Adams10s

I’ve been involved in the Adams10s for over three decades now, as crew, as owner with Melissa and as the Principal Race officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club. The class is one that’s close to my heart, having sailed on 12 of them over the years. You can sail short handed, do No Extras like Wednesday and Thursdays or race fully crewed on weekends and in various regattas. They are an all round boat. Those that sail them agree.

This past Australia Day weekend saw the class back at MHYC for their annual championships. Unfortunately there were no outsiders, either from Lake Macquarie, Pittwater, up the harbour or interstate. The clubs fleet of ten competitive boats had 7 races to battle it out again. Saturday saw a lovely Noreaster up to 18knots, so I managed to get in 4 races for them. Sundays forecast was for light and variable and that’s what we had. I held them ashore for a while and just as we set the course the breeze changed 40 degrees – typical. So we only had the time to get one race away. Monday brought Southerly winds and a little drizzle for the final two races. As it was Australia Day there was also the added bonus of having to avoid the other fleets racing.

The finish of the first race saw the first four boats all overlapped and the start team all thought, ‘What are we in for?’. As it turned out that was the closest finish for first place. Other races saw individual duals with several competitors asking, ‘Who beat who?’. Pre regatta favourite Another Dilemma sailed a very good event, winning four races, adding a second and a third to the score. Helmsman Tim Gallego, who flies in each year from his new base in England had only one indiscretion – a Black Flag Disqualification in race three. But he was one of three BFD!

Second in the event was Rob Clarke on Kick and Chase, Rob’s a newcomer to the class, having owned several types of yachts at Middle Harbour over the years. He was ecstatic of course with the end result, going in to the event trimmer Shane Guanaria said they would be happy with third or fourth. Class stalwart Ben Nossiter has suffered a few health issues lately and wasn’t as competitive as he has been in the past. Ben and his crew were however happy to have finished third.

As usual, it’s a team effort when running an event, having the assistance of Toby Gurzanscky on the clock and Lindsay Rose laying the marks, made it look good. Those from the various boats who made up the rest of the volunteers to assist, also enjoyed their time on the start boat or mark laying boat. For some it was their first time to see how it was done. Some should make the effort more often going by some of the questions they asked, as they were a little surprised as to the amount of work required to run an event. They are of course more than welcome each Saturday. It was also good to see Matt Carroll, the new CEO of Yachting Australia. Melissa and I sailed for many years with his father Patrick on his Adams10s, The Carpenter. Matt was invited to make the presentations, great to catch up with both he and his brother Terry back at Middle Harbour.

 

Next up for me is a trip to Tasmania next week. Aside from packing the DeckHardware van full of stock for the visits to the various outlets, I’m also going to spend a little time around the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart. This is a Bi-Annual event that brings the Marine Industry together with those who love the feel, texture and smell of the old days. Shaved wood for example, a smell I can’t forget from my youth helping my father build the various boats – his and mine There will be a range of boats on display as well as distributors and retail outlets. I’ll be there with my old mate, Ben King and Brierley Marine. Ben has helped out DeckHardware over the years and this time it’s my turn. He will however be back to assist us with the Sydney Sailboat Expo in a couple of months time though, more catching up.

Kite Boarding

So some time back those at the International SailingFederation [ISAF] decided that the sport of Windsurfing.sailboarding would be dropped from the Olympic games for RIO 2016. In it’s place would be Kiteboarding.

 

Whilst I know a few who Kiteboard, I’ve had little experience with it. As a teenager, I dropped out of sailing for a while and bought a couple of Windsurfers and competed in a few regattas, went wave jumping on Sydneys Northern beaches and even ventured up to the Central Coast on occasion. There are those who are yet to come to grips with either as a sport relating to Sailing, but as they are all powered by wind, I won’t get in to an arguement on the minor technicalities.

 

So the other day I was looking at http://www.seabreeze.com.au an excellent Australian weather website and noticed that there was a Kite event on at Botany Bay being organised by one of DeckHardware’s  customers, Kite Power. I had a look at the link and realised that whilst they are a new group to racing, what better way as a Yachting Australia Race Official than to get involved, especially with RIO 2016 in mind.
I got in touch with Steve McCormack and offered my services and arranged a meeting. Steve eagerly accepted my offer as an RO, so there I was on Saturday at my first event.

They had over 30 competitors in two divisions, race and off the beach. As a RO setting the course was easy, the hard thing was how do you identify them? Kite Power had arranged numbered T shirts so that was easy, but a little harder than I thought. I was helped out by Evelyn who knew most of the competitors, all I had to do was train her in the art of Race management and we were off. We got in two races in each division in around 18-20 knots of breeze, perfect conditions for the flyers. As we went in to sequence for race 3 in the racers, one competitor Jordan Girdis noted  that the breeze had increased some what. We hoisted the AP [Answering Pennant] and did a spot of checking with the local windstations and the use of my JDC Eole. Yes the breeze had got up somewhat and was more survival that good racing. After a 3/4hr postponement we agreed to pull the pin on the day.

The competitors were a mix of sailors including Jordan who had just competed in the recent Melges24 Worlds in San Francisco and Aiden Menzies a former crewmate of Nathan Outteridge. It was good to see them all mixing and talking about the different equipment. Certainly an eye opener for me with no previous experience with Kite Boarding. These guys were also acceptable to having a national race official coming in from the outside to make things run smoothly. The comradery was excellent with a BBQ running, Getto Blaster sounding out the tunes on the beach, it was all about atmosphere and it helped to set the scene.
I’d like to say thanks to Steve and Evelyn and the rest of the team who helped run the event, none of whom I’d met until that morning. I certainly look forward to the next event and helping out those who are looking to compete at Sail Melbourne later in the year where I have put up my hand to help as an RO. These guys certainly have the enthusiasm for their sport and made for a great day. Next time I hope ‘Hughie’ the wind god plays nice and we get a good NorEaster.