Author Archives: Qld 12ft Skiffs

About Qld 12ft Skiffs

The Qld 12ft Skiff Association sails in Brisbane. Our home club is the Brisbane 18ft Sailing Club. We sail on Moreton Bay. Contact President Richard Billett on 0433 262 245 for more information. Also and

Australian Championships – Day 1 Results

Race 1

1. Geotherm

2. Kelsow Consulting

3. Sydney Sailmakers

4. Ghetto Sled

5. LCC

6. Maersk

7. Tank Girl

8. Skoll

9. Chapman HPS

10. Big Foot CTH

11. The Wingman

12. The Bird

13. Slippery When Wet

14. Giddy Up

15. Arrogant Frog


17. Hey Charger

18. Cunning Stunts

19. Pennyliss

20. Citadel

21. Death By Chocolate

DNF Hempel Yacht Paints


Race 2

1. Sydney Sailmakers

2. Geotherm

3. Maersk

4. Ghetto Sled

5. Big Foot Custom Trapeze Harnesses

6. Giddy Up

7. LCC

8. Chapman HPS

9. Skoll

10. Kelsow Consulting

11. Tank Girl

12. The Bird

13. Hempel Yacht Paints

14. Hey Charger

15. Arrogant Frog

16. Slippery When Wet

17. Pennyliss

18. The Wingman

19. Cunning Stunts

20. Citadel


DNS Death By Chocolate

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..!!



Results 2014-09-27

QLD – Patron’s Trophy – 20th September 2014


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..!!)


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.


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..!!


IMG_3369 IMG_3252 IMG_3410

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.
Photos courtesy of Goura Whitehurst

Wingman rebuild 01 Cougar 2014 Havoc 2014

QLD – 19th October 2013

Race 1

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..!!!

4th rig tankers

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.

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.


Screen Shot 01sml

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..!!




2013-09-28 results

QLD – Patrons’s Trophy 21st September 2013

img_0064Ghetto Sled at home on the speedway..!!

With the Americas Cup being the hot topic at the moment, it was kind of exciting knowing that the numbers would be down on the weekend.. We knew there would only be the two 12?s on the race course and the match race smack talk started early.. The hype around the race was epic with both skippers still blurting verbal diarrhoea at one another as late as on the drive down to the club.. It was a last ditch attempt to get in to each other’s head.. It was a trophy race after all.. The coveted Patrons trophy was on offer, and neither skiff wanted the other crew to hold it high on presso night.. On board The Mighty Wingman (yep, that’s right.. She’s back..) we knew we had an advantage with Ghetto Sled being the scratch boat and the Patrons trophy being awarded to the handicap winner..

The breeze was light to moderate and sat on around 12kts.. Did somebody say delightful 2nd rig..?? Both boats tried to rig on top of each other still trying to gain the psychological advantage.. Nothing could split these two teams..

We both hit the water and sailed out together.. Both skiffs had a bit of time up their sleeves and wanted to refine a few boat handling manoeuvres so did a quick hot lap around the top mark..

We got in to the start sequence with the course set parallel to Green Island.. Then it happened, the wind swung East..!! It became apparent that port tack was the only option.. Both skiffs started at the pin end on port and hit the line with pace.. Unfortunately for The Wingman some “Jack”ass on an 18 with a main sail as big as a 35ft yacht sailed up on us and started soiling our breeze.. With nowhere to go (we were pretty much laying the top mark) we had to suck it and see.. The boys and Ghetto seemed to have the jump on us early, but the Wingman team were not about to throw in the towel that’s for sure.!! We rounded the mark about 20secs behind.. We were still in the hunt..!! Up went the kite and we got ready for the tight reach down to the gate.. Unfortunately Hughie had other ideas and we lost pressure.. We watched Ghetto and the 18?s sail on down to the start boat gate and do two quick gybes and smoke down towards the bottom mark.. We had nothing.. We were pointing 30 degrees higher and going slower.. We gybed down to the gate and and as we got there the pressure came back.. Perfect if you wanted to run low, but now we had to try and climb up to the bottom mark..!! We dropped the kite and two sailed up to the bottom.. Meanwhile Ghetto had a commanding lead and was already heading uphill..!! We kept our heads and just started sailing fun mode.. Our two sail gybe around the bottom mark was spot on and we had a pretty good line back up to the top mark.. Ghetto held their lead and around the top they were still playing with the 18?s..!! The Wingman was half a leg behind and heads were starting to drop.. Not even B-Mad’s handicap could help us from here..!!

