known as The WingMan..!!) As the breeze died Ghetto had the weight advantage over Allwood (about 40kgs) and they slipped well ahead by the top mark.. Pennyliss were up the rear and with the wind maxing out at 5kts their 3rd rig looked pretty lame..

Ghetto turned the corner and threw up their black kite.. It seemed an age before Brendan and Joel got around even though it didn’t look like they were far behind.. It was definitely not the low flying dogfight we had all hoped for.. Brendan and Joel got to the bottom mark before calling it quits.. Richard and Crossy had a massive lead and with the breeze now from the West it was a one tack wonder to the top mark.. John and I finally made it to the race track and tucked in with Pennyliss for a 3rd rig battle of mammoth proportions.. John found sitting on the bow pole was more comfortable than he had first imagined.. Benny saw us pass him to windward and then tack back around to pass him to leeward before we too heard the rums a calling and headed home..

Ghetto won by a record 41mins with Pennyliss taking the second place..

Here’s hoping next week’s breeze is a little more stable and we get some more boats out there.. I have already relocated my gear to John’s house so if we need to duck home to grab third rig, it will be 5mins up the hill.

Miners went to Ghetto as they were the only entrants with two fine examples pre-start..

Another week to wait but I for one can’t wait to get back out there and race the second heat of the Club Champs next weekend..!! I’ve even bought some wet and dry to give the old girl some lovin during the week..

Until then Send it, Don’t Bend it..!!

 

Skinnyman

 

2013-09-28 results