State Tiles 2015, Lane Cove 12’ Skiff Club, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December 2015
Forecast borderline 2nd and 3rd rig, breeze intermittent so doubts in the fleet, a majority rigging for a 2nd rig North-easter, run-in tide in the race influencing the decision, slowing boats on the work.
Out at the start, breeze in waves, in the fresh momnents very top end of 2nd rig, 3rd rig, so promising some exciting times. Start off Cockatoo Island, all 5 lead-skiffs away on the line in a block (Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant, Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses, Lincoln Crowne, Geotherm) with Mearsk coming into the line fast with little rights. Lincoln Crowne prooved not to have the pace in this fresh start that the other 5 showed, dropping back and having to tack away to clear air. Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant and Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses jumped into the lead, with Geotherm close behind. Set at Manns Point for the run down Cockatoo Is. to Schnapper Is bottom mark, lots of tradffic to avoid, and puffs of breeze. Lincoln Crowne fumbled the first gybe and capsized, relegating her to the back of the stilll closely bunched fleet, while Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant blasted to a clear lead.
Work up to Valentia street for the tight reach across Cockatoo to Balmain and the Cove styreet mark, most of the skiffs electing to 2 sail due to the angle. Maersk set the spinnaker early, allowing the chasing Lincoln Crowne to pass as it all went wrong. Lincoln Crowne then set to just clear the south of Cockatoo, bringing them back toward the tail end of the front boats. Now a procession, Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant well clear, followed by Geotherm then further back Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses with Lincoln Crowne next.
On the square run from Manns Point to Cve St, traffic and a massive gust brought Lincoln Crowne right back into the tail of Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses. Final run from Manns Point to Schnapper Island, then a work back through Humbug, rendered very tricky with the now north-west slants to the breeze.
So the finishing order, run-away win to Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant, then Geotherm, then Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses with Lincoln Crowne and Company recovered to 4th.
heats 5 and 6, 2 shorter 2-lap races, North-east forecast, 2nd or big-rig, hot day, all Woodford Bay skiffs expecting it to build went 2nd sail. Out on the course, breeze much softer than expected, definitely big-rig for heat 1.
Lead boats all away well, again the front-4 bunched together, Geotherm jumped a gap to pull out a healthy lead. Lincoln Crowne tacked over onto port and failed to clear Skol, forced to tack- back into the softer breeze to the north, costing them some time, dropping them to 4th at the top mark.
Run down to Schnapper Island, looking for pressure, Chapman High Performance Sailing with their big-rig on charging down the run in second.
Bottom mark saw Geotherm with a good lead ahead of Chapman High Performance Sailing with Maersk closing into the front with blinding downwind speed. Following was Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses and Lincoln Crowne and Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant close behind. The work to Valentia Street saw Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant and Lincoln Crowne pass Bigfoot, in this order on the reach across Cockatoo Island. Final work to Manns Point and the last mark before the downwind to the finish, Geotherm well clear, with all the skiffs making short tacks along the Birchgrove shore looking for pressure and to avoid the worst of the traffic. Final run to the finish, saw Geotherm take the win, followed by Chapman High Performance Sailing in second with Maersk third, Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant in 4th and Lincoln Crowne in 5th.
Heat 6, 2nd race of the day, final heat of the titles. Breeze fresher for the delayed start, in-range for the 2nd rigs, and less traffic on the water (or so it appeared)
All boats away well, bunch at the start-boat end, Lincoln Crowne off the line best, holding out Geotherm, with Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant shut out at the line. Geotherm and Lincoln Crowne tack for tack up the work, each taking the others transom on the port crossing, with the big-rig Chapman High Performance Sailing still fast just behind. Last tack into the top mark, Geotherm lee-bowed Lincoln Crowne to round the mark ahead and overlapped. Off on the run, traffic concentration at Longnose Point saw Lincoln Crowne have to gybe 5 times in 100m to avoid boats, one of them Geotherm. Once clear, long run to Schnapper Is. looking for pressure, Lincoln Crowne and Geotherm still trading right of way on opposite gybes, with Chapman High Performance Sailing and Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses close behind. Back on the breeze, Lincoln Crowne went further east before tacking to Valentia Street mark, closing Geotherm at the mark-rounding. Geotherm went straight for the spinnaker, Lincoln Crowne opting to 2-sail reach higher. Geotherm carted off the course then dropping the spinnaker, saw them converge again at the Cove Street rounding mark, with Geotherm 1/2 a boat length ahead.
Final work to Manns Point, Lincoln Crowne crossed Geotherm twice to take the lead again, before loosing it 50m from the top mark in a north wind-shift. Geotherm down the run to the finish in a good puff, while Lincoln Crowne got caught up in traffic, allowing Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant to close into Lincoln Crowne , making a last desperate lunge to pass on the finish line, just held out by Lincoln Crowne who took second, from Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant third, Chapman High Performance Sailing close behind capsized just before the finish allowing Maersk to take 4th.
Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant and Geotherm tied for points at the finish, with the tie-break determined by Geotherm winning the last heat, thus taking the title from Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant, with Lincoln Crowne 3rd, and also taking the Veterans title.