Quick drive north

I headed north last weekend to Harwood, the home of the Big River Sailing Club in northern New South Wales. It’s a 7 1/2 hr drive each way and 1300kms return. I left late Friday afternoon and arriving in the wee hours of Saturday morning set up my tent and had a few hours down time. With the sunrise , it was time to get up and set up the DeckHardware marquee, tables and product display.

I had had a few phone calls from one of the regulars up north, Mark Patterson, hoping that I was coming so that he could make sure of finishing his new boat. Some may remember a photo I took of a 20′ Carbon catamaran being built earlier this year. It’s now sailing for only the second time and Mark was making continual improvements to the setup of the boat Saturday before and after Sailing and again on Sunday morning. New Allen blocks and Liros lines solved many issues that Mark had. Whilst the boat isn’t foiling just yet, that’s to come, Mark is pretty happy with how it’s all come together. It’ll certainly be something to watch out for after he settles down with it.

Like many of these away events I take the DeckHardware van to, I had one fellow come up and say ‘I should have bought … last time you were here. Have you got the following?” ” Yes Sir, how many would you like?” This was pretty common for the weekend and needless to say I was quite happy to help the locals out.

There was around 60 competitors this time in three divisions. Multihull, trailerable and dinghy, all competitive on the startline that’s for sure. With a range of mutihulls from a Corsair tri down to an Arrow cat, there was a large spread although the NACRAs appeared to have the numbers. In the trailerables again the Spider550s made up the bulk with an Elliot7 to keep them honest. The HartleyTS16 too was well set up though for racing, I should have taken a couple of pics, but they were in the middle of rigging when I stuck my head in the cockpit. In the monos/dinghy, you had everything from a 49er down. The spread of classes is what makes these country events, everyone has their pride and joy and gets out on the water. That’s what it’s all about. Competitors came from the Gold Coast, Tweed River , Ballina, Grafton and Tamworth, a good spread.

Saturday morning was interesting, waking up to a few of the locals having a look at what was going on before bounding away. Saturday was a great day, good seabreeze. Sunday however started with the AP being hoisted for 30mins or so before the breeze finally settled in for a couple of short course races.

As I had another long drive I headed home once they were on the water Sunday, so the results are here.

I again enjoyed the hospitality shown by Commodore Hariet Woodrow and her team and look forward to returning in the future. If you haven’t experienced a Harwood weekend with the Sticky Date Pudding, please do and I look forward to seeing you there.

Harwood locals 001 006 008 012 026 034 043 Sunday early drifter

Getting busier

021 087 089 As if we didn’t have enough on at the moment. With Mel heading off to METS in Amsterdam, I’ve been to Western Australia, Southern Queensland and Victoria in the last couple of months as well as the local rounds  here in Sydney.

Just for something different, I headed down to Lake Illawarra for the Manly Junior State Titles round one. DeckHardware are sponsoring the class this season, so it was good to go and catch up with many of the parents and competitors. The DeckHardware van was kept busy prior to racing as they had had a bit of a blow the day before and there was plenty of repair work going on early on the Sunday morning. having been brought up in the class and Mel having one too, we have great affinity for the young sailors and their enthusiasm for the sport. With just on 50 boats sailing the competition was pretty hot, good to see. I’ll be following the class through their Nationals at Middle Harbour and the remaining rounds of their State titles.

I have also been doing the rounds of the local outlets and whilst at Woolwich Dock catching up with Paul Eldrid from One Sails in Perth. I stay with Paul when over there and he’s spending quite some time in Sydney setting up Craig Carters new offshore racer Indian for this years Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. I let him know he has to say Hi to the Start Team. This years race will again be something to watch with the five 100’ers on the front line. These are probably the fastest offshore monohulls currently sailing so it’ll be a bit hectic Boxing Day. Once again there will be three start lines like last year, busy.

With November 11 this week, it’s the one time of year I think about my Grandfather Tom Yeomans or Fa as the family knew him. Tom was a Gallipoli veteran and reading a copy of his diary that I have, the antics the young ANZACs got up to on the way were incredible. I highly doubt any youth today would be able to climb a Pyramid in Egypt for example! His original diary is in the possession of the NSW State Mitchell Library in the city. I can remember him taking me to the Vaucluse Bowling Club and whilst he had the odd beer or two, I played on the merry go round and rode my skateboard. Sadly illness dogged him in the last couple of years of his life, so it’s only my early years that I can vividly remember with him.