Andrew Brown of Force racing and Southern Spars reports from Sail Melbourne:
It has been a fair few weeks since my last newsletter, and since then there has been a few things happening.
In mid November I was lucky enough to be asked by Earle Williams to sail with him in the Keelboat nationals that were held by Royal Akarana. This was the first year sailed in a new class the Platu 25’s. This event was great, with many very good sailors taking part and the closeness of the boats made for some great racing. It is great to have such good, close and entertaining racing in New Zealand, so a big well done to Royal Akarana and their team for this!
We ended up 5th out of 20, and we had some great races along the way, having a win and a couple of 2nds and 3rds and i learned a lot from the guys on board our boat.
After that regatta, I have knuckled down in the new job, and have also been training a lot in the Moth for my last major Moth regatta in a while. This regatta will be the Australian Champs and this will be held in Geelong during the Sail Skandia Geelong week – a very big gathering of many classes of boats, from Australia’s big high performance keelboats to us little moth sailors.
This event is attracting a lot of the World’s best moth sailors – so it will be like doing another world champs – just with a bit more blue sky and nicer temperatures than we had in England… In preparation for this event I am actually in Melbourne now, setting up my new boat I am using for the event, which I have brought from Mat Belcher. This boat finished 3rd at the Worlds and won the 2008 Australian Champs. It is a very nice boat indeed. Mat has done an outstanding job in setting up this boat and getting it just right!
The boat arrived to Bladerider’s Factory in Melbourne (a very nicely set up factory for the Bladerider team), late on Thursday afternoon, so I had a busy evening rigging it up and getting the boat ready for sailing.
This meant Friday was my first day in the boat and with any new boat I was busy getting it suited to me and my way of sailing. This meant I was in and out sailing three times just getting the boat more refined. However this meant that I missed completing any races that were being held for a local regatta. However when I was out and sailing against the fleet, I was going quite nicely in the lighter patches, foiling nice and early compared to boats around me.
Today being Saturday, the boat felt great and is ready to race, but only one race was completed as a 40 knot buster arrived at lunchtime and it is still blowing just as hard now (7pm). The waves have built throughout the day and are now breaking over the sea wall at Blackrock Yacht Club and are also breaking over the old sunken wreckage, 'the Cerbus' which is located outside the Blackrock Yacht club.
Tomorrow is another day, but the forecast is still a little iffy, Monday and Tuesday are looking great though for some more training.
After this regatta, Sail Melbourne starts down at Sandringham Yacht Club, and a good little moth fleet is entered for that regatta. We may see the appearance of Andrew MacDougall, who finished 2nd at the 2008 worlds. The reason for the may in the above sentence is that Andrew is busy with a big project on the go at the moment, designing a new production Moth.
Sail Melbourne will also be very good for me as I will get to see the new Carbon 49er rig in action. Southern Spars produces this rig, and I am excited to be seeing the rigs out on the water!!!
Once Sail Melbourne is finished then it is off back to New Zealand and to work for a few days, before family time through the Christmas period.
I will keep you up to date will what is happening as this week progresses and once I am doing more sailing and competing more races!
Cheers for now,