Life's Better - Weta News - December 2019: Videos | Events | Tips, bits, tricks and tests | NSW & VIC State Titles Reports.
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Report: Inaugural NSW State Championship

Speers Point ASC, Lake Macquarie, Dec 28-31st  2019
The NSW State Titles were hosted by Speers Point on Lake Macquarie and held jointly with the Hartley TS16 Trailer-Sailer nationals.

Paul White, the instigator of the event with SPASC was keen that we should enjoy the fun of sailing on the flat water of Lake Macquarie, and so the Invitation Race on the first day gave everyone a chance to get to know the lake with a destination sail for lunch at Wangi Wangi RSL Sailing Club. There had been some concern that we'd never make it to the destination in time and that we'd wreck the boats on the shore - but Paul had thought of this and, through the generosity of Weta Sydney, gave everyone pool noodles which they could use as rollers or to rest the boats on. Weta Sydney also provided the T-shirts for the event which had been designed by Weta sailor, Faye Boyes.

Le Mans Start Line Up
 In fact the "race" to Wangi turned into a really fun blast. After a "Le Mans" start from the beach we got into a 15-20 knot North Easterly breeze in bright sunshine in the middle of the lake which made the concerns about the time it would take to get there a non-issue - with most arriving about an hour after the start. The exception was Paul who decided to practice his capsize recovery by pitchpoling instead of gybing just before the finish. He used his new improved recovery method to get going in under 4 minutes (bounce the leeward float to burp out the air and just before righting, lean in to furl the kite and uncleat the sails).

After a snack lunch under the trees from Wangi RSL, we made our way back to Speers Point starting with a choppy beat upwind and then a tight reach for the rest of the way taking less than an hour. One of the doubters about the event asked Paul who's idea it was, "mine" he replied cautiously - "well it was really great" was the unexpected reply.
The Course
Day 2 was the start of the race series proper and Speers Point had set a trapezoid course as we were sharing with the Hartleys. This meant we started on the same startline and went around the first windward mark - but then had a tight reached to another mark which became the windward mark for the other laps, and then we reached back to the start boat for the finish.  This sounds more complicated than it appears (see diagram) - but the one problem which occurred on the first day was finding the second mark, as Paul discovered after he led around the windward mark in race one (much to his surprise) and headed to what he thought was the correct mark then realised his mistake when he noticed others weren't following him and had to drop the gennaker to get there - loosing 4 places in the process.
Le Mans Start

Continuing his winning ways from the QLD State Titles, Glenn Foley won all races on Day one and Day two with the 10-15 knot wind suiting his light weight as well as sailing skills, He was closely pursued by light wind expert, Ian Richardson, who would sometime get ahead of him - then there was a leading pack of 3 boats including Hamish Urqhardt, John Richardson, Keith Chidzey and occasionally joined by, Todd McVey, Nathan Stanton or Paul White. The course had to be reset a few times as the wind shifted but generally everyone was happy with the course and the "banzai reach" to the finish produced some fun racing as some gambled on using the gennaker to head for the pin while others played it safe to two-sail reach for the committee boat.

The first race of Day 3 had Glenn in 4th place mainly because he had a brain fade and headed for the wrong windward mark. This trend seemed to be catching as Geoff Waldon decided to take a shortcut and use the Hartley wing mark as the windward mark allowing him to overtake everyone - but unfortunately his multiple video cameras only confirmed his error afterwards.
The Motley Crews
Keith Chidzey had some leading moments including nearly taking Paul's ear off in the pre start of race 5 after Paul had been luffed to head to wind by Nathan but could not tack because they were so close and started to drift backwards into Keith - Keith took emergency avoiding action ending up on his back in the middle of the boat laughing his head off as his ama crossed the stern of Paul's boat.

The 40 deg heat of the final day of racing made the prize giving in the clubhouse somewhat arduous and Bill Korneef managed to drop his sweating 6 pack of beer over the floor.
Overall results were : 1st Glen Foley ,2nd Ian Richardson and 3rd John Richardson
(Unofficial) Handicap: 1st Nathan Stanton,  2nd Bill Korneef,  3rd Robert Eggins
Best Female: Angela Gregory
2 Up:  Stephen Watts and Annette Hanly
Pickle Fork Award: Paul White
Complete results here  More photos here
Winners are Grinners - Prizes Presented by Geoff Waldon, AWCA President
Glenn Foley (QLD) - 1st
Ian Richardson (NSW) – 2nd John Richardson (NSW) – 3rd

Report: Inaugural Weta Victorian State Championship

McCrae Yacht Club 25-27th January 2020
Faye Boyes Poster Design
Around October 2019 the Australian Weta Class Association agreed that it was time to host the Inaugural Weta State Championship in Victoria and we picked the Ronstan Australia Day Regatta at McCrae YC held towards the end of January 2020 as the best option.

