The new Self Tacking Jib kit means you can make much smoother faster tacks and gybes - including a 15-tack tacking duel in the QLD State Titles.
Great coverage on Channel 7 news
Another Queensland Weta Championship has been run and all would agree that this was one of the best. Bundaberg Sailing Club excelled as usual in spite of the global situation, the only casualty being our good mates in NSW unable to cross the border due to health directives.
13 boats turned up at the big grassy rigging area where competitors are welcome to camp on the grounds or stay in the many nearby facilities. It was great to see new members like Sunshine Coasters Bill Henebery and Sue McNamara in their new boat win the 2 up from the other local newcomers Paul and Victoria Hudson.
The 1 up class was fiercely fought with most sailors getting a run at the front of the fleet before the usual diehards pushed through for the heat wins. The gusty 10 to 25 knots south-westerly kept all on their toes and a few capsizes affected the final results. Rod Daley gained a double score and the Picklefork Award for a capsize in the ocean during one of Saturday’s blue water ocean races, as well as a river flip chock-top near the finish line on Sunday when the committee sensibly elected to run all the races in the relative safety of the river. This format kept the spectators, the drone operator, and the local news crew satisfied.
A side event could have been decided this weekend also with the new boat/vehicle/camping solutions arriving. President Todd McVey showed off his Ford monster truck with camping slide on towing his Weta, but best effort again would have to be awarded to Bill Henebery and his Landcruiser side slide rooftop Weta loader with luxury caravan in tow. My Kmart popup tent was embarrassingly hidden from view.
Qld Weta dealer Glenn Foley again dominated the fleet overall, taking advantage of a good age, physical fitness, and local knowledge. We did make him work hard though, with his son Mitchell, Doug Chetwynd, Hamish Urquhart, Todd McVey, and myself often ahead of him. The best over 70 master mariner prize went to David Vockler returning to the fleet after a stint sailing his Corsair Pulse.
Glenn managed to win 5 of the 6 heats, letting me get one under the radar, and in the last heat he and I blasted in to a rare dead heat after a 15-tack final windward duel. That duel highlighted the big talkfest item of the year, the new self-tacking jib kit. Many of the fleet have foregone a few percent of jib area to go to this new item for the extra convenience and I would even say fun that the kit has added to our sailing. We are all still sorting out the best sheeting method to suit individual needs, much like the tiller choice really, but all would agree that this new kit rules! In very gusty conditions it made things that little bit easier to do a quick tack, or a quick gybe, with much less speed loss than usual, and I think this has brought an added level of safety as well. The only downside is the possibility of getting in irons in a pre-start, but time and experience will sort that out.
A big thanks to all the Bundaberg locals who followed the tricky Covid guidelines and catered for us, ran the event, or hung around in a dinghy in case things turned pear shape. It really was nice to focus on some sailing and ignore the news for a few days.
Report: Peter Hackett | Photos: Nicole Couley - More photos here
The Weta is unique because you can sail single handed with main, jib and gennaker with only basic skills.
The reasons that the Weta is easier to handle are:
- Boomless rig
- Simple sail controls
- Self tacking jib
We now have a twin tiller extension kit to make your sailing experience even easier.
With twin tiller extensions you no longer have to worry about releasing the tiller extension and throwing it over onto the other tramp as you tack and gybe. When tacking you just push the tiller extension to go through the tack, release it and swap sides keeping focused on your heading. The rudder will naturally go back to its fore/aft central position ready to start on the new tack. You just need to reach back, knowing that the other tiller extension will be in position for adjustment on the new tack.
Particularly when combined with the self-tacking jib, it means your tacks and gybes are more fluid and you lose less speed - because you can keep your eye on your direction and other boats around you, since you don't have to be in two places on the boat simultaneously.
The combination of the self tacker and twin tiller extension provides less agile sailors with increased confidence to become timeless champions.
The combination of the self tacker and twin tiller extension provides less agile sailors with increased confidence to become timeless champions.
The twin tiller extension kit includes:
- 2 x piece tiller extension with universal (two piece makes freight possible now!)
- 2 x stainless steel rings
- 2m 3mm bungy
- 1 x Round tiller adapter
- 2 x 50mmx4mm bolts and nuts
- 4 x round stoppers
- New tiller end plug
Available now through your local dealer.
For anyone who sails solo or has mobility issues and finds tacking or gybing the sails - as well holding on to the tiller difficult, the new self-tacking jib kit will make a huge difference to your enjoyment of the Weta and allows to execute faster, smoother racks and gybes
The kit comes complete with everything you need and the track is glued into place - no holes in the deck required. Combine it with twin tiller extensions for effortless sailing, whatever your ability.
