2011/2012 CITY WATERS PERTH
I14 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nationals Wrap Up
So the 2011/12 Nationals have now been run and won and I for one am knackered. It was a great carnival, and I reckon everyone involved in both competing and running the event should be proud of what they achieved.
Firstly, I'd like to thank all the volunteers & organizers who helped out throughout the carnival as without them we'd really be struggling to get by. Secondly, I'd like to say thanks to all the competitors who made the trip across the Nullabor. It was a quality fleet that came over, and that was signified by battles all the way from first to last. I know its a fair way, but hopefully everyone who came over felt it was worth it. If you liked 20+ knots every day, then I'm sure you were happy. ;)
Thirdly, I'd like to thank all the sponsors who helped contribute to the event, especially the Von Feltens who as major sponsors (City Waters Hotel), helped make it all happen.
As far as the racing goes, there was 5 races worth of shenanigans to cover since my last report, so there's no way I'm gonna go over every leg of every race here. I'll just try to cover what i can remember, while keeping it brief enough so as not to put everyone reading to sleep. Congratulations go to Brad Devine & Ian "Footy" Furlong on Del Boca Vista who won every race. I'm not sure if that's ever been done before, but its an amazing effort as far as I'm concerned considering the quality of opposition they were racing against. Cam & Stu on Quickshift sailed sensationally to come second, and Dave Hayter & Trent Neighbour showed the lighter crews hows its done to finish third on El Diablo.
Basically, the story of the carnival after the second heat was wind wind wind!! It blew its frickin ass off, which might be great if you are 150kgs by yourself or you own a windfarm, but when you're the lightest crew in the fleet, that means a serious battle to make it around the course. It was like being stuck in a tent after eating nothing but beans for a week, though not as smelly.
Heat 3 in particular was 28 knots which meant for some sick rides under kite. When you're getting to the speed where everything starts to go all like the Matrix movies, you know you're seriously booking. I kept checking to see if i had my long black leather coat on like Neo, but i was only wearing my racing gear, so i hadn't fallen asleep on the couch again, nor was I actually in the Matrix movie. Neverless, i have to say that i was shitting myself on more than a few occasions while screaming downhill in that race. The two living legends in Billy Devine & DD on Joanne sailed a fantastic race in that heat. They had the big rig up and didn't have a swim which was amazing as far as I'm concerned coz we had about ten. I was pretty ropeable after battling all the way to the finish line to find it had been pulled because of a 30 minute time limit. I said more than a few swearwords when i got back to shore about the time limit and not being notified about our time being up until we'd ripped the kite and broken the tiller extension trying to finish. As someone else who never made the finish in the time limit said to me after the race, when learning they had to carry the same amount of points (33) as those who didn't start the race,.."what was the point of starting?". Luckily the race committee decided to extend the time limit to 45 minutes after that race.
As the week went on, we had breeze from every direction of the compass, but it was all 20 knots plus which is unheard of. It was like Mother Nature was getting the flushes or something. All of that was just perfect for Brad & Footy who were so damn fast in the conditions it was unbelievable. We had start lines 30 metres away from a bank, and a top mark with its own varying wind patterns which could take anyone from hero to zero withing a metre. We had a stack at one stage near that mark trying to avoid the Mini-Vances who had stacked it in the same spot, so we both ended up on our sides on opposite tacks. (Blake actually sat between the two hulls and kept the boats from colliding while they were being righted which i thought was great sportsmanship). There was also plenty of hard luck stories during the regatta. The poor guys on Rumballs (which included a Mini Coutts) couldnt take a trick, with thier rudder box crapping itself to many times to count. The Mini-Vances broke a spreader arm and missed more than a couple of races while they waited for the carbon to cure enough to race. The Tomichael brothers also had thier fair share of bad luck with everything from broken foils to shattered mainsails to deal with which was sad to see. I can certainly empathise with everyone who had broken gear, having broken my fair share of gear in my first 14 Nats in 08/09. Ben Lawry was kept extremely busy trying to fix everything for everyone, so thanks for that Benny.
