Second last sailing day of the season saw a sunny day around 23 degrees. However the wind had a lot of the less preferred Westerly in it. Getting up to around 20 knots with higher gusts. Dave Glover rang earlier in morning wanting to know if sailing on. (I told him to speak to the rest o the crew at the Club as I am out at moment). Regular club stalwarts Bill & Sylvia Ledger and sprightly Peggy coming down. Tony Zahra and Jack Kroek came down to do duty. Ralf coming down but already deciding not to sail with the unfavorable wind conditions. Barry Grant, Brad Curry & Tony Sanderson representing the TY's. Richard Lech came down on his motor bike. Catamaran sailors Jeff Reid came down from Sydney and also Alex and Iryna. This week Shell harbor Surf Live saving club (Andrew Freeman) came down later in afternoon to borrow inflatable buoys for their annual surf race. Big thanks to Tony Sanderson doing the honors in dragging out the buoys and loaning them.
This week numbers were down due to the predicted strong westerly blowing across the lake.
Dave Glover, Paul English coming down with catamarans. Alex & Arinya with myself coming down for duty. Tony Sanderson bringing down his TY Ruby. Race finisher Bill Ledger. During the morning the westerly breeze was quite strong around the 20 knot mark with stronger gusts coming thru up to 43 knots. After a burger and review of the weather conditions and much deliberation it was decided to cancel sailing for the day at briefing due to the strong unpredictable westerly (predicted to strengthen).
This week the forecast 20 knot ENE with 10 to 20mm rain didn’t eventuate. Eight (8) catamarans rigging up got to experience a much nicer warm sunny day with no rain, 19 degrees 5-8 knots with up to 10-15 knot gusts from an easterly direction. Paul English and Bill Ledger doing duty setting a great course. Start out in middle of lake windward/top mark up near holfuy mudstick and wing mark in front of point out front of PKSC clubhouse.
Club championship 3 for small cats. Duty for large cats and point score 5 for both classes.
This week Ross Fyfe, Tony Sanderson, Jacob Aleleven, Jody Matthews, Tony Zahra, Hugh Lewis and Jeff Reid making up the small cats. Les Porter flying the flag for large catamarans on his foiling A class. He went out early not racing in case the predicted strong winds came in the afternoon. Kurt Griffiths also dropping past. Ralf Steyer offering apologies due to October Fest commitments. Newcomer Jacob advised he had been getting in some extra sailing. Getting some thrills surfing 2m waves out around Sandon point on the windrush.
After a burger and briefing the sail out to the start line was a pretty straight forward. The start sequence starting approx 14:05pm, hence small cats getting away at 14:15pm.
Start although a bit spread out small cats got away pretty well on starboard tack heading towards the northern shore. The lighter folks getting out on the wire. Hence heavier folks like me stayed inboard and worked on pointing. At the top mark Hot pepper’s pinching (pointing high) payed off. Rounding the top mark 1st followed by White wave, I think next was Groove Thing, Yabby, Havok, Blue Tongue and Pedro (happy to correct if out of order). The downhill run saw superior trim skills of White wave gradually run down and overtake Hot pepper. In a moment of indecision Hot Pepper wrongly gybing towards an extra IYC mark on the course when he saw the response boat next to it, realising the error and by the time gybed back letting Groove Thing also slip past. White Wave rounding the bottom mark with a decent lead then Hot Pepper managing to just slip inside Groove Thing then heading up back to the start. White wave at this point leading the way followed by Hot Pepper and Groove Thing close behind, then Yabby and Blue Tongue. Havok appeared to make the same mistake as Hot pepper but not realising until much later and had to go back and hence not able to make up the deficit for the rest of the race. The windward return saw a mixture of approaches some choosing to work towards the NE and others choosing to tack and head back down the course. I think the wind direction favouring the NE approach slightly better. Yabby with 81 year old Ross proving to still be very competitive in the lighter conditions. Chasing White Wave home and only just losing out to Groove thing by a couple of seconds to finish in third place. Next across the line were Hot Pepper, Havok, Blue Tongue and Pedro.
