Race Reports

01/10/2018 - Forster Wildcat 2018

Wildcat 2018 What do you get when you throw 100 catamarans together with a huge southerly, inland water and a bunch of thrill seeking speed freaks? Answer: A kick arse regatta! Here's a little insight into what it was like on a F16. A small but super hot fleet of 4 Vipers descended on great lakes sailing club. Taking our rightful spot on the beautiful new lawns in front of the clubhouse, we rigged the magnificent beasts in preparation for battle. Saturday arrived with the raging southerly as promised, a bit of a morning kiteboarding session by Jason Waterhouse confirmed we would be needing our big girl panties for the day. The fleet of hopefuls consisted of Brett (Mr Consistency) Goodall assisted by a very agile young Chris Campbell from Melbourne on a “battle hardened” Viper. Michael (red mist\nothing rides like a rental) Cook out of Canberra teamed with Annalise (its my husband's boat) Van Kerkhof. James (I'm going to whip you) Butler riding with hired gun Ethan Purch was riding out on a back from the brink of obscurity Viper. The beligerants were rounded out by yours truly with an aspirational young Jedi, Tristan (hurry up Dad) White on a sparkly new out of the box Viper 2. Dogs were double chained to posts, tin roofs had extra rocks on top as we headed to the start. We did not get to the start line without a rather embarrassing 2 sail pitch pole capsize highlighting a severe lack of off season boat time. Fortunately we were not alone in our troubles and took solace in seeing a few other teams with centreboards in the air. First race and the upwind leg was long, fast, choppy, OK so not Balnarring choppy, but choppy. 4 gruelling laps filtered the fleet, experience paid off as the most skillful cover tacking on the upwind work went to waste when top mark hoists and bottom end dowses showed the class of the practiced teams. Huge gusts accelerated the Vipers to warp speeds with the kite ballooning out the front while crews clung onto the rudder gudgeons by their toenails. Blasts were exhilarating but also brutal in exacting punishment on a slipped moment of concentration or out of boat awareness. The young Jedi in the heat of battle was swearing, shouting, whooping and hollering as emotions went from pure ecstasy, to mortal fear, disappointment and elation all in about 30 second intervals. Samuel L would have been proud of some of the profanity that spewed from the gritted jaws of the Jedi at the top mark as Michael Cook “Cookie” bore down over the top of us. They heeled over at 45 degrees going Mach 2 within a stones throw from the bouy. My screams of panic were muffled by the spray coming off his rental boat's bow. Experience and aggressive tactics sent us scampering below the rapidly approaching big yellow orb for safety. A pitch pole to set the gold standard followed shortly after and we joined the rest of the fleet with trapeze shock cords snapped and tied to whatever was nearby. More tea bagging, swearing, capsizing and sound barrier downwind surges ensued. 2 races later with 8 exhausting laps down, the battle worn Vipers with birdnests of shock cords returned to the club house. James put on his race face and went kiteboarding while I sat contemplating how to get my limp body to the car. To say I was less than chatty would be an under understatement. James cut loose with a Core 9 just to show the rest of us that terrifying and bruising his hired gun was merely another day at the office for a Viper pilot. A lot more punishment is required to reduce him to feeling like me. It was an early night..... Sunday produced another southerly, this time better mannered and more consistent. Perfect race conditions, not first date strawberries and champagne stuff but good for testing the Viper’s speed upper limits. With shock cords replaced, trapeze maypoles untangled, aching muscles and tendons, the motivated fleet joined the melee once again. 2 races, 3 laps, the respite was a lunch break of delicious hamburgers and chocolates. Back on the water at 1:00 and we were champing at the bit for vengeance after some super tight morning racing. Two more afternoon races confirmed that nothing does ride like a rental. Even my more composed jedi on our brand new schmmmmmick Viper could not get near the Cookie monster and Annalise. He tore off to port on the start and only the distant vanishing of his transoms could be seen till the next start. James and six gun slinging Ethan closed the margin between first and last boat significantly with each race. All in, it certainly produced a day of close racing. Jimmy and the Six Gun Kid unfortunately took out one of the Turtles that did not make the Ninja gang when it surfaced directly in front of the boat. The unfortunate incident happened on the screaming reach to the finish line. It is rumoured that slow poke Sergio was not made the fifth ninja turtle by Donnatello, Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Raphael. Subsequently he then retired to Lake Wallace to eat jelly fish and procreate. Slow Pake’s party trick of popping up 723mm in front of the port bow of a hobie cat went terribly wrong when faced with a Viper going 15 knots and wielding a carbon daggerboard. Jimmy and Six Gun’s steed incurred a busted nose and minor damage to the board trailing edge, Slow