Geoff's view of the exciting Three Islands Challenge around Sydney Harbour - it was a blast!
Six Wetas including Hamish and Bill from Queensland enjoyed fantastic conditions for a great events on the harbour, organised by Woollahra Sailing Club, with a mixture of short and longer races - and a bonus washing machine on day one!
The first two races on Saturday helped the visitors to find the marks which had been laid that morning and in the light conditions Paul led at the windward mark by sailing higher than everyone else as well as catching the wake from a powerboat which took him to the layline, closely followed by Peter Martin who was sailing his usual fast and free technique which wasn't so effective in the 12 knot choppy conditions of the first lap. But as the wind increased Peter started to close and in trying to cover him, Paul made a bad gybe and Peter managed to get past on the line. Race two was closer but Paul tacked off after being blocked at the start and tried to follow Hamish up the right side of the course - which looked good initially but the left was better as there was lots of sailboat traffic with spinnakers on the right. So it finished with Peter followed by Ian ahead of Hamish and then Paul with Geoff and Bill bringing up the rear.
The final race on day one was part one of the Three Island Challenge around Shark, Clark and Fort Denison islands (see video below). It started with a tight reach to a laid mark in Rose Bay and Ian who was in the lead went around the mark the wrong way so in undoing his error, held up Geoff and Paul was able to nip inside. Peter was now in the lead closely followed by Ian and Paul until Paul's tiller extension came off and he was heading to Clark Island, he managed to fix it and carry on chasing after Hamish and Geoff who had got past.
The leaders were close together as they rounded the Fort with a gap back to Hamish and Geoff with Paul still playing catchup.
The next obstacle was the wind shadow of Clark Island which the leaders avoided by going wide but as a local, Paul knew that if you passed close to the Island there was a backwind eddy which could push you through the calm section faster than going wide and he used this to clear the island at the same time as Geoff and Hamish. Hamish and Paul stayed on the right while Geoff tacked early towards Bradleys Head. Paul hung on after Hanish tacked and was rewarded with a lift and some extra pressure in Double Bay. Meanwhile Ian had managed to get ahead of Peter in the strengthening breeze and took the win in a repeat of the drag race around the mark in Rose Bay and back to the finish in a cloud of spray with Peter in close pursuit. Paul had also crosseed the harbour after the others and judged the layline perfectly for the Shark Island lighthouse ahead of Geoff and take third place on a thrilling spray-filled reach to the finish.
Sunday had a repeat of the short races with an earlier start but thankfully less chop and Peter led all three races from Ian.
The start of the long race had a slightly lighter breeze and the angle meant that gennekers were deployed by those who could hang on. Peter and Ian were neck-and-neck again with Paul not far behind but the leaders dropped Paul when he gybed away from the calm area behind Bradleys Head while the leaders caught a gust to the layline. This enabled Hamish to get past and he was closely followed by Paul around Fort Denison and upwind. The freshening wind meant that Hamish was finding it tough as Paul powered through by sitting on the floats for increased leverage and he used his reverse eddy shortcut to get further ahead as they passed behind Clark Island.
Peter hung on for the finish ahead of Ian with Paul, Hamish, Geoff and Bill not far behind.
Thanks to all at Woollahra Sailing Club for organising the event and providing prizes.
Report: Paul White
RaceQs 3D Replay - Day 1, Day 2
20-21st January 2018 Sydney Harbour Weta Championship
A fun filled weekend of sailing on Sydney's iconic harbour incorporating the Three Islands Challenge race and a mixture of short and long races.
Organised by Woollahra Sailing Club at Rose Bay who can provide secure boat parking. Low cost accomodation available nearby. Barbecue with refreshments and prizes donated by Weta Sydney.
Download the NOR here
Kevin Bates has passed the Weta Dealership to Glenn Foley who I’m sure will do a great job:
Glenn is based at North Bundaberg, Queensland and can be contacted on his mobile: 0429 009 227 or
Glenn has been sailing all types of boats since a very early age. Owned a Sabot first, then 125's, Cobra Cats, Trailer Sailors, 49er's and Viper 640.
He spent 5 years sailing model boats for something different while his son was growing up, but came back to the big boats once he was old enough to sail with him.
He ran a Slipway repairing Trawlers, Sailing Yachts and Pleasure Vessels for 20 years and worked in a Ship Chandlery for 10 years.
For several years Bundaberg Sailing Club has been teaching people to sail and he has helped with these lessons for the last 2 years.
He has won several sailing championships and currently holds the Queensland Weta Championship Title.
