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Australia, The Queens Birthday Rum Bucket Regatta 2011

(AKA The Zhik Brass Monkey Regatta)

Wangi Sailing Club, Lake Macquarie, NSW, 5/6 June 2011

Report by Glenn Williams

Sailing a regatta in the winter is exactly as you would imagine, cold, wet and windy - despite this the turn out for the second NSW OK Rum Bucket regatta at Wangi Sailing Club was very good with 12 OK’s making the effort and braving the conditions.

The forecast for the weekend was not promising and we all headed to Wangi with some trepidation, there were no surprises by what we saw. The grounds in front of the club were soggy from the heavy rain. Low dark clouds scudded overhead and the boats moored out in the bay were swinging to the strong gusts. Despite this we began rigging up and signing in, interesting was the other classes coming to join us, Tasers, Foiling Moths and a few 29ers. The more the merrier and maybe some of them will see the light and become Ok sailors?

Day One

After the briefing we headed out for the 1200 start, Tony Outteridge, the race officer for the weekend had decided to place the course in the bay just out from the club, which made the event a good spectacle for those ashore. However it did make for some interesting challenges with the wind coming off the land from the SW, the gusts and wind shifts were not only dramatic but also very difficult to spot. Tony also laid a starboard hand course and that made a few think, especially concerning the rules rounding the windward mark. Courses were start, triangle, windward return and finish at the end of the run. All races were to be short and fast with a maximum of five for the day, though we only completed four.

Mark Skelton showed his dominance in the day’s proceedings with a perfect result of four wins. There is no doubt his fast off wind speed, in particular running square, helped him to secure the fine 4 points after four races but this was not from lack of pressure with the fleet hot on his heels and some fine efforts put in by individuals. Positions changed rapidly with no places being certain until the line was crossed making for great racing and the need for considerable focus.

At the end of the day with the ensuing discussion of the days events, the Rum Bucket made its appearance and it was well patronised.

Day two.
A few woolly heads looked out in the morning to the dreary conditions. A lot of rain had fallen during the night and it looked to continue for the rest of the day. Wind was all over the place and none of us envied Tony Outtridge the job of setting up the races. His solution was to take us further out into the lake and with a 1030 start we had to launch and get out there quickly. Sailing out to the start things did not look promising, with the wind swinging up to 180 degrees, varying in strength from 5 – 12 knots and the rain sweeping in from all directions. Oh what fun.

With persistence and earning considerable respect from us all Tony managed to set a course, port this time and we were soon away with the event, Tim Davies came out with a new focus and took the first race but it was close as with all of the days racing. The third race in the day made it interesting with a persistent shift to the right which most of the front runners missed and shook the fleet up. The last race of the day was as tight and interesting as them all and capped off a great series of hard close racing.

Once again the event proved very popular and the format was exciting for all who participated. No doubt those competitors that are about to depart for the worlds in Scotland, appreciated the opportunity to sharpen their skills.

Again the NSW Ok Association appreciates the tremendous support that we have received from Zhik in sponsoring the event with prizes totalling close to $2000.00 and hope that we will continue to enjoy their support in the future.

The Queens Birthday Rum Bucket Regatta 2011 - Results
PosSailno.Boat NameNameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Tot
1AUS742SmakoT DaviesWASC3332123118
2AUS736JACM SkeltonWASC111113.0O12222
3AUS719Dilligaf IIG WilliamsBRSC2424359433
4AUS716Natural SelectionP WallaceDSC4555238638
5AUS746Smash SkippyD HuntWASC5243676538
676The WifeT O'DonnellWASC8677497755
7AUS685Once More Dear LegsM O'DonnellWASC11111011744866
8AUS660Beaver FeaverE O'DonnellWASC13.0L 13.0L 13.0L 13.0L 561367
9AUS734Cracked PeckerJ O'DonnellWASC710988115967
10AUS743Lao HuG YatesWASC676613.0S13.0S13.0S13.0S77
11AUS648AquariusB TylerDSC1098913.0S10101079
12AUS6851Pale RiderJ ShielsWASC9811109813.0S13.0S81