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Windies at Wallagoot


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Thanks Rohan the NSW Windrush guy for bringing two awesome Windies down to Wallagoot Lake for Discover Sailing Day.

The Windies represented cat sailing, offering high-speed thrills for the keen newbies. While some like to bob around on the floating caravan, I mean trailer-sailor, it was great that those with a pulse has the option to go fast.

Here's a shot of Rohan pulling some stunts for the admiring crowd:


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Unfortunately Arild's famous rainbow-sailed Windy (number 2637) hasn't been sailed yet this season. I believe it's due to him assisting his son, who had a major car smash a few months ago. The son is expected to recover, though it will take time. All of us at the Wallagoot Lake Boat Club wish them all the best.


Jeff had his old Windy (number 1478) there over the weekend. I sailed both this and Rohan's dream machine (6397 as seen above); it was interesting to see the differences:

- the new one had a very stiff platform, while the old one flexed like buggery. Sailing 2-up sloop in 15knots, I've cranked on some power and lifted the windward hull about 1/2m off the water, but could hear turbulence behind us. Looking around; the stern of the windward hull was still dragging! That's some major twisting of the hull platform.

- the new one had about 10degrees more mast rake, and I think this is what made the difference to the submarining. When cranking on the power and flying a hull, with crew seated in the same positions, the older one stuck the nose in more. It also tended to keep driving the nose down, submarining the leeward hull, where the new boat popped back up with a slight ease of the mainsheet.

- it was a bit hard to compare the new square-top, mylar rig with the ancient dacron pin-top, as we didn't sail side-by-side and also the old one has no tell-tales, so I couldn't see how it was flowing. My impression was that the square-top offered more control, as it I could sheet in hard to fly the hull and ease the main slightly to depower and lower the hull again. On both boats it required huge effort & strength to sheet in hard enough to control mainsail twist and power up the rig,

- obviously all the lovely roller-bearing & cam-cleat operated controls were a delight on the new boat, while the old one was non-adjustable. Traveller and jib-cleats slipping was pain on the old boat.

- both boats cranked up to an impressive speed, once the sails were trimmed & full of wind.


Not wanting to be rude or arrogant here, but the sailor is making more difference to race results than the quality of boat. It was good to see the new Weta competing with the old Windy and Hobie 14 on Saturday. The 3 boats were close enough to make each other try harder. Finishing 9-20 minutes behind the Paper Tiger shows there's a fair bit of room for improvement; mostly the cats needed to sheet in harder and get the windward hull flying, while the Weta needed to bear off and get more speed up instead of pinching all the time.


As Arild famously said; "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have!" So long as everyone is having fun, it's all good.
For more about the club, see the website: http://thebegavalley.org.au/wlbc.html

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Thanks for the pic Tony,  have been trying to find a picture of the new windy 14 rig. on the windrush website there is a description and no photos and the association website has not been updated since 2011! its not a good look:( 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Yeh, I kinda like that pic too... thanks for taking it Tony.
But boy-oh-by, Wallagoot Lake is a loooong trip... but it was nice to see the appreciation of those that hopped on the boat - the teenagers were especially thrilled - it's really a matter of getting the adults as enthused - and seeing the opportunity to get their kids a really nice boat that can grow with them...
Personally, I think it's a case of letting potential America's Cup hopefuls know that 'THIS is the way to start your journey towards that goal...'
Re your comments about requiring 'huge' effort to control the leech - not sure what you mean - maybe on the older Windy - but definitely not on my boat - it's a breeze to get sufficient maninsheet tension...
Compared to the Prindle 15 I used to own - that boat's mainsheet system and mast combo nearly puiled my arms out of my shoulder - and the advice from 'gun' P15 sailors at Kurnell was to wrap the maninsheet around my forearm to get suffiient tension - and THAT was the reason I sold that boat - who wants to struggle with a boat...? It should be a pleasure to sail a correctly set-up cat - not a chore...
Anyway - submarining? Absolutely a problem with wobbly/loose hulls on the old boat - and the upright mast = nosediving at every opportunity. But that's not peculiar to the Windrush 14. It's true of any cat that's not set-up properly, and as loose as well - I better not make any 'unseemly' references here... :p
BTW, the W14 has now made it's debut on ebay - check out the page - and the same slideshow appears there as on our website...
I think it's time to start referring to it as the 'new' Windrush 14 - after all the fathead sail and foam sandwich construction really do transform the boat...
Once agian, it's a pity that Windrush don't see the opportunity to really get behind the grass-roots of cat sailing again - with some solid promotional efforts...
I guess Brett has to go with the F18s - as they're definitely the higher-profile growth class currently...
Such as pity as with a little more effort the 14's could take equal place alongside the 18 in showcasing Windrush's products...

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