We rounded the top mark and squeezed high to lay the gate.. Ghetto had rounded the bottom mark already and probably had a 2-3min lead..!! The Wingman was getting whooped..!! We rounded the bottom mark for the final time and looked up the course at Ghetto.. They were headed for Lota creek.. What the..?? We were laying the top mark and gaining.. What breeze were Ghetto in..?? And WHY..?? Were they heading home..?? John jokingly said to me.. Look at their angle.. Spiesy would say “we’re still in it here..!!” The boys on Ghetto tacked and headed back towards the race track.. John was right.. We were back in the game..!! Who would have thought..!! We rounded under a minute behind them and it was a battle as to who could sail higher and lay the finish line..!! Ghetto had a bit on and got smacked below the lay.. They had to drop the kite and two sail.. Here we go.!! The Wingman was coming home strong..!! Benny on the bow of Ghetto did a great job on the pressure leeward drop and Ghetto were able to sneak home for line honours.. The race against the clock started.. The Wingman squeezed and squeezed and got through the finish line with the kite.. Was it enough to get home for the handicap win..?? We didn’t know at the time, and we still don’t know now.. Well done to the Ghetto boys for the bullet and feel free to sail to Lota anytime you want.

Race two was going to be fun, with such a close finish to race one, it was still anyone’s game..!!

The course wasn’t changed which surprised a few of us so again it was a port hand start to see who could lay the top mark best.. With the 18?s again causing a few issues (This time it was some crazy skinny dude with what looks like dacron sails..!!) The Wingman had to low groove it and they had Ghetto flying high to avoid the nasty air.. Who had the best VMG..?? Ghetto, and they rounded the top mark ahead.. It was close but not close enough.. Ghetto two sailed up a bit higher so they could lay the gate.. We cut the corner to try and make a gain but alas we just went a bit higher and slower and by the gate the gap hadn’t really changed.. Around the bottom mark and Ghetto were leading, The Wingman came in on starboard and with some pretty half-hearted Hollywood inspired screams, we made them avoid us and followed them around the mark without really putting any pressure on them.. Ghetto were killing the high groove and going fast.. It was great to see the boys finding their straight line form from last year.. Changing gears seamlessly they extended on the one tack beat.. With no passing lanes or Ghetto showing any weakness The Wingman were left to watch and wait for Ghetto’s signature choke on the final top mark tack.. Luckily for Ghetto they made it through the boat and even though it wasn’t pretty, it was pretty effective and the rounded the top in first place.. We followed them around but knew unless they broke something we had nothing to throw at them..

All in all it was a cracking day out there, with magic sailing conditions with the QLD sun shining and 31 degree temps.. You wouldn’t give it up for anything..!!

Already I’ve started going over the boat for some midweek twerking.. Bring it on next week boys..!! The Wingman is back and ready to give this season a little rub n tickle.!!

Until next week, SEND IT DON’T BEND IT..!!


2013-09-21 results

QLD – 14th September 2013

Terry 2Arrived at the club for what would be a great day for skiffing. I worked my way through around over the other boats in the yard to my place in the back corner and waited for the gun Young Bronson to arrive.

