Season 2017-18 January Sydney Flying Squadron and elsewhere

While there was no racing in early January while the boats were in New Zealand, LCC had a couple of sails in the fresh summer North-easterlys out of Balmoral.

Joined in with the second last heat of the 16 foot skiff nationals, in a 28 knot N.easter, for a couple of wild spinnaker rides in big waves off Dobroyd Head, until the rudder broke, and we limped home with the mainsail down and half a rudder. Out of the water for 2 weeks while we repaired the rudder.

Back at the Squadron 28 January for 2 sprint races in a fresh second sail North -easter, last week before the NZ boats return.

4th February, SFS for 2 sprint races in a second-sail South easter. Sydney Sailmakers and Form Civil Contracting back at the SFS on return from NZ, where they were 2nd and 5th overall.

Puffy, shifty day (typical S-easterly), big shifts seeing both Sydney Sailmakers and Form Civil Contracting having swims on the 1st heat work to Point Piper, with LCC Asia Pacific leading around the mark and down the spinnaker run to Taylor Bay. On the work back to Shark Is. Sydney Sailmakers elected to go South of Shark Is. and the shifty breeze played into their hands, delivering a 200m lead at the top mark over LCC, Form Civil a similar margin further back, to finish in this order at the zoo.

Heat 2 , again shifty and puffy, the fleet tighter, with LCC again in the lead at Point Piper, closely followed by Sydney Sailmakers then Form Civil Contracting, in this order to the Taylor Bay mark.

Heading back to Shark Is. all tacked south along Bradleys Head electing for the South- passage past Shark Island to the top mark, LCC holding the lead to round clear for the run to the finish, with Sydney Sailmakers second and Form Civil Contracting third.

No sailing at SFS next week, an Interclub Sprint series at Abbotsford next Saturday.

Sydney Flying Squadron, Season 2017-18 State Titles, Saturday + Sunday, 25/26.11.17

Saturday at the Squadron, 1st heat of the states, long race, forecast borderline 2nd and 3rd rigs: lots of indecision, last minute cal saw the bulk of the fleet go 3rd, with Sydney Sailmakers, Lincoln Crowne and Company Asia Pacific, Geotherm and Chapman High Performance Sailing and JRW the only skiffs with 2nd rig.

At the start for the long North-east, the breeze hadn’t eventuated, 3rd rigs struggling, playing the middle of the course to get the ebb tide, working shifts into the Nielsen park rounding mark. Sydney Sailmakers, Geotherm and LCC Asia Pacific tight

together at the rounding, down Steele Point through the traffic, trying to find pressure down to the Shark Is gybe mark. All 3 skiffs carted into the island, dropping to 2 sail around and re-set for the bottom run. LCC missed the pressure here due to traffic, letting the front 2 get away. Long work to Beashel, breeze softened, so the 3rd rigs completely out of it, 2 races, the front 3 then a big gap. LCC went east into Watsons Bay and gained pressure on Geotherm, rounding just behind, with Sydney Sailmakers 50 m clear. Geotherm stripped a sheet and had too gybe away from the pressure top fix it, allowing LCC through

to second. From the bottom mark for the last work to Nielsen, breeze back in a bit, LCC 80m behind Sydney Sailmakers, Geotherm a further 50m back, then daylight to 4th.

This was the finishing order, with JRW the head of the trailing pack for 4th, then Chapman High Performance Sailing 5th.

Sunday: 2 short heats, again the breeze the uncertain strength between 2nd and 3rd.

Very late choice, LCC opted for 3rd along with Geothermal and Form Civil, forcing Sydney Sailmakers to comply. The bulk of the fleet, stung after Saturday, opted for 2nd sail.

1st heat, building breeze, solid bottom-end 3rd rig, the 2nd rigs struggling. Again, tight bunch approaching Nielsen Park rounding mark, Sydney Sailmakers 1st, Geothermal, LCC then Form Civil.