(standing in whilst Ralf is away)
Both Large and Small Catamarans club championship 2, Point score 4.
This week around 6 catamarns came down to a southerly breeze with base breeze 10 to 17 knots with gusts 17 to 25 knots. And a cool 19 degrees celcius. Ralf Steyer, Hugh Lewis, Jocab Abeleven, Tony Sanderson, Tony Zahra, Ross Fyfe
After the precious week there was a lot of discussion before any sign of rigging. Final consensus was
that the only catamarans willing to go out were Hugh on Hotpepper and Jacob on Pedro.
Duty crew Richard Lech was ably supported by last minute inclusion of Chris Malcolm (his catamaran out of action for a while for repairs and a new main sail). I lent him a spray jacket as the windy conditions were quite fresh. As it turned out he ended up jumping in on a rescue and sailing Richard Hipsleys boat back to shore (rudder issues) before any racing started . Spending the rest of the sailing session wet and pretty chilli in the stiff breeze and would have been even cooler without the jacket. A port course was set start out front of club, top mark in the middle and wing mark near the reef.
Hence the start was a little late. Pedro had a little gybe capsize near the start but being young and strong was able to right it pretty quickly without too much fuss. Hot Pepper having a free run basically circulated the course and had a ball. The 1st work being the most bumpy crashing thru the waves. With 100kg at around 6'7" leverage out on the wire you had to be careful not to drive the nose to deep into the back of a wave. The onshore waves making the conditions look rougher than what they ended up being on the water. Whilst a stiff breeze and plenty of wind stregth to go out on trapeize the day ended up quite manageable. With Pedro doing his own thing Hot Pepper was the only catamaran to complete the course without any misadventures.
Regards Hugh Lewis
Small & Large Cats point score 3. Large cats only club Championship 1. Bill Ledger doing the finishes. Duty crew Tony Sanderson and Jack Kroek. They set a port course start in middle of lake, top mark near entrance to IYC and wing mark over near Gooseberry Island. This gave some cracking down wind reaches for the catamarans. See below for weather conditions as per Holfuy
Small Cats delegate Ralf Steyer Sailing Report:
Small Cat Report 22nd September 2018
Five small cats turned up for point score #3, Jody, Hugh, Ross, Ralf and a new face Jacob Abeleven sailing an older Windrush Pedro, plus Tony Sanderson and Jack Kroek on rescue duty.
The weather was good and the wind looked like it was going to be kind to us, once we all rigged we headed out, Jacob went out a bit earlier to get a feel for the lake.
Once we got out to the middle of the lake the wind was a LOT stronger than forecast, no one felt too comfortable before the start, I personally had trouble tacking and had to gybe a number of times to get around including just before the start when I ended up too far down the start line. The start line became very port biased because the start boat was dragging an anchor, but I was already committed to starting starboard. As the “gun” went Dark Horse was powered up and at speed slightly late and heading towards Gooseberry Island, Jody and Hugh stared a bit later, I’ll have to lend them my watch, Hugh was too far down the line to start on starboard so gybed and headed towards the eastern shore. I didn’t actually see Jody start but Hugh told me afterwards that he had to stay clear of her on starboard, not sure where Jacob and Ross were at this stage. Just realised I don’t have a watch so I’ll have to teach them to count down the last minute, 60 +59 +58 etc.
Tacking at the island was very hard, 3rd attempt making it, then across in the direction of the top mark near Dixie’s, tacking was better up this end of the lake, Hot Pepper sailed all the way to the shallows at Primbee and tacked, this looked like the better direction given that he was able to tack first go, he made up some ground from his late start, unfortunately he wasn’t high enough to lay the mark and had to tack two more times.
The reach to the mark half way between the island and the shore was very fast, both Hugh and Ralf took the “safe” option and didn’t go out on wire, the gybe at the wing mark was “hang on tight and hope for the best”,
The next leg was back to the base mark and more comfortable, I was contemplating calling it a day when I reached the wing mark but the wind had eased a bit so I kept going, I’m not sure if it was this leg or the next time around the wing mark I spotted Jacob had capsized, he was safe trying the right his cat so I left him to it.