Report: Peter Hackett: Photos: Julie Hartwig
Last weekend, 16 Wetas crewed by the nicest bunch of sailors from Central and South-East Qld, Sydney, and Melbourne took to the warm flat waters of Boreen Point Lake Cootharaba and joined in the fun with nearly 100 boats at the Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club’s Mono Masters Championships.
Conducted over 6 heats on December 1 and 2, the tradition has now consolidated to make this popular event and venue our Qld State Championships.
For those of you wondering why we are enjoying the company in a monohull regatta, the Wetas have previously joined the Cat Challenge regatta, but the crowded beach and waters, combined with a few out of control foilers encouraged us to accept the offer from the club to join in with the Monohull regatta and bolster their numbers. After all, a Weta is really a "monohull with stabilisers" isn't it?
Many of us arrived from Thursday and stayed longer than the weekend as well, because there is so much to do in the area. Noosa’s famous beaches are not far away, and you can also spend weeks cruising around the Cooloola Great Sandy National Park from your Weta, kayak, or paddleboard.
This year we were again blessed with good winds with a 15 to 18 knot NE seabreeze for the 3 races on Saturday, and a warm swinging 10-20 knot NW warmer breeze in Sunday’s 3 races. This year the club also hosted the Impulse Dinghy state titles, so it was good that we were sent on a larger outside triangle with the faster monohulls.
Weta results here. Detailed results comparing all classes at here - the highlight in this data is that Wetas were overall the fastest boats on the big course in EVERY RACE against a hot fleet of coached International Contenders, as well as representatives from the International 14’s, Javelin, and 505 class.
We had our own start and within the Weta division it was decided that yardstick would still be used until the data on boat weight variations of the new boats has had time to be absorbed. All mainsails used were the original pinheads and most boats were single handed. Interestingly, the yardstick results were nearly identical to the scratch results.
There were a few crew changes made mid regatta with some damage inflicted by an errant trailer sailor on one hull of Angela Gregory, who teamed up with lightweight Mitchell Foley having a bit of trouble sailing single handed in the stronger breezes.
I will just mention a few standout performers:
Keith Chidzey deserves a tank of fuel for bringing his new boat from Sydney to the Pan Pacific event on the Gold Coast, and then again up to this event after an in between race in Sydney helped him with capsize practice. Keith got some great starts and if it were not for a rigging issue, would be higher up the results.
Our President Geoff Waldon deserves an IT award for sailing the series with a GoPro on each end of the boat and one on his head. Protest evidence for the rest of us maybe?
Weta Class Secretary, Hamish Urquhart, had his first sail in a new boat, having recently had his hip replaced, and managed all but the heavy wind races.
Don Graham came up from the Gold Coast to join us and very quickly tuned in to the conditions to grab 5th place.
Local guru Geoff Smith took the over 70 year old prize, and he frightened all of us with a big Sunday scorecard of 4-3-3. Andres Gabarrin showed what a master he is of the evolving float-hiking upwind method to come in 3rd overall. He would have done better if it were not for a broken shroud in heat 2. I managed to keep ahead of Andres most of the weekend with a better day Saturday in the fresher winds and was very pleased with another 2nd overall, but it was our consistent winner and QLD dealer Glenn Foley who got the gong with an uncanny ability to make a minimal number of mistakes.
As usual, great pictures are available from Julie Hartwig Photography here. (Thanks for the permission to reproduce the images here)
Over 20 Fun, Fast, Easy Weta Trimarans are expected at the Queensland State Championships due to take place on December 3-4 at Lake Cootharaba near Noosa.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming boats from all over Australia to the event”, said Hamish Urquart, Australian Weta Class Secretary and local resident.
"The flat water and unobstructed lake surrounds mean it ideal for the Weta which will be raced solo and two-up at the event and If the wind gods cooperate, we expect someone will beat the top speed of a Weta at over 20 knots and we have a prize for the fastest recorded GPS track.” added Hamish.
“Unlike other fast dinghies, the Weta is a boat everyone can sail in almost any conditions as it’s so stable and forgiving” said Queensland Weta Dealer, Glenn Foley. “And the new lightweight foam-core boats and new square-top sails have made it even quicker and more usable in light conditions”
Glenn is also the man to beat at Queensland Weta events but he’s been getting competition from his 14 year old son who has his inherited his older boat.
The next event on the Weta Class Association calendar is the Sydney Harbour Challenge on January 12-13 which includes the infamous Three Island Challenge race.
Like Sailing? Only Weta!
Unlike other small sailboats, The New Zealand designed Weta is boat for the entire family but also for individuals and couples that want a high performance boat without the drama - it’s incredibly stable yet really quick and has been approved for both the World Masters Games and Paralympics.
More information about the event here
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.