Down the run, Geothermal gybed away to round Shark Island, the wrong course, leaving LCC 2nd behind Sydney Sailmakers, with Maersk Lines in the lighter breeze looking threatening with 2nd rig. Last work, this order up to the top mark, LCC 2nd, with Maersk 40m back. They powered down the run with the bigger spinnaker, but got caught in traffic with a ferry, and could not catch LCC, who were 2nd behind Sydney Sailmakers, Geotherm 3rd, Form Civil and then Maersk.

2nd Heat, big shift in the breeze in the last minute to the start, LCC misjudged the start badly, out of the blocks 4th last. Breeze much fresher now, survival stuff for the 2nd rigs, with a lot of catching to do for LCC. back slowly through the fleet, as there were breakages, crashes and mistakes. Last lap, back up to 4th, behind Foxy Lady too, hoping to catch them on the final run to the finish, where they had previously not pushed as hard downwind in the now quite challenging 20 knot breeze against run-out tide. The catching wasn’t to happen, LCC settling for 4th, with Sydney Sailmakers 1st, Geotherm second, Foxy Lady too 3rd, and half the fleet back in their cradles broken.

3 heats to conclude the series next week at Lane Cove for flat water sailing.

Sydney Flying Squadron, Season 2017-18 12.11.17

Easterly at the squadron – unusual as feels like 2nd sail, and no such thing as 2nd-sail easterly. 1 race scheduled, whole fleet other than Citadel 2nd sail, run-in tide.

Race start, Geothermal, JRW and LCC Asia Pacific all on the line, gun late, allows Sydney Sailmakers to roll over with speed, LCC gassed at boat-end. All tacked into Cremorne looking for pressure and to try and dodge the run-in tide before aiming for Bradleys Head.

18 footer start ahead of the 12s causes the fleet to tack north to avoid the line of the dirty wind. LCC heads into and through the 18s start-line, as the quickest way to avoid them. After 2 clearing tacks this gives LCC a 50m lead on all the others, who went south east into the fairway. Breeze back out of Bradleys head was light and consistently heading, dropping LCC out of the front into 4th by Point Piper.

Shark Island rounding mark saw Geotherm well clear, ahead of Sydney sailmakers, Citadel and LCC.

Run down to Garden Island, looking for pressure, the breeze not really as second-rig as we had all hoped. Geotherm tacked north out of the bottom mark, Sydney Sailmakers takes short inside, and Geotherm lost their daylight lead in 1 tack. These 2 away, Citadel and LCC together, Citadel capsized, leaving LCC 3rd and JRW well back. 2nd work saw this hold, and same down the run.. Back to Shark Island top mark for the last time, for the run to the finish, Geotherm trailing Sydney Sailmakers, LCC lost out to JRW off Point Piper now neck and neck for 3rd, with JRW picking a shift and getting 50m ahead at the last rounding.

Long run to Kurraba Point finish, LCC looking to hold depth, JRW sucked high and capsized in back-eddy, LCC towed away from the finish by a gust, had to drop the spinnaker to reach into the finish, JRW coming back with the spinnaker, to just miss on 3rd on the line: Sydney Sailmakers 1st, Geothermal 2nd, LCC AsiaPacific 3rd, JRW 4th


Sydney Flying Squadron, Season 2017-18  29.10.17

First North -easter at the squadron this season. 2 sprint-races scheduled, 2nd sail, run-in tide.

1st race, Geothermal, JRW and LCC Asia Pacific all on the line with speed, LCC to boat-end, other end favoured, giving the other 2 a break at the first crossing out of Bradleys Head.

2 short tacks into Taylor Bay, opted to go east to avoid the 18footer pack in a bunch out of their start.

Caught and passed JRW doing this, but coming into the Neilsen Park gas Buoy top-mark Geotherm had made  a big break in the traffic on the western shore: they were gone down the run, and away fro the race. LCC held off JRW down the run, and kept them behind on the second work, crossing gybes on the second run from Nielsen park to the finish, with Maersk trying to get back into the top 3 on the final run: Goetherm, LCC Asia pacific, JRW, Maersk.

