Sailing on Sunday

Last Sunday the Tweed Valley Sailing Club hosted its penultimate race for the year, Race 5 of the summer Pointscore Series and heat 3 of the Corsair Class Championship.

11 boats competed including five “3 handed” Corsairs, joined by a mixed fleet , an NS14, a Laser, a Int.470 a Hobie 16 and 2 X3’s

Conditions were variable; wind SE 16 to 24 knots, and an ebbing tide combined made for long beats to windward, favouring the NS14s but hard work for the Corsairs.

Fastest by a long way, Dave Chester and Sid Willis on Hobie 16 “Sledder”, lapped most of the fleet, redeeming Dave for the day he was beaten by a Corsair.

NS14 On & Off Dave & Cooper Robinson , first mono hull finishers

First mono hull to finish today, 20 minutes behind the Hobie, NS14 “On & Off”, sailed by father/son team Dave and Cooper Robinson.  These guys won the start and established a strong early lead, getting home first and beating the first Corsair by nine minutes.

Second to finish, one minute astern was Laser “Siesta” sailed by “Great Grand Master” Gary McCrohan. Gary always sails well in these conditions and was 7 minutes ahead of the first Corsair.

The big race today was the 3rd heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Championship, contested by 5 boats and 15 crew.

Student Doctors, Alicia Szwalski and Sophie Todd sailed with Commodore Bill Fenelon on Corsair “Minnow”

Current champion crew “Team Swell Lady” Monique Smith, Matt Andrews & Deb Flannery, had to win today, to retain their title, but needed to enlist a “ring in” boat and 3rd crew, as Monique was away and her boat is still being repaired from damage suffered while sailing on the Clarence River. Matt Andrews took the helm of “Fine Cotton” with Courtney Tiller taking the 3rd seat. All went to plan; Team Swell Lady got the points for 1st place, wrapping up the championship for the 4th year in a row! (Aren’t there two more races yet to go and results are tied between Keenas and Swell Lady? – ed)

Second place was hard fought out by “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers & Harriet Raleigh) and “Nimbis” (Scott Jones, Deb Jones & Lex Branch). In the end “Nimbis” got the points, getting home 4 minutes behind Swell Lady and 6 minutes ahead of Keenas.

Student Doctors filling the ranks in the Corsairs! L to R Courtney Tiller, Sophie Todd, Manisha Siriwardena, & Alicia Szwalski

Racing was close throughout the fleet up until the final lap, and the battle to avoid last place was also hard fought; positions at the rear changed continually throughout the afternoon but in the end, Team “Fairlight” (Alison Blatcher, Rachael O’Hagan & Manisha Siriwardena) got home 2 minutes ahead of Team “Minnow”(Bill Fenelon, Ali Szwalski & Sophie Todd).

A stand out performance on the river today came from the clubs International 470 “La Spina”. Sailed by Gunner Scholtz, Leyla Scholtz and Tom Busbridge. Team 470 finished just behind the 2nd Corsair, scoring its’ best result with the club.

This season, Murwillumbah Student doctors discovered sailing and just can’t stay away. We love having them as part of the club and we couldn’t get more enthusiastic sailors. This week they brought more fellow students to join the sailing ranks – travelling from Mudgee to have a break from the drought.

4 of the 5 Corsairs competing in the class championship this week had doctors on board.  Courtney Tiller from Murwillumbah hospital was thrilled to be on the winning boat. Alicia Szwalski and Sophie Todd sailed with Commodore Bill Fenelon, Harriet Raleigh based in Grafton sailed on 3rd placed Corsair Keenas and Manisha Siriwardena had her taste of dinghy sailing with Alison Blatcher on Corsair Fairlight. 

Student Doctor Manisha Siriwardena & Rachael O’Hagan on Corsair “Fairlight”

We look forward to welcoming them all back after their summer break for another 6 months of fun on the river. Next Sunday the sailing club will conduct its last event of the year, 3 short course sprint races, starting early at 10am from Fingal Head

Gusty Conditions for Heat 4

Strong gusty conditions challenged sailors contesting heat 4 of the Tweed Sailing Clubs’ Summer Pointscore Series. Winds increased rapidly after the start with a strong ebbing tide raising choppy conditions. Many boats capsized or had an early retirement.

Today’s fleet of 11 boats included 5 single handers, 6 two handers, & 3 Corsairs sailing 4 handed. Two juniors’ teams competed, both sailing Flying Ants.

