Queensland this week

This week I’m up in Queensland seeing DeckHardware customers, old and new.

I have had the opportunity to stay with my Aunt and Uncle on the Gold Coast. Geoff is the owner of a Ross780 which he keeps in the canal at the rear of his house. At low tide as you can see the boat only just stays afloat. Normally it’s up on the floating pontoon, the ease of launching and retreiving surprised me.

Doing the rounds of the Gold Coast marine businesses is surprising. There’s those who seem to be doing OK, others who seem to be  lowering their stock levels. Then there are those businesses who have shut up shop all together. I saw one builder yesterday, who once he finishes his own boat in the next 12 months, will be looking to close down. I don’t know how those looking to start out in boat building will get a start, unlike I did back in the early 70s, with no builders left.

The fleet for the Wednesday late afternoon race was an assorted lot, like most clubs. There were an assorted fleet of trailer yachts, including Geoff in his Ross780, a large number of Etchells and even a couple of old IOR Quarter tonners.

The interesting thing here is that they sail the same course each week due to the confines of the Broadwater and the tide flows such that the smaller boats seemed to struggle against it.

Saturday I hope to drop by the World Laser Masters championships at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Brisbane and catchup with a few old foes.

Champions practice

  I started the weekend off helping the Tranfusion team practice their starts before heading to the USA  to  defend their Farr40 World Title.

Then as one of the MHYC volunteer start team, running the club Saturday pointscore race. The breeze on Saturday was a pleasant South Easter and it was good to have a race around the harbour after many weeks of windward return style races.

On Sunday I was one of many volunteers out helping run the 2012 Etchell World titles. As a National Race Official it was great to work alongside many other NROs and International officials.

Sunday was the practice day, so we had a couple of practice starts before finally getting the fleet away under a Black Flag [if you are over the line in the minute prior to the start you are disqualified]. With the line split in two we control the starboard half, in this case it was all clear.

I’m about to head out now for the first two heats, hopefully the weather plays nice after last nights Sydney storms.