12ft Skiff: Woollahra Race report, Sunday 12.02.12

Presented with a beautiful day, slowly building South-East tending East breeze, 7 starters, the fleet all opted to rig for the forecast and selected #1 rigs

Short-course racing to be the days format, 2 races, 2 laps to the Nielsen Park gas buoy. Due to the 29 state titles being held by the club, the 12’s elected to “gate” start themselves.

Race 1 Lincoln Crowne & Company the gate, on port, the fleet dip on starboard to start. Garde heading North eaked away from the fleet, LCC tacking to follow the fleet North. All tacked out of Taylor Bay heading East to Nielsen Park. LCC decided there was more breeze along the Chowder Bay shore and tacked back North; we were wrong, and were 5th at the top mark, with Garde in the lead, D-Unit (Adam Forbes & Richard Johns) close behind, then Skol and Panadol Rapid. Picking shifts down the run, LCC came back to 3rd for the second lap. Garde with a big lead now, D-Unit & LCC battled up the work, rounding the top mark together D-Unit, LCC and Skol. Down the run to the finish, picking the gybe angles was crucial, Skol went in deep & soft, D-Unit, too tight, giving LCC 2nd to finish behind Garde, ahead of D-Unit & Skol.

2nd heat, big storm brewing in the south, so the breeze even more unstable. D-Unit the gate boat, LCC on the gate at speed, a minor jump on Garde, lost by the first tack in a shift. Fleet all picked different paths across the shifty work, with Panadol Rapid getting a brilliant N-East shift and leading Garde, D-Unit & LCC around the mark; whereupon they promptly nose-dived and went from 1st to last.
D-Unit now leading, enjoying the light and tactical breeze, and with Garde extending a lead on LCC & Skol, getting a 150m gap by the bottom mark. Last work, very light now, LCC’s new mainsail giving indication it needs some re-cutting to enjoy the light breeze. D-Unit leads around the last mark, then Garde, Skol and LCC. D-Unit & LCC look for pressure down the Eastern shore, Garde and Skol gybe to the west. D-Unit falls off the breeze, LCC get a good puff and pull back into the others. The 18 foot skiff fleet & spectator boats all converging with their mark, adjacent to the 12 finish, so chaos. Garde negotiates it for a win, D-unit shut out and go from first to last, Skol 2nd by a length over LCC.

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