Carnage began early with many capsizes. Corsair Capers was capsized and filled with water and struggled to return to the Harbour. Both Flying Ants retired early, but the remainder continued and completed the course.  

3 NS ‘s contested heat 2 of the Tweed River NS14 Class Championship in conditions that favoured boat handling skills, old hand Adam; last year’s class champions, Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge, had the skills, getting home a solid 4 minutes ahead of Current class leaders Matt Andrews & Igor Prada.

These two teams are now placed equal first in the 2019-2020 summer championship series with 2 races remaining.

The single handers contested their class Yardstick series. First finisher today was Great Grand Master Gary McCrohan who showed true grit to stay on the course and finish, getting a rare win ahead of Kate Yeomans who finished closed behind.

Many sailors were backing up from last weekends’  “Clarence River Bridge to Breakers” Race. Conditions on the Clarence were as rough as usual, with winds reaching 30 knots against a strong running ebb tide.  Tweed River had 5 boats competing in the Standard Mono-hulls division. Local sailor Kate Yeomans won the division in her Laser, against very strong competition,  and “Team Swell Lady”, with an all-male crew, Matt Andrews, Craig Foley And Mark Reynolds scored an impressive 3rd place, well ahead of the rest of the fleet.

Sailing is on again this Sunday at Fingal Head, with racing starting at 1pm. A big fleet is expected for the 3rd heat of the Corsair Class Championship.

11 Boats at the Start

11 boats sailed with the Tweed Valley Sailing Club, on Sunday, as the club conducted Race 10 of its Summer Series.

It was a very pleasant afternoon on the river with a falling tide and North Easterly breeze, sailing was easy and fast. The racing was very close, and many boats used spinnakers.

Fastest today was Kate Yeomans; Laser “Bluey”; Kate dominated today, in what’s becoming a regular pattern, she excelled in the conditions, leaving 2nd place 3 minutes behind.

Second finisher was Laser “Silent Partner” “(John Heywood) and 3rd, Laser, Siesta (Gary McCrohan).

The premier event today was the 2nd Heat of the Northern Rivers Corsair Class Championship.  

6 crews contested heat 2, the teams being slightly mixed this week; “gun” sheet hand Matt Andrews, joining “Team Blatcher” on Alisons hot new boat “Fairlight”. Matt seems to gravitate towards the fastest boat so this could be a sign for Alison, trialing her new boat today for the first time.

Current North Coast Champion, Swell Lady sailed with an all-female crew this week, and were definitely out to stun. And did !

Meanwhile on “Keena as” Mark had his regular crew, Craig Foley as sheet hand, & Marg Walgers up front, these guys were meaning business and would to be very hard to beat.

Getting top points today in the Corsairs was “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds, Craig Foley and Marg Walgers). This win puts Keenas in first place after two races, for the Corsair Class Championship.

Although Keenas got away very quickly from the start and built a strong early lead, they had to fight for it, with second placed “Fairlight” (Blatcher, Andrews & Bernet) only a minute back and closing with a determined effort.

The next 3 Corsairs finished within 30 seconds after a very close race, 3rd went to “Nimbis”, 4th “Swell Lady, and 5th Epic.

Last to finish in Melita 3 was commodore Bill Fenelon, destroying any chance in this year’s championship, came in 20 minutes behind the first finisher. Obviously enjoying the view from a sailing dinghy.  

Juniors sailing is becoming established on the tweed, and this afternoon we had 3 junior crews racing their own boats. These sailors are becoming skilled at the sport and are now using spinnaker’s

The club is supporting a Juniors team at the “Manly Junior” National Championships this summer. We also have several good racing Manly Juniors available to interested junior sailors.  

There will be no organized sailing at Fingal next Sunday, as the club heads south to visit “Big River Sailing Club” at Harwood, to enjoy 2 days sailing on the Clarence.

Our next event in Fingal Head will be on Sunday the 1st of December.

Waiting for the Wind & a Slice of Club History

At the Helm with Alison Blatcher

18 hopeful skippers came early to the boat ramp last Sunday morning, sniffing around for any sign of wind . The fishing community were out at sparrows fart making the most of the calm weather and the boat ramp at Fingal was overflowing.

The race start was delayed an hour and patience was rewarded –  the forecast was proved wrong. An unusually steady 12-16 knot breeze came up and the fishing boats started to head back in while the river started to fill with sails.

