sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Single handed Media Race in the Weta - a family battle
Single handed Media Race in the Weta - a family battle


'Weta Boat Test and Media Race, November 2013'    © Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

It seems a little hard to believe that it was three and half years ago that I first sailed the Weta, off Takapuna Beach on Auckland’s North Shore.

That day in a 10-12kt sea breeze the Weta was put through her paces, sailing singlehanded.

It was a memorable sail – a few months after BMW Oracle Racing had won the America’s Cup sailing their 120ft wingsailed trimaran.

Having seen the massive trimaran flying her mainhull with relative ease, the obvious objective was to see if the Weta would do the same. Despite several carefully angled runs, and with the Code Zero fully powered up, we never got close.

The Combatants - Weta Boat Test, November 2013 -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

But it was a great experience to be able to run three sails while sailing singlehanded.

Over the intervening three years, multihulls have become much more mainstream – largely off the back of the AC72’s and the America’s Cup – but what is like to race a Weta single handed?

An invitation to have another test sail soon got upped into a Media Race – competing against Boating New Zealand's Ben Gladwell - nothing quite like keeping it in the family, is there?

This time Lake Pupuke was the venue, instead of the picturesque Takapuna Beach. But as our race unfolded the initial drawn session stretched to two – with the second being staged a week or so later off Takapuna.

After a bit of cockpit drill ashore the Weta seemed to have simple systems, the only question being how it would all come together in a race.

Launching and getting sorted off Takapuna Beach - Weta Boat Test - November 2013 -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Soon after leaving the shore, I had my had our first 'hydro' moment. Not sure what caused it – fiddling with the rudder, forgetting the mainsheet and jib were semi-cleated.

As with Emirates Team NZ in the America’s Cup the lay-over was spectacular. The Weta was right on her side, with the leeward float submerged, and an ignominious capsize seemed to be inevitable.

However the Weta is no ordinary boat and she just hung in there, until the mainsheet was flicked out of the cleat, then unbelievably she recovered and fell back upright.

Those who have sailed on Lake Pupuke know that it is renowned for its finger like patches of wind, and quick changes in direction – mostly created by the tall buildings at its western end which act as wind deflectors and shields. - which makes the former volcanic crater, very challenging on which to sail, quite different from the relatively even breezes off the beach.

Fast and Forgiving are probably two words that sum up our total of four hours on the water.

Ben has a minor 'Hydro' moment - the Weta goes over way further than this - and will come back successfully -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

The latter is the more important for those getting into sailing for the first time, or those looking to improve their skills. Even though you can get into some very awkward situations, unlike a monohull, they don’t result in a capsize. The Weta just comes back up, shakes herself off and sits there waiting for you have another crack.

The Fast adjective is of more interest to those interested in pushing their and the Weta’s limits. In the second test we were clocked at 15kts – in probably about that strength of breeze, and the boat certainly has got legs.

Coming from a background of sailing single-handed trapeze boats, at world championship level, the Weta certainly provides plenty of scope to be pushed, and pushed hard. Of course, being very forgiving, you can push the risk a lot more, because you know that the boat will give you plenty of warning when you get close to the red-line where speed turns into disaster.

Your warning typically comes when the leeward hull starts loading up and buries.

The Weta loads up in a gust - time to ease some sheet and get aft. -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

This signal is accompanied by a slowing and general loading up of the boat. You get the impression you are just fighting with the boat, and the easy thing to do is to get your weight further aft, lighten up the load on the sheets, pop the leeward hull out and off you go again.

Upwind it is much the same. Like in the AC72’s you clearly have two modes pointing and footing.

From a tactical viewpoint, both are useful when racing the Weta. Pointing will get you up to the mark, or into a new wind shift or pressure. Footing is great for just covering the ground upwind, particularly if you are in a good shift and want to get over the top of your opponent. Particularly your son!

Of course, singlehanding upwind does pose its challenges in terms of righting moment – even if you do weigh 90kgs. The Weta generates sufficient power that in winds of 12-15kts that you just can’t grunt your way through it and have to do something different in terms of the way you sail the boat.

In footing mode upwind - Weta Boat Test, November 2013 -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Being a very forgiving boat, going into footing mode in the Weta, is your escape route, and by springing the mainsheet, and sacrificing a bit of angle, you get a big gain in speed - you’re back in control again.

One of the neat things about the Weta, if that you don’t have to work hard hiking, if you don’t want to.

As we found early on just sailing around on the Lake, just getting your bodyweight onto the trampoline is enough to get righting moment to track at about half pace or better upwind. Get all the way out to the edge of the tramp, and are at about 80% of righting moment – and you are still just sitting down – no real effort required.

