Sail, socalise and dine in the heart of Darwin
Down South for multiple 29er Regattas
Recently we went to Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and competed in 4 regattas. ISAF Sail Melbourne World Cup, Sail Sydney, Australian 29er Nationals, and Australian Youth Championships in the 29er class. We had been training for these regattas since August with the new NT sailing team coach Tom Winter and had raced the same circuit a year before.
We flew down to Melbourne early in December and did a few training sessions in our racing boat down there to make sure it was all still intact after the drive it had taken down from Brisbane. The first two days of the four day regatta were blown out due to winds blowing over 30 knots and a horrible sea state. However the last two days of racing had light - moderate winds and we finished 7 races in two days which was luckily enough to constitute a series although we only had 1 drop. On the start of the fourth race, our tiller snapped on the edge of the rudder box housing and 10 seconds into the race we turned around and retired from the race as we were steering by holding onto the rudder blade. At the end of the regatta we finished 24th out of 32 boats which was not the result that we were hoping for, but we were using this regatta as practice for the nationals and now we knew what we had to focus on improving on.
The second regatta that we competed in was Sail Sydney held at Woollahra Sailing Club in Rose Bay it was very light and fluky racing conditions for the majority of the regatta and although we sailed every day we only completed four races. This was enough to officially constitute a series however we didn't get any drops. We had a bad start to the regatta as we were disqualified by the jury for apparently hitting the top mark with our gunnel, the real story is that we hit the anchor chain with our centreboard and it therefore made it look like we hit the mark. Overall we placed 17th out of 27 boats which was better than our Melbourne score. Although the regatta was not fantastic we did get some good training out of it as we did a 2 day training program with the current 29er world champion Harry Morton.
The third regatta and possibly the most important was the Zhik Australian 9er Nationals held at the Royal Adelaide Yacht Squadron in early January this regatta had a massive fleet of 56 29ers. For this regatta we also joined the Victorian 29er team for a week under the coaching of Adrian Finglas. We did 16 races over the period of 6 days however one was a reserve day that wasn't used. During the last downwind of the third race we heard a massive bang and saw our forestay swing very loose, it took us about 15 seconds of panicking to realise what had actually happened. One of the two bolts holding our sidestay had snapped under the load of our sails. We were able to finish the race if we continued on port gybe but we had to drop our kite to do so and so we had a very bad result for that race, unfortunately for us we had to head in to shore as we could not compete in any more racing and therefore we missed two extra races on that day and could not be redressed for any races. We sailed with consistent results for the most part of the regatta and our overall result was 34th out of of 56.
The fourth and final regatta that we competed in was the Australian Youth Championships held at Adelaide Sailing Club. For the invitation race of this regatta the 29er class had two general recalls but on the second one the fleet gave up and continued to race. Only 3 boat finished the race of the odd 40 that went out. In this regatta we had quiet pleasing and consistent results with one outstanding result on the last day which was a 10th. On the third day of racing a low front was moving through the Adelaide region so the racing was postponed until the winds and the sea calmed. However it was showing no signs of doing so so they decided to send us out to race one race when the short window opened. As we got out there the winds and sea started to pick up again but still we raced. During the first downwind of the race, we went down what we think was a 5-6 metre wave with a 3 metre gap before the next one. We ploughed into the front of the next wave going over 20 knots and Kyle went swinging around the front of the spinnaker and Kieran went flying into the sidestay when the stern lifted vertically into the air. Luckily Kyle fell straight into the water and avoided any injuries however Kieran smashed his shin, thigh and hand into the sidestay and mast. We quickly brought our boat back up and sailed the rest of the race with a broken trap line. Our final result for the Youth’s was 32nd out of 44.
The pitch-pole was definitely one of the many highlights of our trip and we are hopefully going to be doing the circuit once again over the christmas holidays at the end of the year.
The standard of our competitors were very high throughout all of the regattas but we had loads of fun and made many new sailing friends and contacts that we can use if we need tips.
We would like to use this opportunity on behalf of all of the NT sailing team to thank our head coach Tom Winter, The Darwin Sailing Club, Sailing Manager Ed Vincent and especially Yachting NT for all the hard work that they have put in over 2016 to help make it such a great year of sailing for us.
Sail Melbourne results page - http://sailingresults.net/sa/results/overall.aspx?ID=80091.4&TPID=9602953.1205525
Sail Sydney results page - http://www.sailingresults.com.au/ScoreItV2/Public/Templates/2015SS/class-results.php?class_id=1426#scratch
29er Nationals results page- http://old.squadron.asn.au/results/2017/niners/29ers/SGrp3.htm
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