We put 4th in straight up. After some direction from Ben which sail was what as I’ve never put 4th in the Squid as yet.
The sounds of Christine “2 o’clock start don’t be late” we made the move to the ramp. Found our way to the start and bang we were off. Hang on where are the skinny boats. Anyway 2 o’clock is 2 o’clock. A quick chat on what was going to happen at the top mark ” lets not put the kite up it looks a bit tight” around we went. Just like a seasonal skiffie Bronson went the kite. Get out and get back was the cry. Before too long it was let’s drop it we aren’t going to make it. Around the wing mark and 2 sail to the bottom or so we thought. Rescue boat come pass “the race has started” Wayne yeld. “Yes we know we are on our way the bottom mark we have started”. We rounded and worked the right side of the course ( lest amount of corners the better right).
Ghetto 1Told Bronson to look to the top mark where Richard and Ben got a great ride. He just smiled. Around the top a quick jibe up the kite and hang on. One of the quickest 1 string rides to date, a top gun flyby maverick and goose would be proud of pass the start boat. No sound from the young fella this time. Half way down and I still have not pulled on the main. Squid was skipping and leaping her way to the bottom mark. Around it and back to the top with no no no skinny boat in sight. a few more rides and the race  was done. Bronson first time in a 12ft skiff, his first win in a 12ft skiff, my first 4th rig in Squid a first for all. 

Later I heard the others had troubled on the ramp but there were more that one set of ramps out there.

Remember fella sailors 2 o’clock start is a 2 o’clock start.
Flat Fat Fast. In Fat boats.

QLD – 8th September 2013

Allwood Sails   Beautiful one day, perfect the next.. That’s the slogan, and boy has QLD lived up to it, with near perfect sailing conditions for the 3rd and 4th races of the season.. The breeze was from the North and a constant 12-15kts when we arrived at the boat park.. With a forecast to build..!! We all threw in our trusty 2nd rigs and hit the water on time for the 2pm start.. All except Brendan and Joel that is.. They put their big rig in again.. Power moves..!!

The start was somewhat controversial with what looked like all boats across the line early and the recall flag flying high.. Fortunately for us on PB we were forced out even though I’m sure we had rights.. We tacked off and crossed the line well behind the fleet and after the starting gun.. Tank girl came back for the recall and we all continued sailing with a few grumbles from the back of the pack..

All was forgotten by the top mark with all 5 skiffs arriving within a few boat lengths.. There were boats being rolled and boats rolling over with the breeze building on cue for the kite ride..!!

Ghetto SledGhetto Sled were around first followed closely by Squid, Tank girl and Allwood sails.. PB brought it up the rear but a sloppy set saw Allwood tip it in to windward and Tank Girl narrowly miss an ugly mast tangle.. This all happened right in front of us on PB, and we had to go low and slow to get past them while the other boys were smoking down to the bottom mark..

It was a quick ride, but we covered a fair distance.. Ghetto managed to stretch out a bit on the fleet with all the dramas happening behind them.. Squid rounded in second but were closely followed by Tank Girl.. PB made up some lost ground but we were not yet within striking distance.. The next beat saw a split fleet with Ghetto heading right to enjoy the tide and Squid and Tank Girl picking the shifts up the left.. PB also went right but by the top mark there was very little positional change.. Ghetto were leading with Tank Girl squeezing through Squiddy and PB following not too far behind.. Allwood were there too, but not really in the hunt. Halfway down the run Squid and Tank Girl were having an epic battle with both boats sending it hard and trying to get ahead.. Terry was able to go a bit higher and was halfway through rolling the Tank Girl when their bob stay let go… Everyone on the bay could feel the disappointment.. PB scooted past as Squid hauled in their big white kite.. The gybe came as a surprise for some and Ghetto overlayed it by a couple of hundred meters..!! Tank girl also overlayed and this gave the hero’s a sniff..!! Ghetto still rounded in first place with Tank Girl and PB rounding together not too far behind.. The next work was a bit of a drag race with all three of us heading right.. Ghetto got to the top first and had maybe even extended their lead.. PB managed to hold in with Tank girl and even put a few meters on her.. When we got to the lay Tank Girl still hadn’t tacked so we cut the corner and passed them. The Tankers had a few issues on their next tack and it was pretty slow which gave PB a clear lead.. Down to the finish it was Ghetto, PB, Tank Girl, Squid and then Allwood Sails.

Great close racing and a hell of a breeze..!! It had built to about 17 or 18kts now and the tide was offering quite a few ramps.. It was a back of the bus ride for all of us..