There are two stages of hiking beyond that – the first is to get you feet under the straps and go for it Laser style, which wasn't that hard to sustain. The final stage, is to droop down onto the windward hull, and literally sit on that – very comfortable and fast – as we were told after the racing had finished, by Kiddo – who claimed he'd used the technique to get through us upwind.

Returning from the second days sailing, we had got a little offshore, and had the prospect of punching into an increasing 20-25kts SW wind, which can pump a bit at Takapuna. Again footing off some more, springing the sheet and just sitting at the edge of the windward rack was enough to get home at a good pace.

Racing the Weta, singlehanded, is no different for another high performance singlehander. You have to cover a lot of ground through the tack across the boat, and back out the other side. We covered this distance by sliding through, standing in the main hull, twisting, and then scrambling out the other side, while springing the jib sheet and re-sheeting for the new tack, getting the tiller cleared through for the next tack, and handling the mainsheet.

Yes, there is a bit on – but that is always the challenge of singlehanded sailing – and part of the satisfaction you get from doing it.

Ben straight leg hiking the Weta - next stage is to slump hike off the windward hull. -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

There are also two speeds to run the manoeuvres – you can do what you normally do in a high performance boat which is to make more gradual transitions and concentrate of keeping the speed up through the tack or gybe. Or, you can take the Laser approach and just get through the turn as quickly as possible, get set up on your new course and then quickly accelerate to make up the distance with the boat coming to a near stop.

For sure, with more practice, you would have a combination of both. But often in racing no two situations are the same, and many favour the gradual transition approach trying to keep the pace up. But in the Weta there are more skills to master than in the few hours that we have spend in the boat.

There are some excellent Weta coaching videos to get help get you started.



That is part of the satisfaction of single handed sailing – just going out and practicing and getting attacking or gybing and being able to nail it consistently is very self-satisfying. With the Weta, you’ve got a lot more to master than just tacks and gybes. And then you have the Code Zero furls and unfurls – along with three sheets and a tiller to run with just two hands to do it.

One of the tricks to all this is the simple trick of tying the mainsheet to the jib sheets – so at least you can resolve some of your shortcomings from the comfort of the windward side. Of course, our perennial problem seemed to be trying to slither up the windward trampoline, with the Code Zero sheet wrapped around both feet. But with more practice that issue would surely be overcome.

Going for the inside berth around one of the markers, Takapuna Beach -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Two-boat 'match' racing in the Weta was both challenging and fun – using existing race marks or other buoys and a gate start – three of the four races ended with about a boat length separating the two boats, and the lead changed at least one each race.

You certainly don’t need a big fleet to have a great sail, or an afternoon’s racing.

At the end of the second day we got to derig and dismantle the Weta for trailing.

For what unfolds to be a beamy trimaran, the Weta folds back up to be a very compact load on a trailer.

Even with an injured shoulder (a 10 month old injury) dropping the light carbon mast was not a problem. Similarly with pulling the hulls apart from the main – all are held together with well fitting hull sockets and simple tie-ins to hold the hulls in their sockets. Similarly with the trampoline – which is also on a quick release system – and the whole operation can be done in a few minutes.

The slowest part is talking to the never-ending stream of onlookers who want to know more about the boats.

And the outcome of the racing? We’re keeping that in the family for the time being – read about it in the current edition of Boating New Zealand.

Same outcome as San Fran, a few months ago, I'm afraid.

Match racing up the Takapuna shore -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

With sheets well eased the Weta really gets up and goes -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Yours truly, stacking the hard way - Weta Boat Test - November 2013. -  © Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Sail-World’s NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, single handed racing in Wetas off Takapuna Beach -  Rebecca Hayter   Click Here to view large photo