All you have to do is go for a test sail in a Weta, video your experience and upload the video to YouTube (existing Weta owners win a Weta WMG kit for letting you have a go).
The best video wins free entry into the WMG regatta to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 21-30 April 2017.
Full details here.
Long and short distance races on Sydney Harbour over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend. Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June. Starting from Wooloarah Sailing Club in Rose Bay. Group dinner nearby on Saturday evening.
Sydney-based Superyacht, The Southern Cloud, took delivery of a new 2015 Weta 4.4 Trimaran this week. 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.
"We're really excited to receive the Weta to our fleet of "toys" for our guests and our crew are looking forward to testing her out" Said Tim De Jager, Captain of the Southern Cloud.
Glenn Marney of Weta NSW commented: "We're delighted that the Southern Cloud has chosen the 2015 Weta. The small storage footprint makes the Weta ideal for use on a Superyacht - or for anyone that wants fun sailing with a boat that doesn't take up space or time to rig. 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 novices to sail, the Weta is simple to sail, surprisingly quick and an absolute tonne of fun."
The Southern Cloud, a 130ft triple-masted yacht, is Australia’s largest privately-owned sailing yacht. Originally built in Denmark, its now available for charter after a luxurious refit. More about the Southern Cloud Superyacht at southerncloud.com.au
Roger Kitchen, Managing Director of Weta Marine will be helping to launch the new and improved 2015 Weta at the Sydney Sailboat Expo from 18-19 April - the first small-boat sailing show of its kind in Sydney.
The switch to manufacturing by Singapore based dinghy specialists, Xtreme Sailing Products, has enabled Weta to revise the product to produce a more consistent, higher quality construction while maintaining the one-design philosophy.
Read the review here and then inspect the boat and get your questions answered by Roger at the Sydney Sailboat Expo on 18-19 April.
Close call with a 18ft Skiff on Sydney Harbour! Another camera angle below
Four Wetas in various states of Christmas decoration made it for the PBSC Three Islands Race(*) yesterday (* = Island content of race may be fewer than advertised!).
The Wetas made up the largest single class at this fun event amongst assorted Hobies and other catamarans, and all competitors had been encouraged to wear Christmas costumes (Santa hats abounded) and decorate their boat accordingly. However, given that the Weta is a wet boat in the forecast 16 knot winds, most of the owners struggling to find places to put decorations that would still be there after 5 minutes of racing – Peter's boat had tinsel wind indicators attached to the shrouds which looked great except that he was showered with bits of tinsel throughout the race!
After taking multiple photos of the assembled group of sailors in the sunshine, with much hat swapping required, and a course briefing which only the locals could interpret, we set off for a race start. The four minute start caught out the visitors as it wasn't clear (except to Peter Duross, the local) that the Wetas would depart on the 4 minute flag. Peter Duross was off on a flyer in the 15 knot breeze which was patchy as the wind funnelled through the surrounding hills. It was so variable that at times Wetas separated by 10 metres were tacking into the wind or on a screaming spinnaker reach. Peter seemed to have his own personal wind god and shot off again while Pete, crewed by his son Toby, were gradually hauling him in.
After rounding a windward and reaching mark (which we all had difficulty finding) we headed off around Scotland Island – this had some good breeze funnelling into the Eastern side but by this time the Wetas had formed two groups with the Pete(er)s in the lead and Paul and Geoff chasing after them – the second group were held up by a large refuse collection barge which crossed the narrow channel around the island right in front of them - and then they made the mistake of getting too close to the Island and were becalmed as a result. Meanwhile Peter had caught an almighty gust as he cleared the island and he flung his weight backwards with the sails horizontal to the water as he teetered on the edge of capsizing before finally landing right way up. This show of daring-do allowed an awe-struck Pete to pass him while Peter collected his thoughts but they managed to create a substantial lead as they both cleared the island and they headed off back towards Palm Beach.
After gybing away from the beach and heading towards the open water they eventually found the large channel navigation pole which was being used as a turning mark. Paul had caught up with the leading two on the offwind leg – despite a "submarine" moment when he ploughed into the back of a wake wave but approaching the mark, he managed to get completely wrapped in the spinnaker sheet in a hasty gybe. After untangling this he set off again and was closing on the leading two as first Pete (and son) arrived at the beach with Peter close behind. Paul arrived soon after followed by Geoff. After quickly putting boats back on trailers they headed to the clubhouse for a well-earned beer, barbecue, prizes and Christmas cheer.
RaceQs Tracking & Replay
Paul (Tryster) & Peter (Auweta 845)
Photo: Upu Kila, Palm Beach Sailing Club