The next work was a typical NE one, round the mark work to the shallows tack, pass the “Hulfuy” marker and try to lay the top mark, bad luck, two more tacks them windward return, at this stage I spotted Jody on Blue Tongue sailing towards the top mark, a leg behind but still out there, she indicated afterwards that the first part of the race she was only a passenger hanging on.
The rest of the race was uneventful, final placings Dark Horse followed by Hot Pepper, +3 m30s, then Jacob on Pedro followed by Jody on Blue Tongue. Well done Jody continuing to sail a leg and finishing in fairly extreme conditions. Ross dropped out at some stage during the race or before the start. Not sure if Jacob started or sailed the course but good to see he survived the day and had a “chock top main” to show he has been on “The Lake”
Ralf the Dark Horse skipper.
1. It was good to see a new young and keen cat sailor come down to test his skills and looking at learning more about the art of sailing. Paul English initially making contact in the northern suburbs and inviting him to come along. Although new to sailing Jacob said he had been launching in the ocean and had sailed up to Stanwell Park. Even managed to surf a few waves. This week being his 1st ever race and even in the stiff breeze he wasn't afraid to test out the trapeze. He said he appreciated the advice and was keen to come back again the next race, looking to improve.
2. Kurt Griffiths dropping by with his lovely wife and new born (I think only a couple of weeks old). Already started familiarizing the youngster to the sailing environment.
PKSC Saturday 15th September 2018 Catamaran report
(Point score 2 and Club Championship 1 for small catamarans)
It is amazing what a difference 7 days makes. We had a much warmer sunny 30 degree day with a predicted 14 to 20 knot NW breeze. See below for snapshot of the days actual wind speeds and temperature from HOLFUY.
This week eight sailors coming down with catamarans; Chris Malcom bringing down a new crew member in Wendy on his F16, Tony Zahra, Ross Fyfe, Jack kroek, Tony Sanderson, Ralf Steyer and Hugh Lewis.
In addition Les Porter defecting to his laser, Rob Porter senior with Johnny and youngster doing duty. Bill Ledger helping out with finishes. Norm also coming down.
This week wind predictions varied around 15 – 20 knots form the notoriously variable westerly direction. There was plenty of discussion and website research regards wind trends and forecasts, would the wind strength be above our sailing limit guideline of consistently over 25 knots?
After a trusty burger and briefing the response boat went out on the lake to test the new wind meter. A final review of Holfuy and similar websites looked like whilst strong the wind should stay below 25 knots. Hence it was decided to proceed and racing was on.
Chris Malcolm taking his new crew member out early. The wind blowing quite strongly from a NW direction. Typical westerly Wind strength oscillating. The experienced Tony Zahra assessing the conditions deciding call it a day and not to go out. The rest of us optimistically rigging our boats. Nearing launch time a good gust coming thru and white caps could be seen across the lake and Ross Fyfe even though chafing at the bit for a sail also deciding he would stay ashore.
Duty crew of Rob Porter snr and Johnny (with youngster) setting a port course. Start line over near the Primbee shallows, bottom mark out front of club house and wing mark out towards middle of the lake.
Hot Pepper and Dark Horse first of the small catamarans launching after 2:00pm. A few hundred metres offshore a strong westerly gust coming through. Hot Pepper rounding up and when looked down Dark Horse had done the same (afterwards looking at HOLFUY we think it was the 34 knot gust recorded). Hot Pepper then continuing out to the lee of Gooseberry Island. Looking over to the middle of the lake Chris Malcolm and crew on Altered moving very quickly on a work, spray flying. Hot Pepper then looking over to the start line checking out the Ty’s and monos. Sitting in the lee for a while with gusts swirling around the island blowing the mainsail from different directions. During this period I suspect the 44 knot gust (recorded by Holfuy) came thru testing those in more exposed locations. It was then Hot Pepper noticed Dark Horse deciding to call it a day heading back to shore. Also one of the TY’s had taken down their sails and was motoring back to the boat harbour. It appeared that racing was called off so Hot pepper too headed back to shore getting buffeted by gusty winds and white capped waves. Jack Pot and Groove Thing seeing the conditions chose to derig rather than get their feet wet.