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117472

8:57 AM Mon 9 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

07 Dec 2013  How to on the Weta - Your easy Youtube guide
25 Nov 2013  Awesome Sailing for WetaFest at Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club
07 Nov 2013  NZ Weta Sailing Update - WetaFest and Fun sailing at Torbay
12 Oct 2013  Fun times at inaugural Weta New South Wales Championship + Video
24 Sep 2013  Chris Kitchen takes out San Francisco West Coast Weta Championships
22 Sep 2013  Weta West Coast Championships, San Francisco - Video Preview
21 Sep 2013  Totally Dinghy Regatta Report - Sept 14-15 Richmond Yacht Club, CA
11 Sep 2013  Weta West Coast USA champs begin in two weeks at Richmond
21 Aug 2013  Wetas at Wine and Roses Regatta, Santa Barbara Yacht Club
06 Aug 2013  What to do with a Weta in the Winter? Go solo surfing - Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race. The northerly drag race continues, with the stable light wind forecast to drop slightly. The boats have all remained in position, if anything cementing their places with gaps between them increasing slightly through the night. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - After what can only be described as a frustrating few days of wind and current conditions in the Malacca Strait, the shipping lanes we had to pass were a bit more entertaining as it was upwind which meant some tacking. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Sailing in a straight line was never supposed to be as tense as this. We’ve been pointing at Sanya for almost a day now and fortunately, Alvimedica, MAPFRE, and Brunel far enough back to not be in AIS range anymore. The problem is they’re not in AIS range anymore. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Live video feed by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Tune in here to see the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean race in Sanya. Will sailing history be made? Can Dongfeng become the first Chinese flagged yacht to win a Leg in a Round the World Race? ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Dong looks set to create sailing sailing history when she finishes first on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya in two days time. Includes video Currently Dongfeng is 250 nm to the finish line in Sanya and the chasing pack with ADOR ahead in second place 55+ nm behind the Chinese team. ... [more]  

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

The world is watching. Can Dongfeng Race Team hold onto their 57 nautical miles lead to China for what will essentially be the ultimate home victory? Or will another team get desperate and make a bold decision that could cost Dongfeng their win? ... [more]  

Most of the marque classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenging the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Sport met science today on the Barcelona World Race when the pairs of skippers took the first opportunity to deploy their data monitoring Argo beacon which was given to them in Bareclona prior to the start. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It really wasn’t our week. Two races were held today in very nice conditions and we finished third in both. Bella Mente won both races to win the class. ... [more]  

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating three days of coastal racing and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous, Mount Gay Rum-fuelled prizegiving dinner and party. The final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts on Saturday. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water again today at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day five ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - With a solid 17-20 knots from the north east, reducing the possibility of a distance sapping park up, the likehood of the Leg three leader the Chinese boat Dongfeng getting the gun in Sanya just 640 nautical miles ahead continues to strengthen. ... [more]  

The 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Swinoujscie, Poland from 15 – 19 September 2015 Notice of Race has been released. ... [more]  

Currently doing scheduled maintenance. Some elements of site may not be visible at the moment. ... [more]  

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg. ... [more]  

Beau Outteridge has compiled a video of highlights and interviews from the 2015 McDougall + McConanghy Moth Worlds completed recently in Sorrento, Melbourne ... [more]  

Former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell has issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day four. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Along with the rest of the 848 sailors from 63 nations currently training in Florida ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (January 26-31), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes and coaches have entered a period of intense focus ahead of the first major Olympic and Paralympic event of 2015. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It probably won't be a late night on Duval Street for the sailors competing on Division Two and Three at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015. After doing three races in strong winds on Thursday, there are no doubt a lot of sore muscles, aching bones and tired bodies. ... [more]  

Children’s heart health continues to benefit from Team Alvimedica’s online auction now underway for two unique experiences during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover here. The Chinese Agape Foundation Inc. will be the recipient of funds raised for these unique team experiences in Sanya, the next stopover port of the global ocean race. ... [more]  

Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall by John Payne, Fort Lauderdale
The Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta was held January 17-19 in the Atlantic Ocean off of Dania Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Open to Finns (it’s their Midwinter Championship), Lasers and Laser Radials, competitors came from twenty countries and Puerto Rico. They range in age from 14 to 79. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 update from Dongfeng Race Team: All hands on deck as Chinese crew suffer damage to their boat as the tack line of an important sail (J1) broke suddenly sending the 132 m² sail shooting up the forestay in a matter of seconds. The team have managed to set up a temporary replacement but the reality is, this is a rude awakening of how far away the finish line is. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible   
18ft Skiffs: Images from NSW Championships - Race 2   
Volvo Ocean Race – Malacca Nightmare – now it’s a boat race again!!   
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race - Battle for Surflant Prize   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Off to a great start   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica - Enter the Dragon + Video   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 3   
World Match Racing Tour's title sponsor goes into administration   
Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions   
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía – Kiteboarding and Dragons return   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview   
Audi Melges 20 Class - Miami Winter Series   
Barcelona World Race - The South is looming.   
Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week announce new one design class   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 3 position report for 19th January   
Pape Chevrolet North American Championships - Register today!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Sally Barkow - from the Olympics to the Volvo   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - The big casino *Feature   
C&C 30 Javelin makes West Coast Debut   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT