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)