It was the Laser & NS14 Championships week. The NS14 fleet was missing Commodore Bill Fenelon on Tornado so just 4 boats competed in this class. Last years champs Adam Hurt & Tom Busbridge on Flight XXIV fought hard to keep up with Matthew Andrews & Igor Prado on Impulsive Matt but Matt & Igor took this one with a 4 minute lead. Dave & son Hugh Robinson on On & Off took 3rd with Robert Preston and Kynan Luescher Pura Vida not far behind.

Only Deborah Flannery was missing from the Laser fleet this week  – after a full day on the water the day before for the inaugural event in our She Sails program, a day spectating from the timekeepers tent was a good option. The  Lasers did have a new competitor – Andrew Chillingman Jaggers was back this week to give the club Laser a go making 6 boats competing. Kate Cant catch me Yeomans was ahead of the whole TVSC fleet at the finish line –  5 minutes in front of the next Laser – John Hayward, with Gary Macca McCrohon seconds behind. Macca was obviously missing his Murwillumbah cheer squad this week.

Craig Foley on Woodcraft was the winner of the Impulse class champ – he just needs some other Impulses to compete against to make it a more impressive title!

Two juniors boats also sailed today – Morgan & Miles Bushnell on Manly Junior M&M are looking really good. They’ve been training hard for the MJ Nationals in Sydney next month. Sidney Willis did well despite missing his crew and completed the 2 laps on his Flying Ant.  A really fun day for everyone involved.

Goodbye to 470 La Siala… Over the last 8 years generous people have donated boats to the club. One of the best ones was the Olympic class 470 La Siala donated by Bill Foley. This class of boat is sailed by both female and male crews in the Olympics and La Siala has provided many a wild ride on trapeze for TVSC members. We’re losing our storage area so all our non-essential club boats are being sold and sadly this one has to go too. We also have a more stable design 16ft Corsair for sale call 0434 982 922 if interested.

Sailing – Home and Away

Last weekend 5 boats and 9 sailors from the Tweed travelled to Ballina for Richmond River SC’s Annual Regatta and the celebration of the 50th year of their club house. Andy Lamont and Craig Foley tried their luck on a Tasar for the first time – they may not have won any prizes but plenty of fun was had and at least they completed the course. Also attending, all defeated by the tricky conditions, were Gary-Macca-McCrohon on Laser Siesta, Corsair Melita III skippered by Alison Blatcher with Courtney Tiller & Sebastian; Andrew-Chillingman of Chillingham-Jaggers and Bronwyn sailed a Pacer, also for the first time.

TVSC’s Kate Yeomans on Laser Bluey showed her stamina in completing a course that many of the other sailors faltered on and took first place overall – showing her skill at holding the boat flat at top speed even in 20 knot gusts. Thanks to RRSRC members for an excellent day – followed by tall sailing tails on the club balcony watching the sunset with live music from local band Broadfoot.

The next day, back in Fingal Head, was the second heat of the popular Sprint Series – short back to back races honing everyone’s start-line skills. All were relieved that the wind had eased off (no one wanted another 30 knot race) and 13 Boats with 24 crew competed on the tight course.

Congratulations to NS14 Impulsive Matt skipper Matt Andrews and Igor Prado from Ocean Shores who took out first place on scratch in all 4 races. Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge on NS14 Flight XXIV from Fingal Head almost had them in race 3 – only 3 seconds behind – four 2nd places for them. Gary McCrohon (Tyalgum) was first in the Lasers for 3 of the 4 races with John Hayward (Fingal) taking a hard fought 1st in the 2nd race.

Four boats competed in the Corsair class with Scott, Debbie and Sahara Jones coming first on Corsair Nimbus for 3 of the 4 with Peter Skinner never far behind on Epic with crew Doug Haig and Gail Bernet. Gail has recently taken up sailing at age 70+. She keeps coming back even after the wild rides and capsizes of the last few weeks.

Our very much appreciated support team, safety boat driver Reg Court, Lex Branch and timekeeper Suzanne Blatcher enjoyed the day too. Suzanne has been the club’s regular timekeeper for the last few year – at age 86 she enjoys being involved with the club but can’t be tempted onto the water any more.

Apologies to all for the recent lack of sailing news especially our avid sailing report readers Noel and Christine Fenelon. We look forward to having our usual reporter back from sea and hard at work on the keyboard in a couple of weeks. Want to sail with us or join the support team? Contact tvscmail@gmail.com Next race at Fingal Sunday 10 Nov 10am.