There were many standout performances during the carnival, probly too many too remember, but apart from Brad & Footy winning 7 zip, Stu & Cam getting second after teaming up earlier in the year for the first time, and the afore-mentioned Billy & DD smashing it in 28 knots with the full rig up, i was really impressed with the speed & performance of Nigel Smith & Rhys on Trim Tummy. They sailed extremely well during the whole carnival which was great to see. As for the rest of the WA fleet, WOW had a bit of a makeover just before the Nats with a near new set of sails and a tune-up making it an absolute rocketship when it was on the water. Lillis & JW got their rudder issues sorted and showed just how quick Royston Vasey still is with some great placings. Luggy & Super Brams on Bullet showed speed at times, and some serious guts when we both just missed a B14 that was heading upwind while both boats were side by side under kite, trying to stay off the bank near Tiwarri House or whatever its called up opposite Deepwater spit. Steve Walters & Ben Lawry in Sharkbait were as fast as usual, and it showed in thier outstanding 7th overall. Luke & Willow sailed extremely well on Carbon Comet 2 for a 10th place finish. After showing plenty of pace earlier in the season, Dave & Mike Von Felten on DVF Carpentry and Tony Carr & Simon on Zero probably didnt have the regatta they were hoping for, but had some great top ten results. The Vances were out in force and apart from the Mini Vances and thier broken spreader, fared pretty well overall. As for us, we sailed ok, but would of done better if we'd stayed upright more often. The best we could claim was 7th around the top mark in the first leg of one of the later heats, oh well, its a start.
It was a top quality fleet, with most of the top guys making the trip across, so there were plenty of top boats to compete against. I certainly felt I learnt a lot from the races, with thanks to all the guys that helped out and offered advice or assistance, particularly Ray, Lindsay, Brad, Coutssy, The Vances and any I missed. Thats one of the great things about the 14's, the top guys are still happy to help out those of us who are still trying to get better. We also had guys who had finished thier race, helping those of us who had struggled around in 28 knots to get our boats up on shore. Dont get me wrong, when the racing was on it was competetive as possible, its certainly no "hippie-love-in" where everyone sits around and sings "koombaiyah", but the comraderie that exists in the class is something that I think helps to make the 14's a class above the rest.
I had some great times and some hard times during this carnival, and only after finishing it did i really appreciate it, as i was too busy stressing about dealing with 20+ knots every day to be able to relax as much as i would of liked, but it was worth the effort in the end. I met some great people and was lucky enough to play some tunes on NYE with some of the legends of the 14 fleet, so thanks to Billy D, Ray Hancock and Brad Devine for the opportunity to get my 50's & 60's rock n roll on. I have to say the efforts of those who dressed up for that night were awesome as well, especially the interstaters. I also have to thank my family who helped out during the carnival, DD for his letting me borrow his harness and particular my dad who worked on the boats helping the Javs as well as the 14's and my mum in the canteen.
Now its time to rest up for a week or two and do that gardening and house fixing ive been avoiding for about 6months, before we get on with the second half of the season. See you out there..
Rock n Rolla*
*this report is likely to be complete gibberish..
Another Luggy Moment
Overall Championship Results
Heat 4 Overall Results
HEAT 3 - Seabreeze Finally Arrived!
Big day on the river today, never seen so many tow ropes being used. The racing was very tight at the front between Del Boca Vista and Quickshift with Stuart and Cammy leading the way for the first couple of laps. Brad and Footy managed to get the lead at the gate the last time and managed to hang on from there to take the win. Lindsay Irwin & Rhys Bancroft on Ronstan/Irwin Sails sailed well to get into third position.
With so many boats going every direction not to sure on overall results but will be posted tomorrow morning as well as tack tracker information.
Courtesy of PhotoFluid Marine Photography
Nationals Race Report-The Story So Far.. (Up to Heat 2)
This will be a short report as we're about to start a "5 race in 5 days" run. I'm doing this before we start race today's race.
Well we're 3 races down (including the Invitation Race) and we've had a continuation of the strange weather that has been a staple of this years racing season. Its been forecast for 20-30 knots most days, but its struggled to get above 10 once the race has gotten underway.
We've got a really great fleet assembled for this Nationals with lots of fantastic looking boats and great sailors having made the trip across to the west which is good to see.
The invitation race was a bit of a drifter, with Mark "Meaty" Kristic absolutely smashing the fleet but apparently sailing the wrong course along with Brad Devine so the win was picked up by Roger and Gilligan on Do You Get It.
Fridays first race (Heat 1) was set to be held in another 20-30 knot seabreeze, but it never arrived. We started out well, getting clear air and cruising along behind Couttsy in One More Grunt, but as the breeze started to die, we watched the fleet sail away from us as we were too slow to react in changing the rake settings & boat set ups as we kept thinking we were gonna get this 20 knot plus breeze. It never eventuated.
