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The Rock-itt : November 2009
Don't Meddle with Maz in Middle Harbour! After the 26 September race was blown out by high winds, and there was no race for the long week-end, all crews were keen for some good racing at Middle Harbour on 10 October. The race was a Southerly, held between The Spit and Balmoral, six times up and down in flat water. It was not until after the race that we, on "Arjax" discovered that I had put in the long centre-board, only suitable for breezes of below 8 knots. The breeze was 15 knots. This explained why our nemesis in the previous race, Club Commodore, Alex Deakin, was able to come straight down the harbour on her spinnaker runs, whereas we had to gybe a number of times. The smaller centre-board allowed her skiff to slide away and run deep as she planed. It would also explain why I was very tired by the end of the race! Nevertheless, after starting first because of our high handicap, we eventually crossed the "finishing line" inches ahead of scratch boat, Maz Sorensen in "Sheads", only to see her turn and go back around the rounding mark for her sixth run. As Rev, our skipper, strongly asserted that it was only five times round for a handicap race, we watched the next skiffs round the mark also. My suggestion that we should do the same was greeted with two "blow its" from Rev and Rob. Maz went on to win by four minutes and take out the handicap as well! 17 October, Sprint Series 2, we were determined to make amends for our stupidity, and Maz was determined to win on scratch and handicap as well if possible. In a perfect S.E. breeze of 10-15 knots, the sprints featured close racing, with all skiffs finishing within minutes of each other. In every race, Maz was able to run deeply on her spinnaker runs, toting up two firsts, a second and a third on scratch. "V K Thomas", skippered by ex-13 Footer, Dan Watterson, was second with two fourths and two firsts, and "Lincraft" was third with three thirds and a second. Our best result was a fourth on scratch, but our long handicap meant that we were first overall on handicap, followed by "V K Thomas" and Alex in "Immigrant". 24 October was again a S.E. breeze, perfect conditions for Club Championship, Heat 2. Maz was looking for yet another scratch win, but Olympic gold-medallist Nathan Wilmot was back with 2008 Club Champion "Bob Jane T Mart". Who would win? It was a closely fought race from The Spit out to off Middle Head where it was very choppy. There were kite runs from Middle Head, a gybe off Balmoral, shaving Wyargine Point and down to The Hoppers. Again, Maz was always able to run deep in the kite runs, but it was a neck and neck race with Nathan. Eventually Maz won by six seconds: a superb effort against superb competition. A perfect day's sailing: a S.E. that held its strength almost to the end, and no swims by any skiffs. Results: Scratch: 1st Sheads First National 2nd Bob Janes T- Mart 3rd V K Thomas Handicap: 1st V K Thomas 2nd Arjax 3rd The Big H