Tasar Nationals in Sydney

  • img_4674-2011-01-2-20-36.jpg
    Sailors briefing
    before the beginning of the practice race

    We’ve made it to Sydney and I can now say that not only was I on
    Sydney Harbour for New Year’s eve, I was in it after falling flat
    on my back into the water. Thankfully it was a warm, balmy night
    and the water was lovely. Every vantage point and park was packed
    with people. The beaches were host to impromptu dinner parties and
    gatherings. We had a dinner at the Woollahra Sailing Club with
    mandatory Hawaiian theme (break out really tacky but cool shirt)
    before wandering down to the beach at Rose Bay to view the
    fireworks. I’d share a photo with you but thankfully, I didn’t take
    it because if I had, it would have been history after falling into
    the water. They put on a spectacular fireworks display at 9.30 for
    the kids followed by the main event at 12. The city, Rushcutters
    bay and manly were awash with colour, noise and smoke. It was
    stunning and a truly memorable night. As I’ve said before, no one
    does fireworks quite like Sydney. We dropped the boat off yesterday
    but weren’t able to complete registration due to the weird problem
    with our beach trolley tyres. When we arrived, we pulled the boat
    and trolley off only to discover that one of them was completely
    flat! Not a big issue but annoying given they’re brand new. Next we
    dragged the boat into the sailing club with it’s flat tyre. As we
    stood around looking at the flat one, “psssssssssssssss”; the other
    one pops. What the?? Moving the boat without a trolley was going to
    be a pain so we wandered around trying to find a tube on new years
    day. Yeah, like that was going to happen. By the time we gave up,
    registration was nearly closed and we gave up. This morning was a
    sunny, warm day in Sydney. We got the boat measured and the sails
    checked before suiting up to head out for the practice race.
    Measuring our
    sails. NB the signed olympic sailing team flags hanging on the wall
    in the background.
    The wind was freshening
    and we were running a bit late for the start. Every man and his dog
    and their pups was playing in a boat on the harbour. Add to this
    the ferry traffic and seaplanes landing in front of you, made for a
    really chaotic start to a yacht race. The water looked more like a
    washing machine in full flight than an idyllic sailing playground.
    We got off to a reasonable start to the left in a strong breeze. We
    tacked onto starboard and had travelled only a few meters when the
    boat suddenly tipped over towards us. Alistair had dropped the
    traveller and nearly dropped us into the water. We sorted ourselves
    out but not before the fleet had caught us back up and we were
    swamped by the back markers. It was chaos ducking and weaving our
    way through the boats trying to find some clear air to race in. We
    fought our way back through the fleet and things were going well.
    The second reaching leg saw the wind kick in and us take off. We
    were flying until a wave hit my shoulder spinning me out of the
    boat and into the water! I hung onto the jib sheet and was dragged
    along behind the boat desperately trying to pull myself back to the
    boat. It took some time before Alistair helped me flop back into
    the boat like a gasping fish. We settled and continued to work
    through the other boats pulling back to a respectable 9th in a
    fleet of 70ish boats. img_4684-2011-01-2-20-36.jpg
    Even the best
    Tasar sailors taking their racing VERY seriously! Onya
    The rain and lightening have hit
    Sydney as night falls. Tomorrow is the first of the races that
    actually count and everyone will be that bit more serious that is
    until we hit the shore again, Alistair dons his propeller hat and
    everyone shares the funny tales of woe from the day’s racing.
    Racing sail boats means killing them on the water and partying with
    them all night. You’ve gotta love sailing!

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