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ACT Multihull Regatta 18th and 19th October 2014

Helter Skelter

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  • 2 weeks later...

Make sure your boat is in the best condition that is can be, that there is nothing to break, that everything works as it should, and get in as much practice time on the water as you can.  When the actual day comes there is no face lost if the conditions become to difficult for you and you retire, discretion is the better part of valour, and its better to walk away and live to fight another day, then to crash and burn on your 1st regatta.  On any regatta for that matter.



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If you've not done so already, please get this book and read it; "the Rules in Practice" - an excellent, illustrated guide to who gives way to whom on the sailing race course.


The other thing, is to practice stopping: for example if you're going flat-out across the lake, and all the boats ahead have come to a log-jam at the buoy, what do you do?
1/ Aim wide to go around them

2/ Uncleat your sails and be ready to let them out & slow down

3/ If it still looks like you're going to crash into someone, drop a leg or two into the water as a brake

We love everyone joining in, but no-one likes smashes.

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Dynomatt, just turn up with your boat and join in.  Despite the grand name, no-one is racing for sheep stations and people will be more than happy to help you.  If you're nervous just hang back at the start.  Unless Global Warming has made huge changes in the 15 years since I left Canberra there probably won't be any wind anyway as this regatta used to be notorious for its lack of wind.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Based on the advice here, I didn't head out to race, but did to have a look see. Got a bit confused as there appeared to be 2 regattas on...one with a lot of different boats (including multihulls) and one with just cats. Was interesting to watch it though and will try and come out and watch a few more.


Glad I wasn't racing as there was lots of traffic.



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On Sunday afternoon the Canberra Yacht Club raced a fleet of boats including yachts, dinghies and at least one cat. They kindly set a course that didn't overlap with the YMCA Sailing Club's Multihull Regatta.
Yes, there was lots of traffic, with 28 entries in the ACT Multihulls getting around small courses in shifting winds. Going downwind was the trickiest, with the boats tacking upwind coming at you left and right, and other boats working downwind also coming at you. Personally I kept a good look out and gybed off course a few times to give way, while winner Rohan said he just held his course because he didn't know who to give way to anyway!
The light shifty winds were impossible to predict, with even superstars like Garry Williams getting it wrong and sitting in the lee of an island. I think we all had some glory moments of overtaking masses of boats in good puff, and also traguic moments of losing just as many places sitting in a calm patch.
In a word, I'd say it was "intense". Glad to be there and be part of it, yet all the same glad to come home to the seabreezes of Wallagoot Lake.
Some onboard video from Saturday:

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To explain the finish seen in that:

After a couple of hours drifting around earlier in the day, we went back to shore and waited for more wind. Racing got underway around 4pm, so by the end of Race 2 we'd been on the water for several hours and it had been a long day.
I sailed upwind thinking there was a lap to go, and saw the Committee Boat with some flags up anchored near the windward mark. I heard them sound a horn when boats crossed the line, two or three times, so assumed it must be a shortened course.
I sailed the starboard side of the mark, then looked at the Committee Boat to see that it was AP over H flags; no more racing head to shore - not the S flag for shortened course. At the last second I turned before crossing the line and went back to do the final lap. Immediately I had boats coming at me from everywhere, adn had to swerved around gybing a few times to avoid everyone. After that I looked for the wing mark and started sailing there, but noticed hardly any boats left on the course, the boats who had been ahead of me sad idle, as if finished, and the boats that were behind me sailed through the line to finish.
Bugger! I thought I must have mis-counted, and by then couldn't remember if my last downwind had been the lap or the hotdog, so turned back for the finish again.
Turns out, only 1 boat sailed the entire course, and even he crossed through the line before going back for the final lap. At a sailor's meeting, he agreed that we should all record DNF so the result not count to the series.
The Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-16, Definitions, says:
"Finish: A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in normal position, crosses the finishing line from the course side. However, she has not finished if after crossing the finishing line she © continues to sail the course."
Sometimes a club adds a line to the Sailing Instructions, such as:
"When the Committee Boat displays a blue on-station flag, boats shall not cross the line unless starting or finishing. The penalty for doing so will be disqualification." (Wallagoot Lake Boat CLub sailing instructions for 2014-15 season).
No such instruction was added during the ACT Multihulls, so that 1 boat was technically the winner, and had I crossed the line, then turned back for the extra lap it could have been me!
The Committee Boat guys said they knew the boats were crossing a lap early, but felt obliged to sound the horn when the first boat crossed the line. Boats from Paper Tigers, other 14' cats, and Weta crossed, which is why I heard several horns.
The moral of the story was "trust your own judgement; don't be a sheep and follow just because everyone else is".

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