ChallengeThe second race start was again a bit of a confusing affair with nobody really knowing when to go, but somehow we all hit the line at about the same time and it was game on..!! The first work saw PB out in front followed by Tank Girl and Ghetto Sled.. Squiddy were close behind with a bit of pole poking over the transom of Tank Girl.. It was fairly close and personal even for Terry..!!

Around the top mark and I think we got the top wind speed of the day for the rounding.. We all got around cleanly but it wasn’t pretty.. PB had the kite up first and pulled away.. Ghetto were next with Squid and Tank Girl once again locked at the horns.. Benny clearly has issues with his old boat beating him so will go to great lengths to stop them.. Fortunately for him Terry had a broken bob stay and was being very careful….

We got to the gybe and PB nailed it.. We thought we were killing it.. The boat was going fast and our crew work was improving.. Game on Bitches..!! Shame the skipper didn’t really take the tide in to account and ended up too high on the lay letting Ghetto through the gate..!! Tank girl had a little swim so there was a bit of a gap to 3rd, 4th and 5th.. Allwood were having all sorts of drama’s tacking with big rig in that breeze so retired early..

clip_image002_004The beat saw a nice little tussle between PB and Ghetto with Ghetto holding them firm but splash tacking just before the top mark.. Unrucky..!! PB flew past and up went the kite.. Woohoo..!! The rides were amazing.. Have I mentioned that..?? Well they were..!! PB got to the bottom mark clear ahead but not all that far ahead of Ghetto.. As we soldiered out to the right hand side of the course Ghetto were rocking their super high mode and had definitely made big gains on PB.. We knew we had to nail our last tack and we almost did.. We got through safely but we were looking marginal to make the top mark.. Oh no..!! Ghetto tacked a bit beyond our line and we knew they would lay… Did we have enough time for two tacks or had my lay lines cost us the lead twice..?? We got close to the top mark and went through for the tack.. It wasn’t a bad one so I was a little optimistic.. Unfortunately Ghetto had made their move and were going to be ahead.. We tacked and they passed us.. It would be a sprint for the line..!! Both crews were tired but did the quickest sets of the day.. The two skinny hulls skipped and bumped their way down hill.. PB tried to get up on Ghetto but they were clear enough to have their nose breathing freely.. The pressure gybe came with PB trying to gybe inside but it was too little too late and Ghetto got a well-deserved second win for the day..

Awesome conditions and awesome racing, the season has really started and boy has it exceeded expectations..!! The ride back to the beach was awesome too.. Why would you sail anything else..?!?! There is nothing like a 12ft skiff kite ride..

We’re all looking forward to next week’s show down with another good breeze forecast (yes I’ve already looked it up..) and plenty of crazy skiff action..!!

Until then.. SEND IT,DON’T BEND IT..!!



2013-09-07 results

QLD Opening Day 2013-08-31


Spring has sprung, and the QLD 12’s made the most of it..!! Open day for the Brisbane fleet was spectacular..!! Hot temps, hot breeze and hot racing..!!! With months of playful winter banter behind us, it was time to see who the main contenders were for this season.. With new boats, new crews, old boat birthdays and the return of Brendo and Joel, the 2013/14 season was always shaping up to be an epic battle, but nobody would have predicted such a tight battle on day one..!!!

We rocked up to the club with nothing less than pure excitement.. The forecast was for 10-15kts then 15-20kts in the afternoon.. Oh did I mention it was 30 degrees..?? Who said sailing in August would be too cold..!!  We all went 2nd rig except Brendan and Joel who put in big.. Having said that, they were on the back foot from the start by losing their c’board in the off season.. They needed to try something to catch back up..!!

We headed out to the start with a gorgeous 12kts from the North.. It was obviously the start of the season for other clubs because the bay was packed..!! It was like being on Sydney Harbour on Australia Day..!! Well not quite, but it was busy and we had to dodge a yacht here and there…

With  four 12’s and three 18’s on the start line the lads were pumped..!! It should have been five 12’s but Brendan had to go to work to find his c’board..