With the main goal of building a local fleet in Victoria, we pulled off a massive outreach effort to Weta sailors in the months leading up to the regatta and were very well rewarded with sixteen entries – ten single-handers and six double-handers - the largest fleet in the regatta.

Many thanks to our six interstate visitors, from Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, who joined the ten Victorian boats representing six different local yacht clubs. It was a fantastic turnout and well above our expectations – the biggest fleet for a Weta regatta in Australia to date!
Sixteen Wetas filling up the boat park
The boat park was open on Friday for early arrivals and we’d given everyone the heads up to get a prime spot on the front lawn. Before long the Weta flags were flying and the yard was filling with Wetas. A few boats went for a sail to test the location in around 18kts moderating to 15kts in the afternoon, but new owner Andrew Binns got some kudos points for deciding to sail up to McCrae from Sorrento on a blast reach. Only an hour and 20 minutes for the whole trip and he arrived grinning from ear to ear!

We booked a Greek restaurant across the road for dinner and had a chance to get to know each other over some meze. It was a great chance to catch up, meet people for the first time and refresh memories from the World Masters in 2017 for those hadn’t seen each other since then.

The Ronstan Australia Day Regatta is open to all OTB classes and consists of six races over two days with classes separated onto two courses. We shared the Alpha course with A Class cats, Taipans, Paper Tigers and the odd Nacra. Wetas were to be sent off first with clear air being the biggest division on our course.
Lining up for the start - Race 1
Day 1 – Three races scheduled and light winds in the forecast meant we knew it was going to be a tough day. The RO did a good job to get two races completed for us with Ian Richardson (NSW) setting the tone for the weekend with two wins. Blake Richter (SA) had a great start to the regatta with a 2nd and 3rd and Hamish Urquhart (QLD) was sitting in third with a 2nd and 5th, although he did a restart in race 2 when he wasn’t OCS in the first place! Dez Stallard (VIC) was pretty stoked to get a 3rd in race 2 in his first Weta regatta!
After shortening the course in race 2 to ensure a result, the RO sent us ashore in the fading breeze. After some varying opinions ashore, the RO decided to call it a day and cancelled races not sailed.
Ian Richardson (left) heading for the win - Race 1
Ronstan continued their regatta hospitality by putting on a BBQ for all competitors after sailing whilst the Weta fleet took the opportunity to hold a AWCA meeting to welcome new members, talk through some class rules being finalized and promote the first Nationals to be held at Lake Cootharaba (QLD) in December 2020.

Day 2 – The forecast for Sunday was for variable breezes in the morning before a building SSW of 17knts by 3pm. When arriving at the boat park it seemed that we may be held ashore before the scheduled start at 11am but the RO got us off the beach in a reasonable 12-13knts from WSW. We got the first race finished with a building short sea that Port Phillip is known for and made for some good downwind surfing if you could get onto a wave. Ian again showed his class with the win with Hamish in 2nd and Robert Harper (VIC) in 3rd – his first Weta regatta as well!
No gennaker required! - Race 2
#nogennakersrequired! – Race 2
Race two was one to remember. We completed the first lap in similar breezes to race one before the expected forecast came through the fleet on the second lap above 20 knots from the SW. With the building sea state and increased wind there were quite a few near capsizes, with one single-hander ending up upside down, together with a few of the cats on their sides. There was no need for gennakers on the last downwind although a couple of boats gave it a shot before deciding it wasn’t worth it. The trick was to keep the bows up and keep surfing to the finish line. A fantastic result for Rob Gilpin and Kellie Cartledge (VIC) sailing two-handed for the win followed by Robert Harper getting 2nd (brilliant result Robert!), Ian coming in 3rd and Hamish in 4th. 

The RO kept us waiting whilst they set a course for the new wind direction and, whilst it moderated slightly, there were some big gusts still coming across the course to be wary of. By the end of race three, Ian had pulled off another win with Hamish 2nd and Rob and Kellie in 3rd. With all three scheduled races completed, the fleet headed for the beach. 

