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Nationals Cat Rigged Roundup


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The invitation Race on Sunday was a good introduction to local conditions with many changes required to style and tactics.dp


The regatta was sailed over 5 days in the Hastings River behind Port Macquarie. The amenities at the two storey clubhouse were excellent with a great view from the top balcony. The river is mostly 150 metres wide with a shallow edge on its western side, which varied because of the tide. The tide was a great consideration in any race and in any wind direction. Unfortunately some of the courses because of the north/south river and wind were a rectangular box course with two marks at either end. On most occasions it was a reach up the river and a reach down the river. The rounding marks were often placed close to shore, directly in the tide and with little wind around all sides of the marks. The wind was not kind to us and the first four days were sailed in very light winds with only the last race sailed in good conditions. The conditions were frustrating and at times difficult.

That being said, it should be stated that both winners Bob Simpson (Super Sloop) and John Merl (Cat Rigged) showed they were a class above the rest of the fleet by both winning 7 out of the 10 races held. This clearly shows they consistently mastered the conditions better than anyone else. These results prove the old saying, ‘the cream always comes to the top’!

For official results see the Maricat website.

Cat division consisted of Zax, Cygnet, Prima Facie, Banana Split, Skye & 1 x Sloop Splitfire with two lightweight young ladies from ACT.

RACE 1. 4-6 knots varying breeze. Cygnet (Lachlan Pudney) and Prima Facie (Wayne Barry) exchanged the lead until Cygnet went aground in the shallow side of the river. Prima Facie was first through the finish line but during the race she sailed through the start/finish line contrary to the sailing instructions and was disqualified. Cygnet took some time to get back into deeper water allowing Zax (John Merl) to sail through to first place with Banana Split (John Figgis) coming second with Cygnet third and Split Fire (Annette Coterrell & Laura) 4th.

RACE 2. 3-5 knots varying breeze. Zax easily won the start and was never headed. On the 1st leg she got height and a good gust and by the bottom mark was 200 metres ahead. Banana Split ran low on the last leg and reached into the mark for a good second showing his experience from sailing on the Parramatta River at Concord-Ryde Sailing Club. Prima Facie hit a mark and was forced to do a 360-penalty turn.

RACE 3. 3-5-7-3 knots varying breeze. Cygnet won the start and held lead for the first lap until Zax passed Cygnet on a run (this has never happened to Cygnet before), took the lead and won easily.

RACE 4. 3-4 knots varying breeze. A miserable race sailed in overcast conditions and at one stage torrential rain becalming the entire fleet. Cygnet rounded the first mark in the lead followed by Zax and Skye (David Preece) in 3rd place. The wind dropped and it became a very slow procession up and down the river for the next 7 legs. Banana Split sailed into 2nd at one stage but was eventually overtaken by Zax on the 2nd last leg. The 8 legs took 2 hours and 42 minutes to complete.

RACE 5. With very little breeze an attempt was made to race but most boats without wind simply drifted down river in the run out tide until after an hour the start was called off. Some of the other competitors saw what was happening and wisely never left the beach. The race eventually started in 4-5 varying breeze with Zax taking the lead on the first work and raced away for a comfortable win. Cygnet and Prima Facie swapped 2nd place on the last work with Prima Facie scrapping home just boats lengths in front.

RACE 6. 6-7 knots varying breeze. For the first time during the regatta there was a semblance of a breeze from the northeast making for many many short tacks up the first work. Zax took the lead half way up the work and increased his lead at every mark. Cygnet showed good speed to clear out for a comfortable 2nd closely followed by John Figgus on Banana Split.

RACE 7. 6-7 knots steady breeze. Prima Facie won start and cleared out for a good 200-metre lead until the diabolical 4 th mark 20 metres from rocks, in the middle of the tide line and a wind shadow from the buildings on the shore. Prima Facie sat there with 5/6 super sloops with no wind and drifting with the tide away from the mark. Zax came in with speed and rounded the mark in the lead. Zax held the lead until the same mark the 2nd time and she also got caught without wind in the tide. This time Prima Facie reached into the mark and managed to get out without damage and sailed to the lead and the win. Zax managed to get out of the mess of boats gathering at the mark and was a close second with Cygnet 3rd.

RACE 8. 6-7 knots. Zax shot out to the front at the start and held a good lead from the 1st mark and increased his lead at every mark. Cygnet was a clear 2nd and sailed well. With 6 wins and two seconds Zax had the championship wrapped up.

RACE 9. Another drifter 4-5 knots varying breeze. Banana Split won the start and led for 2 legs until overtaken by Cygnet. At 4th mark Banana Split missed his tack and drifted into the mark allowing Zax to sail through into 2nd place. Zax overtook Cygnet and then the lead swapped between these two until Cygnet won out and sailed away for a comfortable win with Zax 2nd.

RACE 10. On the last day the only real ‘breeze’ of the Regatta came in at about 12-14 knots. Prima Facie won the start and held a good lead until it was slowly reduced by Zax who took the lead on the 14th leg when Prima Facie cartwheeled and sailed to an easy victory. David Preece showed his experience in the heavy breeze and came a creditable 2nd.

Wayne Barry

Port Kembla Sailing Club."

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I would like to add my thanks & appreciation to the host club.

The volunteers Sandy, Geoff, Paul, Ron, Dave, Bob & miss muffet And Kelly.

And to those ladies behind the scenes helping with the lovely salad sandwiches (always taste great when made by some one else).

And many thanks to the association stalwarts especially Graham, Judy & Peter.

And to all those sailors who turned up and made this week a great time for all.



[This message has been edited by shy thunder (edited 19 January 2005).]

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hey lachy,

so you enjoyed and did well in the last race?


I think when you are old and grey you might not have the advantages of light weight?

But have you the same dominant genes as gary? (tall and slim)

Wayne has ordered his light weight flyer so he can pass you too....LOL

I will have to wait and see if I have any money left after building the "dream house" so that I can also purchase a light foamy too.



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