Lake Cootharaba SC Weta Challenge 2017
Report: Hamish Uquhart
The weather was not very promising in the week before the Race Series and access roads were flooded on Friday. However 12 Wetas turn up on the Saturday and we had our own start after the rest of the fleet. It was terrific to see 11 Wetas on the start line together including Roger Kitchen, MD of Weta Marine, who was making a guest visit and sailed Laurie Armstrong’s boat for two of the races on Saturday, while Laurie was otherwise engaged.
The weather settled nicely into a fairly steady ENE at an average of 18 knots, which was a bit fresh for Mitchell Foley (age 12) but provided great sport for the rest of the fleet. Courses had a 0.5 nm windward leg and were the traditional “Triangle, Sausage, Triangle” with the Start/Finish 1/3rd of the way up the work.
Saturday’s racing was fast and furious taking just over 30mins for the first boat round. Glen Foley lead from the start in the first race but was chased hard by Peter Hackett racing his Weta for the first time and coming in with a second and Michael (Knuckles) Grieve crossing for third. (Peter is more used to racing his F22 on the Multi circuit so has plenty experience with competition.)
Race 2 again saw Glen take honours with Knuckles Grieve 15 seconds behind him followed by veteran Dave Vockler. Peter Hackett had to retire with a damaged rudder and subsequently was not competitive with his original design rudder.
Race 3 saw Knuckles get the better of Glen for a great win with Hamish Urquhart in third.
Everyone was very energised but exhausted by the days racing and enjoyed a few drinks and very tasty dinner at the Clubhouse before, what was at least for me, an early night.
Sunday dawned with the Lake smooth as glass and everyone drifted out to the start hoping for some sort of a breeze. Storms were forecast for later in the day so the Race Committee was keen to get racing started. Eventually a light breeze settled in from the WSW and it became possible to set a course and get the fleets away. The breeze stayed in for the first lap but then dropped away to a drift for the second lap, eventually shifting to ENE. A decision was made to shorten the course and the start boat moved to enable a good course to be set for the second race. Glen showed great consistency to win with Dave Vockler and Knuckles making up the places.
The wind settled nicely for the afternoon race with an ENE at 15 knots. Like the Saturday races it was fast and furious with some of the tightest racing of the regatta. Again Glen showed his skills with a good win and then there was only 40 seconds between 2nd and 6th with Dave Vockler again taking second from Geoff Smith in third.
By the end of the race the Lake was surrounded by thunder storms so the last race was cancelled and we all made our way to the beach to pack up in good, warm, Queensland rain.
The final result for the series was a fine win for Glen Foley from Knuckles Grieve in second, Dave Vockler third and Hamish in fourth. Sue Germain, LCSC Rear Commodore had some nice words to say about the Weta Fleet at the presentation and I’m sure we will be welcome back next year.
It was a shame that the weather was a bit fresh for Mitchell Foley who only completed one race on Saturday. I’m sure he will soon be one to watch on the water. Angela Gregory sailed all races and, although the weather conditions didn’t suit her, it was great to see her out there competing.
Full results here
© Images by Sailing Shotz Photography by Julie Hartwig. Hi-res versions may be purchased from her website here
Australians Excel at World Masters Games
The Australian Weta Team at the World Masters Games achieved incredible results in the highly competitive 52-boat Weta fleet sailed in solo and two crew divisions.
With three Gold medals, one Silver and two Bronze in the various age categories, the Australian team punched above its weight.
A fantastic event with a mixture of light, medium and strong winds with excellent organisation provided by Torbay Sailing Club. We now plan to organise a bi-annual ANZAC challenge between Australia and New Zealand sailors.
Winner of the 2016 Hobie 16 World Masters and winner of many Australian Multihull Championships, Rod Waterhouse, will compete in the Weta Trimaran class in the sailing regatta at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand in April next year.
'I was excited to try the Weta after seeing videos online', said Rod. 'And after a test of a boat loaned from Weta Sydney I knew I had to do the event.'
Auckland is the home of the New Zealand-designed Weta and over 1300 Wetas have been sold worldwide since it launched with a splash in 2009. 'We're very pleased to see someone of Rod's calibre racing the Weta and hope we can encourage more of his contemporaries to take part', said Roger Kitchen, Director of Weta Marine. 'And if you purchase a Weta 4.4 Trimaran in Australia before 1st March 2017, it will be shipped free with the Australian Weta Team container from Sydney for the WMG regatta'.
The fun, fast, easy Weta 4.4 Trimaran is the high-tech boat everyone can sail and it has recently been selected for Paralympic sailing events by the World Sailing organisation. Expertly made for maximum enjoyment and minimum fuss, whether you’re sailing all out and solo, mixing it up with the family or teaching the kids to sail, the Weta is simple to sail, surprisingly quick, and an absolute ton of fun.
For more information visit Weta Marine website. For the Australian Weta Team click here.
The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world. In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics. Auckland will host the event from 21 to 30 April 2017 during which time 25,000 participants will compete in 28 sports across 48 competition venues. The Games are regarded as the largest event New Zealand will host in at least the next decade.
For more information visit website.
Beware the Bullets 50th Anniversary Regatta Report
Fresh winds and grey skies greeted the participants in the 50th anniversary Beware the Bullets Regatta.