In the last 10 years or so I have been involved with the club you could depend on Bill Ledger coming down catamaran in tow week in week out. Always willing to share his experience and knowledge with anyone willing to listen. In particular in his favourite light airs Bill still happy to give us a sailing lesson. Now Bill, who will be 81 later this year, has decided to hang up the shackle key, retiring from sailing the catamaran. His 14 square has already been snapped up by Rob Porter snr, so will stay in the club.
Bill started sailing at Port Kembla Sailing Club in 1980 when his son was interested in sailing. Unfortunately the Navy transferred his son to Melbourne. Luckily for PKSC Bill continued to sail the Windrush by himself. Bill gradually improved until he was consistently behind the top 5 at PKSC. He developed a reputation for sailing well in light airs, not as good in heavy weather. Bill humbly mentioned that his best results were a couple of 3rds in the Windrush states, “after a number of elite sailors had moved on”. Due to a back problem Bill switched to a Nacra and continued to do well with a 3rd and 5th in the nationals. Bill has always been involved with the PKSC and has held positions such as assistant secretary, secretary, vice president and president and has also been involved with juniors. He has also held the liquor licence for around 30 years and been on the committee for a similar period. Bill is also a life member. After some issues with hired cleaners around 21 years Bill took over club house cleaning duties and has been cleaning the club ever since. Bill said he still intends to be an active club member continue coming down and helping out with finishes or fill in for a duty etc. and of course have a hamburger.
A great start to the season. Even the cool conditions not putting people off. At around 15 degrees with wind chill apparent temperature down to around 11.8 degrees (reference shown on BOM website). A light 5 knot southerly breeze moving round to SE. A few showers early on then just overcast. During lunch the breeze picking up to 10 to 14 knots. The strong wind round blow out normally associated with season start duty crew of Barry Grant and John Bubb not eventuating. Hopefully we have broken the jinx and will have great sailing conditions for the rest of the season. This week Pier Panozzo recording the finishes. See below for snapshot of wind and temperature from HOLFUY.
A good turnout of eighteen catamaran sailors coming down to the club. Nine (9) sailing their catamarans on the day. Large catamarans ; - Paul English and Chris Malcolm racing, Les Porter testing out his flying A class preparing for A class nationals and worlds coming up in November in Hervey Bay. Small catamarans represented by Tony Zahra, Ralf Steyer, Tony Sanderson, Jody Mathews, Hugh Lewis and Bill ledger. Others attending without their craft Ross Fyfe (getting over the flu, with his new dog a rescued grey hound ), Ian Richardson (out of action for a while) also coming down to catch up. Ian advising that he has ordered a new foam WETA and once he is able is keen to sail, also that his son John might be sailing his old WETA and a few of his WETA colleagues are likely to visit during the season. Jack Kroek also coming down but had other commitments later in the afternoon. Norm and Andrew Blakey also came down talking to a number of the sailors. Tony Sanderson arriving a little later than normal due to being stuck in traffic for around an hour due to a truck incident. Rob Porter Senior, Josh Porter, Rob Porter Junior and Johnny Porter defecting to the TY’s. Rob Porter senior having sold his taipan and looking at his options. One possibly being to join up with the windrush’s, will wait and see how things work out. Whilst rigging there was plenty of discussion and catching up. A couple of strangers potential sailors? chatting to a few of the folks rigging their catamarans about purchasing a new boat. During rigging the breeze picking up and Bill getting 14 knots on his wind meter.
After a good snag on bread and briefing the crews were ready to finish discussions in the shelter of the club house then set forth to take on the elements. With the dry weather of late the lake level was down a little exposing a couple metre sand beach making shore launching fairly straight forward affair . Once launched you had to go out a fair way before putting down your rudders. A few start of season teething issues saw a couple of craft return to shore to sort out rudder and alike issues.