Poke Sergio’s fate remains unknown. Fibreglass boat repair magician, ex Nacra Boat Builder and F18 supercrew David Renouf wasted no time when the turtle bludgeoning crew came to shore. He set to work extracting Slow Poke’s shell fragments and repairing the six gun stallion for the third and final day. All this while gluing together Mark and Adrian’s F18 bow that was showing the evidence of a clash with a Tiger stern. Inertia is a mofo! Sunday night, the Big screen (by big I’m talking 8m x 4m) showed the NRL final. It was a bit like watching laser racing or a stamping machine punch out steel panels, but me being a union fan may have a biased view on this. The Club went full latino on our asses and bust out burritos that would bring a tear to the eyes of Cheech Marin. Absolutely delicious, with complimented with Jalapeno Chillies, Sour Cream, Roasted Peppers and all sorts of yummie Mexican things. The burritos were washed down with some rather questionable Margheritas whose salt laden rims brought back memories of the two days we have spent on the water getting sprayed and dunked. It was a welcome return to the Fifty Lashes soon after. Interesting fact came out this fine evening: of the 4 Viper teams on the water 75% were expecting babies. Proof that sailing a high performance catamaran makes you verile and exceedingly fertile! More statistics while I am at it is 75% of the Boats had an adult and youth team combination and the fourth team was mixed. It shows where these awesome little boats show their strength, facilitating youth and the fairer sex to race around with the premium F18 fleet. I digress…..back to the report! Monday and the Southerly was gone. Perfect Wakeboarding and waterskiing conditions….where is the Mastercraft when you need it? The race committee deliberated while everyone hoped the easterly forecast would show up and bless us with a third day of playtime. James’ outlaw steed was having the finishing touches of its nose job done by David “Copperfield” Renouf. A splendid job indeed! Cookie monster had the regatta in the bag and went off to pack up his tent and boat. Brett faced with the clear and present threat of pacific highway traffic through Sydney and a gazillion kilometres to Bendigo at 110km/hr called it and ripped his viper to bits to put it on the trailer. Hark! little ripples and a rustle in the overhead palm trees had us bristling and getting the bits on the boats ready for action. The Six Gun Kid was AWOL and we figured had run off to join the circus, bruised, battered and in no mood for any more of Jimmy’s boat handling faux pas. Jimmy was alone but in a twisted way seemed to be relishing the idea of handing out a single handed beating on a weary Jedi and father. The AP came down, we bid our friends farewell jostled off the lawn and onto the sparkling waters of Lake Wallace again. The breeze was filling in gloriously from the North East and with kites filled, one hull cocked out like a male dog at a fire hydrant we glided to the start area. Most of the A class fleet went home on Sunday as did the Nacra 20, flower arranging classes apparently start at 12:00pm sharp. All this fleet depletion resulted in our start being a 4 boat wet fart. To spice things up James and I convinced the young Jedi to call a truce to the top mark. The two Vipers uncharacteristically flopped lazily upwind. Overlayed the mark by a mile and got caught in irons. Fortunately just as the F18 fleet arrived at the top end of the course the wind filled our sails, we found our groove and Jedi and outlaw Jimmy joined the F18 race mid-pack, steely eyed and ready for action. This turned out to be a splendid exercise with us swapping positions and duelling with the F18s for two and a half legs. The F16 Vipers held their own as we trimmed and squeezed everything out of the boats to take those one or two positions back. The final bottom mark witnessed James now sans the Six Gun Kid begin dowsing kite and rounding in a mad panic reminiscent of Taz in a spin. Jimmy Six hands was just ahead of the Jedi who had underlayed the bouy by a sheep station. Steering with his foot, staying clear of three F18s that were simultaneously rounding with him, hauling the retrieval line, tripping the tack, pulling the mast rotation, setting the cunno, bringing up the traveller and getting the main and jib sheeted and cleated proved too much for the outlaw. The Jedi and his well drilled, and I may say massively efficient crew, slid past to take the win, but only just. The fleet returned to shore. As we are the young and enthusiastic members of the spinnaker cat circus, we naturally elected to stick around and do some sailing, hell we had rigged boats, water and perfect breeze – why not? The young Jedi was now ready to enter the big leagues. So while I sat cross armed on the leeward hull, I proudly watched the little fella steer with his foot (rather erratically), prep the boat for downwind and set the kite. Next he hooked up his trapeze grabbed the spinnaker sheet, stood out on the back corner of the hull. Foot in the strap, kite sheet in one hand, tiller in the other he snapped the spinnaker into trim, eased the hull out and we zipped off down wind for miles. A proud and satisfying moment indeed! What a wonderful regatta to start a great season, see you at Spears Point Cattagatta.