Meanwhile, up the front Brad Devine & Ian Footy Furlong were braining the fleet in Del Boca Vista, with Mark & Scott on To Late To Stop Now in second and Cam & Stuart on Quickshift doing well in third. Tony Carr has had an interesting series so far. After being on the wrong side of a port starboard infringement at the start of the invitation race, he had similar troubles in Heat 1 and then had to try and work his way back through the fleet. Luckily he has plenty of boatspeed onboard Zero as he managed to climb back up to mid fleet. Nigel on Trim Tummy has suddenly found some boatspeed and is sailing well. My dark horse for the top finishers in DVF Carpentry are struggling a bit at this stage which is disappointing because I'd like to see Dave & Mike Von Felten back up front doing well. In the end, Brad & Footy won the race by almost 6 minutes.
Saturday was another race forecasted for 20-30 knots and at the start line, it was blowing about 18 knots. There was a bit of carnage as Court & Elliott Mahar on Snatch were practising their capsize-retrieval procedure, going over about 4 times before the gun went. Once the start got under way, we were stuck under just about the whole fleet, and probably last. The breeze once again dropped away so we stood the rig up abit, but didnt really get the turn of speed we were looking for as we watched the fleet sail away. Brad wasnt actually leading the race for a change by the time we hit the top mark, but was in a close second. I'm not sure who was leading at that stage because i cant access tack tracker, maybe Super Brams can fill us in on that info later. Anyway, the breeze had dropped down to under 10 knots at times and it was swinging like a barn door at times. I couldnt really see what was happening up the mid to front part of the fleet so my apologies to those boats. I must say the majority of the visiting fleet from VIC, SA & NSW are very quick, so a lot of those positions are being filled by those boats. I don't recognise them all so hopefully as the series goes on we might get to know who's who a bit more. I did hear a story about Luggy & Super Brams being in 6th in Saturdays race (Heat 2) and failing to stay to the left of the gate marker buoy, so they withdrew after the race. Its a pity coz they were doing well. Brad & Footy won the race on Del Boca Vista, with To Late To Stop Now in second and Cam & Stuey on Quickshift in 3rd again. We managed to improve a little but are currently holding up the back end of the fleet. Not impressed. It was nice to see GE & Gazza make a brief cameo appearance in the race on WOW, hoefully we'll get to see them complete a race soon.
New Years Eve was fun at the club, with everyone dressing up in retro gear to celebrate the new year in style. We had three renditions of Auld Lang Syne as each timezone hit twelve, and then the place erupted to the sounds of "Sweet Caroline" sung by the one and only Gary "Head" Kerman which was one of the highlights of the night for me. It was great to see the efforts put in by everyone, including the band made up entirely of current & past I14 sailors with Billy Devine on lead guitar & vocals, Ray Hancock on rythym guitar and vocals, Brad "Cougar" Devine on drums and also vocals, and yours truly on bass, vocals, bad suits & sunglasses when making a brief apperance as "Cliff Hangar" (by unpopular demand).
Look forward to the next 5 races, and am hoping for some good sailing and great times being had by all.
See you out there!!*
Rock n Rolla,
*This report is likely to be influenced by lack of sleep..
Heat 2 Results
The forecast was 20-30 Knots but fortunately with overcast conditions we had a great 10-15knots with the occasional gust to 18 knots on the river. After a clean start Del Boca Vista (Brad Devine WA) was in a battle with To Late To Stop Now (Mark Krystic VIC). After getting around the top mark first Del Boca Vista went on to take the win from To Late To Stop Now and Quickshift (Stuart Sloss WA) coming in third.
Still waiting to get results from the club which hopefully will be posted today.
To follow yesterdays racing please click on the below link.
Invitation Race :
Unfortanately the Sea Breeze didn't want to come in today so the fleet had the misfortune to race in a flukey Nor Wester where half the fleet didn't manage to cross the finish line before the time limit. The first five boats decided to do a extra lap than everyone else which allowed Read Between the Lines from Victoria to take the win.
Results from the days racing and also tack tracker data from each skiff (besides the ones that couldn't work out how to turn them on). Will be updated on the website tomorrow.
Welcome to the Tack Tracker page.
To view the Tack Tracker results you need to install the player from here …
Just click on the Start Download button. You don’t need to install the GPS driver.
Then download the Tack Tracker results below …
Measuring Day :