1 lap for the second-race. Huge pin-end bias to the line saw Geotherm and Maersk roll LCC on the line, in the gas LCC couldnt lay the pin, tacked east omg port.

Tacked back to the bunch at Bradleys Head, just behind Geotherm and Maersk. Swapping tacks with them up the western shore, then the log Port fetch to Nielsen Park. Geotherm just ahead, Maersk over stood the lay line and behind LCC, reaching down to the lay made the Nielsen mark just in fromnt.

Gybing down to the finish, Maersk just able to keep ahead to take 2nd by 20m from LCC, with JRW 4th.

Last week big-sail easterly at SFS, JRW for the win, Sydney Sailmakers 2nd, LCC Asiapacific 3rd.




Lane Cove Race, Saturday 14.10.2017

Inter-club championship, Lane Cove, run-in tide, South-Easterly course, Forecast third-rig, 2nd rig call from boats rigging at club, Woodford Bay skiffs all opting for third-rig.

Scratch start, low-pressure, all bunched on the line, low-pressure 2-sail each down river to first rounding mark. Arrogant Frog well early at the start boxing a number of boats, Geotherm over-early and restart, Hey Charger away clear with the 2nd rig power going well. LCC Asia Pacific boxed by premature starter, then over the top and clear air came back to 3rd by Woodford rounding mark. Fleet lifted behind to reach the Humbug pileup ahead of LCC Asia Pacific. Melee at Humbug, very short tacks seeking puffs of breeze to get out of the river saw LCC get back into 4th, leaving a pile-up behind. Light, massively underpowered for the third-rig in the main river saw all the 2nd rig boats power away.

Work up to the Goat Island top mark in shifty underpowered stuff, looking for pressure and lifts, Sydney Sailmakers making the most of the downrange, and taking the fight to Hey Charger, 3 of these difficult works and 3 runs into the bottom mark in Kerosene Bay, with the wind shifting into the east more as the day progressed. Run back to Valentia St LCC Asia Pacific in 5th with Form Civil right behind, they got inside at the gybe off Long-Nose Point, then a deeper puff pulled them into the Valentia St bottom mark well ahead. On the work to Birchgrove LCC went on a flyer to try and split, falling further back for the run into the river to the finish. In the long grind up-river to the finish LCC clawed back time on Geotherm and Form Civil, finishing just behind in this order in 6th, having put all but 2 of the 2nd rigs behind them. Hey Charger with the 2nd rig first, Sydney Sailmakers second, the 49er stars the Chapmans in 3rd, Geothermal 4th.

2017-18 Opening day, Saturday 07.10.17

Back at the Squadron after 3 weeks at Lane Cove, sailing Saturday for the opening day,  to integrate with the Historic 18s for the opening day.

South-South-east breeze, forecast big-sail, soft in the morning on the coast, but feeling a bit fresher than the forecast 12 knots. All skiffs other than Geothermal trusted the forecast and went big rig: as it eventuated, all these skiff made the wrong choice, Geothermal was right with seconds sail.

So the whole afternoon massively overpowered big-sail. Heavily biased line, LCC and Geotherm holding the pin, Sydney Sailmakers trying to come in on port, Lcc just behind them fell into dirty-air and had to tack away: this allowed Sydney Sailmakers and Geotherm to hold to the south and get an 80m lead by the Point-Piper top mark – with all the other skiffs well back, struggling in the somewhat extreme conditions.

Front 2 dragged down to Bradleys Head, LCC held the set and stayed high, but overplayed this and lost ground.

Rest of the day was a procession in this order: Sydney Sailmakers, then Geotherm, then LCC, to the Rose Bay mark, then Clifton Gardens, then Shark Island, Taronga Zoo, Point Piper then the run to the finish, with a good margin to Sydney Sailmakers (recruited a 95 kg forward hand from the 18s today working well in the over rigged conditions), then Geotherm, then LCC, with a distant gap to the only other finisher of the day.