All posts by Kate

And they’ve finished! Phew!

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……time to  get on with some real work. Trackers are terrible things – once upon a time I would have been able to wave goodbye and then get stuff done until a phone call let me know who finished/where/when. Now it is a case of ‘tracker dependency’. Where are they up to? What speed/current/weather? What positions on the leaderboard? Mood can be directly correlated with standing on the leaderboard: High = good, low = really grumpy and ‘arm chair tactics’ by the tonne. That reminds me……better apologise to that friend who inncocently called to ask how the boat was going while we were not going doing so well…..

The team arrived in Gladstone about 11pm to be greeted by race director Herb Pendergast (nice touch). From a purely selfish perspective, I am pleasses to repor tthat the tired (but well fed) guys not only finished the race, but also still did a full debrief, packed the boat, loaded the race sails in the trailer, put the delivery sails on the boat, worked out the full jobs list needed to be done by next time, and then hit the bar with the Black Jack guys.  I hear it was a bit messy – ah to be young enough again to back up 48 hours of racing with a long session at the pub.

I should mention that Herb was a lot of help to me during the race registration process, especially with getting the considerable documentation required in order. Thanks also to Gen White from Marine Safety, Mark, Duncan, and Peter Talbot.

What next? Well there is always the jobs list…….An even bigger one this time to get ready for the Melbourne to Vanuatu race at the end of June.

2014 April – Brisbane to Gladstone

What a big weekend of firsts:

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First delivery, first race, first bar crossing, first night at the bar, and, finally, first place! It was a pretty rocky and rolly weekend overall – both emotionally and physically. The biggest challenge I suppose is building the crew. We have had a few training weekends prior to this regatta (which we approached as just another training weekend), but finding a group of sailors who can dedicate the necessary time, who have the necessary skills,  and get along with us and each other is more of an art than a science.  And like all art – the critics and fans are always happy to add their 2 cents. So… successfully rip that 66foot boat around 1 Nautical Mile windward leewards in Sail Paradise so early in the program was surprising and gratifying. To win? Out standing.

I still look forward to the remainder of this year with considerable trepidation. We have a long way to go before  we can claim any mastery over this thoroughbred yacht. She is very highly powered, narrow, tender, and very much reliant upon her crew to tend to her every need. A training run in solid 25 knots breeze a few weeks go brought this fact home for me: Two sail reaching down the Brisbane River Channels had us at a consistent 22knots. The same conditions but offshore with a spinnaker and big swell leaves no room for errors.

2014 March Sail Paradise