Barry and John setting a port course start line out between the club and Gooseberry Island, windward mark out towards the middle of the lake and wing mark down near the reef, IYC side. The start sequence getting away spot on time and the small cats seeing the experience sailors in Tony Zahra, Ralf Steyer, Bill ledger and Tony Sanderson hitting the line closely followed by Jody Mathews and then Hugh Lewis. Bill out on wire leading the way pointing well working east and making it over the top of the reef on his 14 square. Ralf on his windrush was next best positioned also out on wire but not able to point as high and tacking at the reef, Tony Zahra on White Wave was next followed by Hot Pepper, Groove Thing and Blue Tongue. Billyo overshooting the lay line allowing the pack to over take him. Dark Horse was first to the top mark followed by White Wave then a little way back Hot Pepper , Groove Thing, Billyo and Blue Tongue. A nice run back north towards the wing mark saw Groove Thing make up some ground and overtake Hot pepper. After rounding the wing mark a tight run back to the bottom mark. Most having to add an extra gybe to get down and then around the bottom mark. It was on this run to the bottom mark that an uncharacteristic error was seen from White Wave rounding the bottom mark to starboard (instead of Port) the 2 closely following Dark Horse and Groove Thing following suit. Having a bit more time to think about it Hot Pepper and Billyo rounding the bottom mark correctly to port side as did Blue Tongue. As a result of rounding on starboard side White Wave , Dark Horse and Groove Thing heading back along the northern shore towards the reef where as Hot pepper and Billyo headed south up past Gooseberry Island. Billyo out on the wire getting the better of Hot Pepper both in pointing and speed. However coming unstuck when tacking not getting through to the new windward side quick enough pulling his craft over on himself. Seeing this unfold in front of me I headed over to give Bill a hand. Chris Malcolm was also nearby calling out if we needed a hand. I release my sails and jumped in, swimming over to Bill’s craft. Bill had setup the righting rope and with my 100kg frame combined with Bill’s we were able to right his craft with a little persuasion. We then clambered aboard just as the response boat pulled up. Bill deciding after a small rest he would head back to shore. The response boat then giving me a lift over to Hot Pepper that had blown further into the shallows the rudders bumping on the sandy bottom. The response boat ran out of water and had to stop. When I jumped overboard I was surprised to find the water less than 500mm deep and had to run for around 30m - 50m to catch my boat still drifting in the breeze. This was still 100’s of metres from the shore. After catching my breath, I walked Hot Pepper back to deeper water and continued.
Due to my little adventure not sure what other racing duels occurred. Needless to say the top 3 finishing fairly closely with White Wave crossing the finish line 16:12, followed by Dark Horse 16:16 with Groove Thing hot on his heels at 16:16:30. Blue Tongue had Hot Pepper chasing on the last lap up to the top mark and back to the X and finish. Blue Tongue too good holding Hot Pepper at bay finishing 16:33 to Hot Pepper 16:34.
After being out on the water a couple of hours it was pretty hard not to shiver whilst de-rigging. The hot showers being a very welcome way to warm up again to finish off.
Paul English supplied the following words to describe the Large cats efforts "Paul on Playtime started on starboard and Chris on port. Paul beat Chris to the first mark and then once Chris set his kite to overtook Paul and kept drawing away in the light conditions finish in front by a comfortable margin even with the difference in yardstick. Paul was never the less happy with his performance in the light conditions but well done to Chris".
A few words from Ralf Steyer:- These are my notes.
5/9, cool to cold, Southerly wind, Holfuy recorded 3.2 to 6.5 gusting to 9.1.
6 starters, Hugh, Jodie, Tony S Tony Z, Bill and Ralf, good start 4 on line at start, start boat had extra protection, Bill fast and high at boat end then Ralf, and the 2 Tonys’. Ralf then the Tonys’ sailed to the reef and tacked, not sure where Bill was at this stage as he would have been able to sail past the reef.