The flags went up and it was game on.. We were all there but you could tell our distance time skills were somewhat rusty, with Terry being the only one to nail the start.. PB were on the chase with Ghetto and Tank girl close behind.. Tank girl and PB tacked first with Ghetto and Squiddy heading a bit further left.. It paid, and when we got to the top mark Ghetto and Squid both did the sneaky tack on the top mark to take the two top placings.. It was all very close though and you could throw a blanket over all four of us..!! Ghetto did a cracker of a set and took off.. Squid and PB were locked at the horns in a do or die battle for second.. PB had the inside lane and took them on the corner.. Tank girl also managed to push their way past and at the drop it was Ghetto Sled, PB, Tank Girl and Squid.. With an unfortunate bullet mid drop PB stuck it up in to the breeze before they had rounded the mark .. This let Tank Girl and the slippery Squid through.. It wasn’t long before Squiddy and Tank Girl tacked off to attack Richo and the Ghetto boys covered.. This left the right hand side open for PB.. We hit the corner and the breeze had built.. We were inside out and loving every second of it..!! By the top it was still Ghetto then Tank girl with PB hot on their heels.. Squid were lacking height in the new pressure (which we later worked out was probably due to their rig tension being about half of what they wanted it to be..) and PB were able to capitalise.. The next run was pretty standard with no position changes.. Up the final work Tank girl once again attacked Ghetto and this time they forced the error.. Ghetto sled hit the piss on their tack and this allowed Tank girl to slide past to reach the top mark in 1st place.. PB weren’t quite able to pass them, but it was all very close..!! We rounded to top mark and sent it to the finish line.. It felt awesome to be blasting down the bay again.. There really is nothing quite like it..!! Tank Girl took the win (even if it was in Bradbury style) to clinch the inaugural Talk it up Cup..!! As we flopped around after the finish there were ear to ear grins all round..!! There were also some pretty bloody tired bodies very much looking forward to the second race..!! Brendo and Joel were on the water by now and with it blowing a solid 15kts, their big rig was looking pretty big..!!


We got underway for the second race with PB and Allwood sails hitting the line first.. Tank Girl had some pretty good height and at the first corner she was able to tack inside and on top of PB.. They were first around the top with PB squeezing out Ghetto for second.. PB did a good set and had gapped Ghetto by the “wingman” mark.. Squid put up the kite and blew out a terminal on their fancy carbon bobstay.. It was a disappointing exit for the boys but that’s 12 foot skiff racing for you.!! At the bottom it was Tank girl 1st, PB 2nd and Ghetto 3rd.. It became very obvious that match fitness was starting to play a big part in the race as no crew really attacked and it was a bit of a soldiers course.. We did an entire lap in that same order and it wasn’t until the last tack of the last windward that anything exciting happened.. PB tacked in some breeze and went in.. Richo and Benny cheered and called out GAME OVER as they passed us.. Karma’s a bitch and they didn’t lay the top mark.. They had to tack and during this pressure tack they boys put it in too.. We scooted past them again to take the second place..

It was all very exciting..!! Full congratulations go to Benny and Craig on Tank Girl.. They out sailed everyone and were the deserved winners..!! I’m sure there were some sore bodies on Sunday.. I know I was a bit stiff but it was totally worth it.. Every time I stood up I was reminded of the amazing day we’d just had.. On a person note, I was very happy with our performance on PB.. It was the first time John and I had sailed together on the boat and we were right up there throwing it at the boys. We have a lot to improve on, but hey.. We have the whole season ahead of us..!! I’m sure all the boats shook of a fair bit of rust and there will be less and less mistakes in the coming weeks.. GAME ON..!!

Post racing, the ramp was alive with chatter..!! It’s awesome to be back at the boat park and I can’t wait for next week..!! I’ve already checked out the long range forecast and I’m not going to lie.. It looks AMAZING.!!

Until then, SEND IT DON’T BEND IT..!!



Ghetto Sled

Boat Name Ghetto Sled
Skipper Richard Billett
Crew Ben Cross
Club Brisbane 18 Footers Sailing Club
Seasons with current team 5
Hull Shape  Matthews MK2
Best results 2018 Australian Champion

3rd 2017 Interdominons