A Little Bit On for the Second Day of Racing in the Summer Series.

At the briefing, with an average reported wind speed of 21 knots, but gusts reaching 29, we decided that racing was on! Eight boats with 19 crew readied up on the beach, including two junior crews in their Flying Ants, who could just not be dissuaded from having a go.

Eight rigged on the beach, who will make it all the way?

However, before the start, three boats were already out with capsizes and gear breakages.

Sid and Skye, in Sid’s Flying Ant, made it to the top mark of the first leg. A tremendous effort.

Every boat went for a swim, except for the Weta and Mark and the crew on the Corsair, Keenas.

The across the line finishers were Monique and crew on the Corsair Swell Lady, followed by Dave and Isaac on the Hobie 16, followed by Keenas. Three finishes. Total.

Look how dry everyone is!

See you next time!

Sailing Club’s 6th Tweed River Marathon – Best Ever!

At the helm with Alison Blatcher.

The Race day morning saw a chilly start, the Condong Sugar Mill chimney showed there was a good breeze but this was all to change. The crowd started to roll up at Clarrie Purnell Park before 7am and soon there were eggs and bacon sizzling and the kettle boiling, the catering team kept the sailors well fed and ready for what started to look like being a truly marathon race.  The TVSC Safety boat crew – Reg Court, Garry Bargh and Richard Roberts had an early start at Fingal – launching the RIBS and heading off upstream to Condong. Roland Schwertner and Rick from Richmond River SC arrived early too and the Murwillumbah Rowing club boat was also ready to go. We welcomed visitors from Oxley SC, Brisbane Sailing Squadron, RQYS (Manly) and the largest contingent from TSS (The Southport School) bringing 6 Pacers. All boats 27 boats were on the water, the starters at the ready ….and the breeze died to nothing. So as the start horn sounded a burst of laughter went around the boats as they sat in the water not moving! This soon changed and the fleet moved off with the wind behind them, brightly coloured spinnakers were hauled up and they disappeared around the bend towards Tumbulgum.

Spectators waved along the river bank and the wind started to pick up as the fleet arrived at Tumbulgum and navigated under the bridge and on towards rainforested Stotts Island.

Three classes of boat were well represented this year – the 3 handed Corsairs (8 boats), 2 handed Pacers (6) and singlehanded Impulses (5). There were also 4 Lasers. In the Corsairs Alison Blatcher, skippering 683 Fairlight with crew Karen Vidler and Imogen Potts had an impressive lead for nearly half of the race but a couple of lulls in wind and river currents spinning them in a full circle at one point saw them start to lose the lead. Corsair 490 Keenas (Mark Reynolds, Marg Walgers & Craig Foley)  crept up and flew past through the Stotts Island narrows never to be caught again. In the very last stretch of the race at Chinderah Corsair 396 Nimbus (Scott Jones and daughter Caitlyn) also over took Fairlight and they fought to the finish line ending just 6 seconds in front of the early leader.

The Pacers sailing without spinnakers were the slowest boats in the fleet but were still only a minute behind the last Corsair at the finish line. After 3 and a half hours of sailing, 3 of the 6 Pacers still managed to finish only 1 second apart. Xavier Doer and Keely Whitaker from TSS took out 1st with TVSC members Igor Prado and junior Kynan Luecher, sailing a Pacer for the first time, coming in 2nd followed by TSS crew Monet Mooney and Jess Sabin. TVSC juniors Isaac Poulsen with Layla Scholz also sailed a Pacer for the first time. This was Isaac’s first time skippering in the Tumbulgum race – he was up with the 1st placed Pacer for much of the race and so should be very pleased. The flukey breeze that this race is known for caught them out and left the other 3 Pacers 10 minutes behind the others by the finish.

In huge contrast to the becalmed start the sailors faced 15-23 knot gusts as they came to the Chinderah reach with the wind coming from all and any directions. They had to be on their toes not to end up going for a swim which made for an exciting last leg. The smiles as they crossed the line may have had a tinge of relief to them!

