The 2011 State Titles are set to take place at Lake Macquarie Yacht Club from 18-20 November and the Melges 32 fleet are preparing to descend. Yesterday, Melges Asia Pacific delivered Maxstar AUS 158 crossing the bat at 3:00pm on low tide which is no trouble from this Reichel/Pugh high performance one design class.
Heath Walters from Melges Asia Pacific said 'We could have taken the mast down and towed it up or we had the option to make the high tide but it would have meant leaving Pittwater at 2:00am. By lifting the keel and rudder we were able to pick our weather and ride a north Westerly breeze up the coast leaving at 8:00am with a cappuccino in hand'.
'We arrived at Moon Islet at 2pm with a pretty heavy run out tide, we took the mainsail down and motored up the channel with the keel crane in place, but just missed the bridge. We picked up a mooring at Swansea RSL and some refreshments and motored through right on low tide at 3pm. As we motored past Pelican Flats the Coastal Patrol scrambled warning us of the shallows ahead until we pointed out the keel and rudder were up,' said Heath.
M32 racing at East Coast Championships last weekend - Tracey Walters
The Melges 32 drafts 2.1m with the keel down, the depth off Pelican Island was 1.8m so the keel was wound up to half hoist at 1.1m for an simple bar crossing. Heath explained that most of the channel is fine, 'I have brought many boats in over the years but never on low tide, the Melges 32 was the easiest with the lifting keel and rudder.'
Maxstar was welcomed into Lake Macquarie Yacht Club and made to feel at home. Quick call to owner Angus Reid to advise his boat had arrived safely.
After an exciting match racing exhibition at last weekend at the East Coast Championships we are all looking forward to the spectacle of both the Melges 32 and Melges 24 fleets racing on Lake Macquarie in a fortnight.