VICTORIAN MUSTOSKIFF CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017 :: AUS
Report by Tim Hill
Event Photo Gallery by LaFoto / Peter La Fontaine
16 Victorians travelled to the venue for the next Australian Worlds to Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron for an unseasonable break to our extended summer. Rather than sunshine competitors were greeted by a 20-25 knot south westerly which local legend Richie Robertson promised to be sparkling flat water conditions, as close to ‘absolutely perrrrfect’, as you can get.
In reality, as mist drizzled in horizontal sheets, conditions were more than challenging, making the race course closer to a game of Mario Kart than racing.
The first start saw locals gamble on the right of the course while visitors hit the left. Will led from Richie, with Jon immediately behind. Tim turned fourth. Jon gybed quickly into massive pressure, hitting 21 knots (courtesy of tack-tracker) while Richie and Will capsized together at the gybe point. Tim wobbled through a safety gybe, Jon swam briefly at the bottom (kite already in the bag) and turned to lead. Tim second, Will third. Will got through Tim up the work with Richie closing at pace in fourth.
Jon motored away down the run, Richie gybe set also, Tim and Will bear away sets all making the bottom mark very quickly. Jon and Richie made their gybes, while Will and Tim swam on the drops.
Jon took the win, Richie second, Will third, Tim fourth, Wayne Bates in fifth.
While the boat was registering 18-22 knots with a gauge set at 5 knots below the real wind speed, a good portion of the fleet retired hurt on the beach, while the madmen stayed for Race 2.
Both left and right sides seemed to pay with Jon arriving first, Richie second and Tim out of the left third. A very fast run ensued with Will and Tim hitting the piss, Tim for an extended swim with kite well out of the chute and wrapped many times around the forestay. Wayne made the run and got into a distant second, with Jon zooming off into the spray. Will made distance up the work to pass Wayne.
Jon took his second win and headed immediately for the showers. Will crossed second while Richie passed Wayne on the last beat to finish third.
The races are available at tack my tracks at…
Day 2 delivered on its promise of less wind and the sun came out, allowing Pete La Fontaine’s drones to track us around the course for Race 3.
A light-ish breeze flicked right, left and then right again up the first beat with Jon (again!!) leading around the first mark with Will second, Matty third. Matty swam down the run, Tim pulled through to third rounding alongside Will.
Will tacked and went left up the beat while Jon stayed right and Tim in the middle, both Tim and Will gaining. Jon rounded in a puff, gybe set and skipped away with a buzzing drone in tow, leaving Will and Tim to battle out the minor placings. Jon took another win, Will second with Tim in close third.
The breeze settled for Race 4 and the left began to pay from time to time. Will though, chose to hit the right hand layline and led Jon to the first mark. Jon rounded second with a cluster of boats including Richie, Matty, Wayne, Tim and Ricky Ironmonger rounding together. Warp speed down the run ensued with all boats negotiating at speed the contender fleet sharing our weekend. Jon got Thru will on the downwind to lead at the bottom mark, but Will got a left shift up the next beat to lead again at the top. Jon second, with Wayne and Matty popping out of the pack to round third and fourth, Richie fifth. Will took the win from Jon, Richie third and Wayne fourth.
The RO extended the course for Race 5. Once again the right paid up the first beat and Richie turned first from Will and Matty, with Jon fourth. Jon made up ground down the run to just pass Richie, Will and Matty tacked early to head left leaving jon and Richie heading right. The wind turned left, Will and Matty together at the top mark for the last time, Jon third and Richie in fourth. Boats split down the run, Matty gambling out to sea, Will down the shore and Jon down the middle. Will rounded first and took the win from Matty, Jon third, Tim teleporting to finish fourth after a woeful start, Chris Peile flying downwind to finish fifth.
This left Jon the clear winner for the regatta, with his former 49er skipper Will in second. For those of you who’ve read his profile on the forum the quote about the musto is illuminating, “It’s just like a 49er, but without the skipper!”. Richie Robertson sailed well for third, Tim next followed by Wayne.