Written By: Beau White      Start Boat Duty: n/a


15/09/2018 - Handicap Pointscore

Provisional results for PBSC Handicap Series September 15th 2018.
 
Thank you to Joan, Sam, Alicia for assisting on the start boat and to Joan for the photos. Thank you to Richard for putting on the BBQ and to Upu for spending his post race downtime changing the Webster gearbox oil. All the extra work our members put in to keep the club running smoothly is greatly appreciated.
 
What a day on our glorious Pittwater !!!
 
In the morning it was hot, sunny and with no sign of the 20+ knot NNW breeze that was forecast. In fact at the briefing it was looking like a nice steady 8-10 knots and pretty easy going. The plan was for the start boat to go out and find a location that had the maximum amount of breeze so that there might be a little crew trapeze action for the assembled fleet of 7 boats.
 
Oh what a difference 5 minutes makes in the world of sailing !!! As we were leaving the beach to set the course the weather gods launched a 22+ knot westerly, with some initial gusts possibly closer to the 30 mark
 
While we were setting the course (since we were all out there anyway), Tristan and Beau on Viper 1 retreated to the safety of their home base in Newport, Dick retreated to the beach to fix his A Class rudder than he had just broken, Michael and Regina were having multiple attempts at capsizing and righting their Hobie 16 and Richard and Cameron thought it would be a good time to take their Hobie 16 back to the beach and start the BBQ early :-)
 
 
It was time to have a quick roll call and start race 1. Three boats left standing out of the original seven but wait James and Phillip decide to go looking for Tristan and Beau as no one where they are at this stage.
 
Race 1 starts with two boats and there is a general recall. Oh well we all need practice at starting races and doing starts :-( On the second attempt the whole fleet (two at this stage) are off and racing in a breeze that had settled slightly but was still gusting from the west at around 20 knots. Darren and Barbara on their Hobie 18 crossed the line first with Upu and Ainslie in second place on their Hobie 16. Unfortunately due to some confusion around PBSC marks vs RPAYC marks Darren and Barbara failed to round the correct top mark, Darren scored a DSQ and Upu was promoted to first place :-( Sailing can be pretty cruel at times.
 
