Bit more of a bit on.

The last few weeks has been a little hectic. In my last post I noted that I’d just run the McConaghy38 Nationals.

The Setup of the DeckHardware Van

Following that weekend was a trip up to Yamba for the Big River regatta at Harwood. This event was held over a weekend and Weather wise we had it all, Saturday was a great days sailing with plenty of action, especially when an old school mate Ian Mitchie wrapped the start boat anchor line around the keel of his Spider550 sports boat.

With plenty of breeze, world ranked A Class cat sailor Andrew Landenberger lead a mixed fleet of Tornado, Hobies and Nacras around the course. Whilst enjoying the end of day back in the club house, the heavens opened up and we had a huge downpour of rain and hail which had those with tents in the lower areas rescuing their accommodation.

Racing Action

On the Sunday morning a pleasant seabreeze finally came in allowing everyone out on the water.attracted entries from Queensland as well as northern NSW.

With over 50 entries and a variety of catamarans, dinghies, sportsboats and trailerable yachts across 7 divisions, there was plenty of action on the river. The competitors all enjoyed the hospitality of the Big River Sailing Club, who allowed everyone to pitch tents and camp on the site.

Live Racing

I went up to catch up with a few of the locals and as usual the DeckHardware van and the contents was welcomed by those chasing bits and pieces.

The largest fleet were the Sabre dinghies with quite a few travelling down to Harwood from southern Queensland.

It was a surprise to check my Facebook page to see a comment from one of the sailors – “Are you here?” ‘Yes -at the end of the grassed area”. Again it was great to catch up with some of our customers and supporters and show off some of the DeckHardware range of products.

Farr 40's RacingFollowing on from the weekend at Harwood, I was officiating at one of the rounds of the Australian Farr40 fleet events. The 40s had had their previous regatta in Brisbane and this was the first of a few to be held in Sydney before some of them travel to Hobart for the conclusion.

With sailors and tacticians of the calibre of Malcolm Page, Nathan Wilmot, Tom Slingsby and the return of the winning Tasmanian team from the McConaghy38s a couple of weeks prior, this certainly attracted plenty of attention in the media and out on the water. It was again interesting watching the prestart tactics of the fleet and many club sailors should watch and learn from these world class sailors.

Farr 40's racingThere was some great racing on both days and it was nothing to make one simple mistake and drop to the tail of the fleet. In the end the Tasmanian team from Voodoo Chile this time skippered by co-owner Lloyd Clarke and their Sydney based tactician David Chapman who won on a count back from former World Champion Team Transfusion.

As soon as the Farr40s were finished I was off to the ISAF World Sailing Cup at Sail Melbourne. I spent 3 1/2 days at Sandringham Yacht Club assisting members of the Australian Sailing Team who DeckHardware sponsor with the assistance of Liros Ropes. The first couple of days were quite pleasant for Melbourne at this time of year, then it hit again with Wednesday being wet and windy and Thursdays racing cancelled completely. For the second time Robyn and Melissa were back in the DeckHardware office when a pallet of Liros Rope arrived whilst I was interstate. They were able to ship off a box of new rope that we had hoped to have in time for the sailors.

The event is quite large with alternating fleets in the mornings and afternoons in order to get in all the racing. Last year I assisted RO Mark Taylor in running the Alpha course, this year it was a nice change to stay dry ashore. In the photo the sailboarders are in close with two fleets of Lasers further out. Not shown in this photo is the fleet of Nacras to the north and the Skud18s, Libertys to the south.

It’s some effort to run this event and their are volunteers for pretty much all of the Port Phillip sailing clubs, with many coming from interstate as well.

On Thursday I left Sail Melbourne for the return trip to Sydney. On Saturday after some 18hours drive time from Melbourne I was at the Port of Yamba Sailing Club to run a club race officers course for their local sailors. Again it’s fantastic to get around to some of the smaller clubs and see the enthusiasm for the sport of Sailing. With a mixed fleet of mono and multihulls, they seem to have their handicaps worked out. I had to love the local system of starting, one person on a small power boat with a VHF radio in one hand and a horn in the other. They take it in turns to run the days sailing, with the starter of the day giving course and timing instructions over the radio, nothing in print! I would like to think that some of the accepted ISAF practices may flow on when their fleet expands.

Late on Saturday afternoon I drove on to Grafton and the Clarence River Sailing Club regatta. It was a similar event to that of the one at Harwood a couple of weeks prior and many were pleasantly surprised to see the DeckHardware van there when they came off the water. I had a steady flow of locals both that afternoon and again the following morning going through the range of products I had. As I had come straight from Melbourne, I had an increased display and those who stopped by were thankful.

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It was another great event hosted by Andrew Landenberger with his wife assisting in the clubs canteen. The country folk certainly know how to have a good time. Again there was an area for campers and tents, with plenty of tall stories continuing in to the evening. The other highlight of the weekend? No rain! You beauty. Then it was back to Sydney Sunday afternoon, a lazy 7hour drive.

Then there’s this weekend…Middle Harbour Yacht Club with the assistance of the Middle Harbour 16′ Skiff Club next door are running Sail Middle Harbour . This event was organised following the collapse of Sail Sydney. I will be out on the water running the 420s and Finns, with the 9er classes next door. Hopefully the weather will co operate.

Then we have the Rolex Sydney Hobart race where once again I will be the race official for the southern line. This years event will be huge if the SOLAS Big Boat race this week is anything to go by.

Just a bit on.

About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official and Equipment Auditor (Yachting Australia).

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