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An unusual boat sailed by Mark Harper, a Devoti D zero, led the fleet for most of the way. Laser sailor John Pring on “Fig Jam” put in a heroic effort to keep up with him and hung on to be second across the line just over 3 hours after the start. The Lasers and the Impulses played cat and mouse all the way to the finish line – all of them excellent and very experienced sailors so after John crossed the next 3 were only seconds apart – Peter Fell (Impulse Mr Plow) then Mike Robinson (Impulse Plymouth) and TVSC’s Kate Yeomans (Laser Radial Bluey). TVSC’s Adam Hurt from Fingal took the 3rd place in the Impulses on Rosie, by far the oldest Impulse in the fleet.

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Commendations also go to the Dads celebrating early for Fathers Day. Jan Trueman and daughter Ruby from Chillingham sailing their Tasar for the very first time; Matthew Plummer and son Finley sailed one of TSS’s Pacers and David Robinson with son Hugh sailed their NS14. It was a cold race after the Tasar and the Pacer both went for a swim but they made it to the finish line and Ruby, Finley and Hugh will have many stories to tell their friends at school this week.

Once the finish times were adjusted for the different boat speeds Peter Fell from Oxley SC in Brisbane came out this year’s Tumbulgum Passage Champion and took home a voucher for a Husk Distillery Tour for two. Other great prizes donated by local businesses included Red Box Gym and Gold Coast Yoga monthly passes, vouchers for Cubby Bakehouse, Tyalgum Gelato, Watersports Guru and Tweed River seafoods so everyone went home happy.

We look forward to doing it all again next year – with maybe a few practice sails up to Tumbulgum for lunch and back to Fingal before the next marathon race comes round. If you would like to be part of this great event next year – come and join us for the start of our summer season. Get involved in sailing or as part of our enthusiastic support team – we’d love to have you on board.

Sailing at Fingal Head last Sunday

Last Sunday the Tweed Valley Sailing Club hosted the 2nd race of its 2019 Winter Series. It was a lovely sunny autumn day with a gentle North westerly breeze and a flooding tide all afternoon.

Today’s event consisted of 3 short races (Sprint races). 17 boats with 38 crew competed in 3 major divisions, including 5 single handed Lasers, 5 two handed NS14’s and 6 three handed Corsairs.

The easy and pleasant sailing conditions contributed to the racing being extremely close.

Fastest boat on the course was Dave Chester in a Hobie 16 winning race 1 & 2 with Race 3 going to NS14 “Flight 12” (Adam Hurt & Tom Busbridge)

Fastest Mono Hull in Race 1 was NS14 “Pura Vida” (Robert Preston & Hannah Witten) while 30 seconds back was “Impulsive Max” (Matt Andrews & Igor Prado)

Fastest mono-hull race 2 was NS14 “Impulsive Max” and 20 seconds back 2nd place was NS14 “Flight 12” (Adam Hurt & Tom Busbridge)

Fastest in race 3 NS14 “Flight 12” and 18 seconds back “Impulsive Max” getting 2nd place.

Fastest single-handed Laser was Gary McCrohan winning races 1 & 2 with “Bluey (Kate Yeomans) getting Race 3.

Corsairs were again the biggest class. Winning all 3 races “Minnow” (Bill Fenelon, Deb Flannery & Ami Spicer) The sailing clubs next event will be held next Sunday the 2nd of June.

Bill Fenelon – TVSC Commodore.

Final Race of the Summer Season

Last Sunday the sailing club conducted its last race for the summer season. 14 boats competed, and fortunately, the breeze picked up and it turned into a pleasant afternoon on the river.

Fastest boat was visitor Jason Purcell, from Big River Sailing Club, sailing a high-tech Carbon Fibre single handed RS Aero, one minute back 2nd finisher, NS14 “Zazen 2” (Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge). The ultra-light weight RS Aero was always going to be hard to beat in the light wind conditions. Third finisher, one minute back, was Laser “Siesta” (Gary McCrohan) who got in only 5 seconds ahead of Laser “Bluey” (Kate Yeomans).

Five Single Handers competed in their Yardstick based championship series. 1st Finisher was Siesta, Second Bluey, 3rd Impulse “Woodcraft” (Matt Andrews) and 4th “Flying Dragon” (Monique Smith).

The big event today was the final heat of the 4-race, NS14 Class Championship series. This is a scratch series for 14ft two handed boats. Getting the bullet today in a sparse field of only 3 boats was Fingal Team Adam Hurt and Tom Busbridge in their new boat, “Zazen 2” getting home 6 minutes ahead of 2nd placed Impulsive Max (Robert Preston & Rachael O’Hara). The NS14 fleet was decimated 2 months ago after two top boats were severely damaged by Waves created by Wake Surfing boats and these two boats have been unable to return to compete this season. One of these was last years Champion NS14 Tornado.

