After 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..
Havoc 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..
Ghetto 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..!!