The event was dominated by Hobies of various sizes, a couple of Nacras with Olympic hopefuls aboard and 5 Wetas (although only 4 on day one). Day two was sunny and warm but a bit hazy with a light breeze that barely reached 10 knots until right at the end.
Most of the races were close with the lead swapping through the fleet. Peter Graham was unusually back in the pack on day one but came good on day two when were were joined by Ian Richardson from the Illawarra with his brand new, never sailed Weta. As a regular Sharpie sailor he was competitive straight away - although still finding passing the tiller around the back difficult to remember.
Paul had some OK results on day one but his leaking floats were causing problems in the light winds on day two and he slipped back down the order.
The other class newbie, Peter Martin was going lower but faster than anyone else and this helped him to string together a run of bullets and he was only beaten by Peter Martin and Ian once. Peter Duross had solid results on both days which enabled him to take a well deserved second place.
Full results here
More and larger images available here
Weta included in N. Queensland Games 2016
Tinaroo Sailing Club on Lake Tinaroo will host the 2016 North Queensland Games regatta which will include Wetas for the first time.
The event takes part over the weekend of 25th-26th July and entries must be made by 23 June online via the Tinaroo Sailing Club website here.
More information and NOR here
Queensland State Titles - Lake Coothraba, Easter Weekend 2016
Forming part of the Lake Coothraba Sailing Club annual Easter Regatta, the Weta Queensland State is open to all Wetas in QLD and, as it's near Noosa, it will make an ideal holiday destination for the NSW Wetas too. Lake Coothabra covers an area of 5000 hectares and is free of stingers and sharks! More info on the LCSC website here.
Get Weta at the "Beware the Bullets" regatta
Palm Beach Sailing Club is hosting the “Beware the Bullets*” regatta over the weekend of 21-22 November.
The multihull-friendly Palm Beach Sailing Club is very keen to see as many Wetas sailing as possible and we are hoping to improve on the five entries that we had last year.
It would be great to get some non-Sydney sailors on the start line – there are offers from local Weta sailors to have people stay at theirs to save on accommodation costs. There is also the possibility to “camp” at the clubhouse too. Please get in contact to explore any of these options.
There are also some B&Bs nearby and AirBNB has listings from $131/night.
There is free parking close to the launch ramp and boats can be left on the beach overnight.
Canberra Crew – would be great to see you there.
Gosford Crew – nice and close for you to get to!
Dennis – will you and your boat be in Sydney that weekend?
*The Bullets aren't gunshots! – it refers to the sudden gusts which can come over the hills surrounding Pittwater.
First race is 12.30pm Saturday - more information and the NOR can be found here.
Jervis Bay Regatta
Unlike the 2014 Regatta when it blew 25+ knots, the 10 Wetas that turned out for the 2015 Regatta were greeted with a wind that swirled around from every direction - making setting the course a nightmare and also leading to huge position changes as those who got the gust were able to capitalise on it.
Sunday had even less wind than Saturday, although at least it was coming from one direction, but it was very patchy and the expected Southerly never arrived.
The Canberra contingent took 2 of the top-3 places, as conditions were similar to lake sailing, but the winner was Peter Graham from Sydney who won on countback from Rohan Armstrong as he was over the line in the final race - they were only 2 points ahead of Andy Weis. In view of Peter's continued success, his nameless boat has been dubbed "Winalot".
Weta NSW Race Calendar for 2015-16
Starting with the Cock of the Harbour Marathon Race (COTH) on 20th October with a course right around Sydney Harbour. The COTH is a Bart's Bash Event organised by Woollahra Sailing Club (WSC) to raise funds for The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which introduces underprivileged young people to sailing worldwide.
After a successful program of events at Pittwater last year, for this season we have organised a Sydney Harbour Weta Championship (also with WSC) - starting on 27th September and then with monthly race days through to March.
The Wetas are one of the invited classes included in Sail Sydney from 19-20 December with at least 10 Wetas amongst the 300 small boats expected.
We haven’t completely abandoned racing at Pittwater as we’re taking part in the Beware the Bullets regatta on 11th Nov, organised by the excellent Palm Beach Sailing Club, and also the Peter Loft Marathon event organised by Bayview Yacht Racing Club - from a “Le Mans” start, a 20km marathon race from Bayview around Lion Island and back - three Wetas were in the top 5 last year - can we repeat the result?
Other events include the Jervis Bay Regatta on October 3-4 in the inviting waters of Jervis Bay. The ACT Multihull Regatta on Oct 31 - always a challenge with light to strong winds on the same day and, a new event for the Wetas, the Australia Day Regatta and marathon at Kurnell Catamaran Club.
MORE INFO ON THE WETA CALENDAR
Sydney Harbour Winter Warmer
An opportunity to join with the local fleet of Weta owners and sail on the iconic Sydney Harbour - one of the most stunning sailing venues in the world. Run by Woollahra Sailing Club at Rose Bay on 6-7th June.
Sydney Superyacht Get Weta
Sydney-based Superyacht, The Southern Cloud, took delivery of a new 2015 Weta 4.4 Trimaran recently. The Weta will provide the owners and guests the chance to enjoy fast, fun, easy sailing with the speed, safety and stability of the Weta trimaran - While the Superyacht takes guests on luxury cruises around the waters of Sydney Harbour, the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.