As usual the 3 handed 16ft spinnaker Corsair Class raced for the summer point score in strong numbers. Four boats competed with first home being “Keenas” (Mark Reynolds & all female ring in crew, Marg Walgers & Deb Flannery) while one minute behind was “Minnow” sailing four handed (Bill Fenelon, Laura Leimola, Kynan Luescher & Taj Krasna).

Meanwhile Tweed Sailors are preparing for State Championships at other clubs. Dave Chester and Deb Flannery competed with 13 Hobie 16’s, raced on Waterloo Bay from Manly boat harbour in a trial race for the state championships. After a 2-race series, Dave and Deb scored a respectable 4th place. Meanwhile Robert Preston with crew Miles will be competing in the next Heron class Australian Championship.

The sailing club would like to extend they’re thanks to the NSW Maritime Authorities “Boating Safety Officer” who patrolled the Fingal Reach on Sunday. Using a Jet Ski, the Officer was un-noticed and kept the river safe for sailing and passive river users.

Next Sunday at Fingal there will be social sailing and Juniors sailing, but no racing now till the Winter series starts in May.

Anybody wishing to get involved in Sailing on the Tweed should contact Club Commodore, Bill Fenelon on 0411 123 4052.

Dave and Deb’s Excellent Adventure!

With the QLD Hobie State Championships just around the corner TVSC’s favourite multihull team headed up to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly, Brisbane for some excellent racing against the hot local Hobie 16 fleet. Team Sledder’s usual crew’s weren’t available so in stepped Super Crew Deb Flannery for her second time on the Mighty Sledder! This was serious racing so Deb had to leave her dinghy hiking habit behind and step out (literally) to the next level, trapezing!

We were greeted with a beautiful sunny day in Brisbane but the winds were looking very light from the North East as the mast’s went up and the colourfull sails were raised. But not to worry, the local’s promised the afternoon sea breeze would be blowing by the time of the first start at 1:30pm.

The 13 Hobie 16’s slowly tacked their way out of the Manly boat harbour (10 tacks on Sledder!) out onto Moreton Bay where we were greeted with a glorious 12-14 knot North Easter. The locals were right! Deb apprehensively hooked onto the trapeze wire and out she went. There was nothing to worry about as Super Crew nailed it!
We were absolutely thrilled to hear the General Recall signal after the first start as ours was horrendous, bogged down in traffic going nowhere!

We had a much better restart, getting right into the mix. Not far into the first windward beat I made a stupid error and dropped the mainsheet which gave Deb and I a dunking as the windward hull dropped into the water. We quickly recovered and tacked with only a few boats still behind us. Not easy to play comeback in a feet with World Champion sailors in it! Luckily our early tack paid off big time as the wind seemed better out on the right side of the course. We pushed hard and fought our was back through the fleet to finish in a very respectable 7th, only a couple of minutes behind first place. I was particulary pleased with Deb’s jib trimming skills down wind and how quickly she picked up trapezing, nearly getting out on the wire as quick as me a number of times!

Race 2 was another screamer with an awesome battle at the start between the hardcore Hobie sailors. We battled our way around the course and only had one minor whoopsy when we tried to cross Hobie legend Rob Branch on port but had to bail into a crash tack at the last minute when we decided we couldn’t cross and we were too close to bear away without ending up pitchpoling! We recovered quickly and set off after Branchy and made good gains on the next downwind leg before fighting back past him on the next windward leg.

This was amazing as throughout this whole windward leg Deb’s trapeze harness was slowly coming apart to the point that with a few hundred metres to go to the windward mark Deb was literally holding herself out on trapeze by her strength alone! If she let go she was in the drink, but Super Crew Deb held on, put the team first and made it to the windward mark! Our tack wasn’t the best and Branchy managed to pass us, but with one downwind leg to the finish team Sledder wasn’t giving up!
We chased hard and made big gains but in the end Branchy’s decades of experience paid off and held us off by 1 second. 1 second! We were still stoked to finish the race in 4th in a very tough fleet.

After both races Team Sledder was 4th overall out of the 13 Hobies. I can’t thank Deb enough for coming up to Brisbane and giving it everything she had, including putting her body on the line! Bring on the State Championships!