Lucky for me that the TY’s were on the way to the wing mark from the top mark as I had no idea where it was. At the top and wing marks it was Ralf then Tony Z followed by Tony S.
Tony Z managed to get in front of Ralf before the base mark and sailed towards the headland followed by Ralf and Tony, Tony Z tacked onto Port and had to pass behind Ralf who sailed slightly higher and faster, at this stage I spotted Bill at the base mark, I thought he was lost as he was taking the mark to Port, more on this later.
Tony sailed a good race getting to the top mark in front and headed towards back towards the base mark on the return leg, Tony S managed to get in front of Ralf by the time we rounded the base mark.
Final placing a Tony Z followed by Ralf 30 seconds latter then Tony S. Bill was already on shore and de-rigged. Jody and Hugh finished .....
No back to the first base mark rounding, Tony Z and I realised when we rounded after the windward return that we had gone the wrong way round the first time but decided to finish the race, Bill who had a swim sometime during the race and had to be assisted by Hugh made sure we knew about our “wrong” turn when we reached to shore.
Final placings Hugh 1st after getting 20 minutes redress for helping Bill, then Jody 2nd. Bill, DNF. Tony Z, Ralf, Tony S also scored DNF by not sailing the course correctly, just as well it was only a practice race and does not score!
Regards Hugh Lewis
Sailing season first round commences Saturday 08/09/2019. Juniors racing starting at 9:30am and seniors race at 2pm. All welcome for what should be a great season.
Note: Our start of Season working Bee is on Saturday the 1st September starting at 9am till lunch time. A helping hand welcomed and appreciated. Start the season on a positive note. Sausage sizzle provided.
PKSC Saturday 28th October 2017 point score 7 (small & large cats) Championship 3 (large cats)
This week we were welcomed to a north easterly breeze at around 10 -12 knots with up to 19 knot gusts and a pleasant 21 degrees Celsius. This week a good turnout of 5 large cats and 5 small catamarans came down to sail. Regulars Tony Sanderson, Ralf Steyer, Jack Kroek and Les Porter away and Hugh Lewis doing duty with Brendan Markey.
There was a good atmosphere with plenty of people and boats. A large contingent of learn to sail coming down for their 1st week. A number sticking around and tucking into the great food at the canteen.
At briefing club president Richard Hipsley called for a minutes silence to remember Digger who passed away during the off season. A spritely 89 year old and a true gentleman who was still sailing last season. Before sailing his TY digger used to sail a Windrush, now owned and sailed by Paul Leaudais.
This week Hugh Lewis and Brendan Markey doing duty. We set a port course starting out in the middle of the lake in line with the western mud stick. Wing mark set on southern side of Gooseberry Island. Thanks to Todd Curry who hopped off Sharpie truck to lend a hand noticing discrepancy with the wing mark (yellow and red wrong way around) and the reaching angle for monos just a touch too tight for them to fly a kite. Hence we took the duty boat “Wal Curry” for a quick run down to adjust the cat and mono wing marks. With the waves and wind spray flying everywhere we ended up soaked to the skin, we both looked at each other and said should have put our spray jackets on. Once down back to the start getting the start sequence away at around 14:09:30pm. In the haste to get back to the start the anchor didn’t bite in well enough. With the waves and wind action by the time we got to the division 4 start the anchor had dragged a little making a port bias line. Both small and large cat divisions getting away smoothly. In small cats Jody Mathews deciding the conditions a little too strong and didn’t head out. With Yabby and Billyo not finishing it became a two horse (cat) race between Havok and Blue Wave. Tony Zahra on the comeback with his 1st race of the season out due to a dodgy back and Geoff also his 1st race of the season. In the end the seasoned campaigner Tony Zahra getting line honours. The large cats finding the line pretty tight due to the start boat dragging the anchor. They also had a great contest the Road Apple boys enjoying the stiff breeze and put on a great performance. Chris on his F16 Altered admitting to a swim during the race.
Race reports are provided by our Small Cats delegate Ralf Steyer