Race 2 and the breeze had settled into a nice but patchy 10 to 12 knots from the west with an occasional bullet to keep everyone on their toes. The fleet has grown by 50% with James and Phil returning from their fruitless search for Beau. We later learn Beau is in his hot tub back at the Viper home base Newport, enjoying a shandy or chardonnay or what whatever Viper sailors drink. Anyway back to racing and the three boats are off, two Hobies and believe it or not the last standing Viper. No more A Classes will be damaged on what has turned out to be a lovely day to sail and with those now watching from the beach wishing there were still out on the water enjoying the action. At this stage P.S. Richard is still cooking the BBQ. Upu and Ainslie cross the line first, Darren and Barbara second and James and Phil not far behind in third.
 
Time for the third and final race, James and Phil decide to pull the pin and head off to Viper home base to join Beau in the hot tub. Two boats start and one being slightly OCS, what the hell, keep on going !!! Darren and Barbara cross the line first but its Upu and Ainslie who take the win on yardstick.
 
Overall on the day its Upu/Ainslie are first, Darren/Barbara second and James/Phil are third ……… and yes, Richard is still cooking the BBQ.
 
It was a great BBQ (all that extra prep worked a treat), lots of chat, good food and no one wanting to rush off early. The Viper boys did finally get out of the hot tub and came to join in on the BBQ fun.
 
Again ,many thanks to everyone that contributes to make Saturdays something to look forward too !!!
 
Next Saturday is the first Club Championship race for this season and the joint will be jumping ....
Written By: Trevor Gourlay      Start Boat Duty: Trevor Gourlay / Joan Gourlay


08/09/2018 - Handicap Pointscore

The first PBSC club racing season got underway last Saturday, weather forecast predicted 30knts and decreasing to 17knts at 1pm. Didn't see any of that, but overcast. Races got under way about 2pm at 8-10 knts, decreasing in last two races. Managed to get three races in on the day. Highlights of the day were father and son, Beau and Tristan White on Viper, the overall winners on the day, followed by another, father and daughter Darren and Claudia Schmidt on Hobie 18 in 2nd place. See provisional race results attached. It is great to see fathers taking out their kids to show them how to sail and have fun. Thank you to Sam for helping me on start boat.

Written By: Upu Kila      Start Boat Duty: Upu Kila / Sam Miller Duchatel


25/08/2018 - Heart Starter

Another sailing season begins and another Heart Starter is done and dusted !!!

A big thank you to Sam and Joan for assisting on the start boat and to Joan for taking a few photos. Also thank you to Dick for doing some work around the club while we were on the water.

The day started with a lot of questions and self doubts. Is the wind going to blow us off the water, is it going to rain, is it going to be freezing. In the end it turned out not too bad and we managed to have a couple of reasonable hours on the water.

It was good to see Ainslie making her H16 comeback crewing for Upu and also to see some new faces at the club.

Highlight's of the day included:

Upu and Ainslie leaving the beach on their freshly polished H16 and finding themselves upside down in the first 5 minutes. There was only one gust all day and that was their undoing :-(

One race win apiece to Anthony / Evelyn and Upu / Ainslie. Well done to both teams. Unfortunately Anthony didn't make the start of race one so missed out on the chance of overall victory.

Watching Michael / Regina and Phillip / Anna sit at bottom mark on lap 1 for 5 minutes while the fleet sailed past a few metres away in totally different breeze :-( Sometimes the wind gods can be very cruel.

James having a great day sailing his H16 one up. Don't worry James we will find you a friend for your next sail :-)

Richard and Cameron beating team Henman in race 2.

Conditions ranging from a steady two on the trap to will we need a paddle to get back to the beach.

All the teams getting safely off the water and packed up before the impending storm. Lion Island was hit by lightning not long after.

BBQ report:

Firstly thank you to Richard, Evelyn, Dick and everyone else that had a hand in organising the BBQ feast. It was one of the better BBQ's that we have had and a great way to kick off the new season. Singing and Ukulele courtesy of the Upu Kila big band, Hula dancing, tall stories and a few quiet drinks.

Written By: Trevor Gourlay      Start Boat Duty: Trevor Gourlay / Joan Gourlay