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describe your best/worst/terrifying/exhilarating sailing


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After basically rubbishing my mari 'Lemon' in the last post I still have to say I had an absolute ball sailing it around Lake Macquarie in raging storms, flat calms and from daylight to (scary) dark.

Lemon had 2 major failures including: a front beam because I didn't know enough to tighten the dolphin striker combined with a huge corrosion hole underneath the mast step, and

a rear beam which tore out in calm seas, possibly because the previous owners overstressed the bolts as they weighed over 100 kilos each and sailed only in strong to gale force winds.

Lemon was built well because I sailed it nearly every day in all weathers with little maintenance. My ignorance cost me in repairs until I learnt the what, where and how of keeping it well maintained.

what are your standout best/worst sailing experiences and the things you did to your


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I got one back on the dinghy community (mainly the 29er fleet) in Sydney Harbour. I've been hit by two 29ers but i found the port side of one with the T basically head on. Wasn't fun at all, massive rudder cavitation flying a hull and the boat was tracking a straight line for their boat in bout 15-18knts.

Also been caught in a drifter off coal point in lake macquarie which in the space of 2mins turned into a 50knt southerly change. Also not fun.

Best flying moment - a trip around the front on the H16 Spi in Germany. Landed 3metres past the boat in 15knts. I learnt to use suicide straps after that one.

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I have so many fantastic memories racing off the beach (Port Lincoln 1989 Nationals, heavy series and we were the second lightest 5.8 crew), just to name one, but some of the most amazing experiences were off-shore... Racing Short handed on my big boat "The Immaculate Contraption", (modified Schionning 930++) with Paul Nudd and with him on XL2 (38 foot Crowther).

I think it was about 1999 we set a new record for the Pittwater to Port Stephens short handed race. 75 nm in about 3 minutes under 5 hours (i.e. 4 hrs 57mins) helluva ride. 10kn average in the first hour then 15kn average for the next 4... YEEEHHAAAAA

Then in another short hander heading towards Sydney Heads with me on the helm... hit 24.8kn with full main & the medium kite up in a North Easter, we took about 3 foot of green water over the deck as she scooped up the wave in front. Nuddie did his best Marty Feldman impression with his eyes bugging out of his head and me woopin' & hollerin'... Needless to say we doused the kite and continued on under heavy No. 1 headsail and full main with Paul at the helm.

Absolutely unforgettable, Thanks again Nuddie for all the fun over the years in Sydney.

Kindest Regards,

Leroy wink.gif

[This message has been edited by Leapin Leroy (edited 29 May 2007).]

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