With five races completed, a drop came into play with four races to count. Ian ended up a well-deserving winner with 1, 1, 1, 1, Hamish came second with 2, 2, 4, 2 and Rob and Kellie came third with 6, 4, 1, 3. The other great part of these results was the spread across the states represented – top 5 boats were NSW, QLD, VIC, SA and VIC.
Winners are Grinners - Prizes Presented by Geoff Waldon, AWCA President
Ian Richardson (NSW) - 1st
Hamish Urquhart (QLD)– 2nd Rob Gilpin & Kellie Cartledge (VIC) – 3rd
Complete results here 

Well done to all sailors! I know many set personal goals for their performances with this regatta as it was the first large fleet to race in Victoria and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We decided to acknowledge the best performance of each Weta configuration (1-up 9.3, 1-up 8.3, 2-up 9.3 and 2-up 8.3) with wonderful commemorative mugs designed by Faye Boyes.

But wait - there's more!

Wetas rally at Rye for lunch
Day 3 – We all know that Wetas are capable of much more than just banging around race courses so, when we announced the regatta, we invited sailors to stay on for the Monday public holiday for a social sail if they could. Eight boats were still in the boat park on Monday morning and there were a couple of potential new owners having test sails. By 11.30 the weather forecast looked suitable enough to head down to Rye for lunch so five of us took the opportunity to go cruising. The winds were soft on the way there and it was upwind most of the way so it took a couple of hours. After a bite to eat at Rye YC, who very nicely welcomed us to use their facilities, we earned a great tight reach home in 12-13kts all the way back to McCrae – a fantastic ride and a great way to end a memorable long weekend!

Thanks again to all the sailors and to the Race Committee and volunteers at McCrae. The Weta fleet really supported us by turning up ready to have a good time and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Andrew & Faye Boyes, Wetananda 968
More photos here

Meet Mr Weta, Roger Kitchen, at the Pittwater SailExpo, 21-22 March

The Pittwater Sail Expo is the only sailing show in Australia with boats, gear, demos, free parking, kids activities and entertainment. Mr. Weta, Roger Kitchen, of Weta Marine will be on the Weta Sydney stand showing the new self tacking jib and new improved Ronstan furler.

Upcoming Events

Feb 8 Pulbah Island Marathon - Speers Point ASC, Lake Macquarie, NSW
Marathon Race around Lake Macquarie
Feb 9 Cock of the Harbour Race - Woollahra SC, Rose Bay, NSW
Marathon Race around Sydney Harbour
Mar 15 Kurnell Cup, Kogarah Bay SC, Blakehurst, Sydney, NSW
Marathon Race around Botany Bay
Mar 21-22 Pittwater Sail Expo, Royal Prince Alfred YC, Newport, NSW
The only sailing show in Australia. Roger Kitchen of Weta Marine will be showing the new self-tacking jib and improved Ronstan furler. 

More info on FB Events Calendar here

Tear Aid Fabric Repair

TEAR-AID® Repair Patches provide a simple and easy method of patching holes and tears, as well as an excellent protective film solution. Each TEAR-AID® Repair Patch is made from an exceptionally tough, matte finish, abrasion resistant, elastomer that resists puncture and tearing. It is combined with an aggressive adhesive formulated for high bond strength. 
Type A is for most materials including Fibreglass and Mylar. Type B is for Vinyl and Vinyl coated products.
More here

The Pro’s Guide to Restoring Gelcoat

Practical Boat Owner's looks at the tools and techniques involved in resuscitating a neglected hull. Although this can be tedious work, it is one of those jobs, like varnishing, that offers instant gratification. The fruits of your labor-unlike are apparent to everyone.
Restoring old gelcoat is a matter of degrees. You'll need to inspect the health of your gelcoat and decide which solution is best for you. If restoring the hull requires wet-sanding or rubbing compound, the general rule is to start with the least aggressive approach.  More here

Wetas Wanted!

With the growing strength of the class, there have been many people asking for used Wetas around Australia - so if you have one that's under-used or want to swap it for a new lightweight foam-core version with a SQ mainsail, send a mail with details to to get it included in the newsletter, facebook and website.  As an example one Weta appeared on the Facebook Page before Christmas and was gone by New Year!

Australian Weta Class Association Report

Have you booked your accommodation for the First Australian National Championships at Lake Cootharaba in December?
For more information and to sign up for updates, go to

Angela Gregory has resigned as State Rep for Queensland due to pressures of work and the Management Committee has appointed Todd McVey to the casual vacancy. Thank you very much Angela for your good work.

Blake Richter has been appointed as State Rep for South Australia and we wish him well in advancing the cause of Wetas in his State.

The Committee has approved a Sub committee comprising of Todd McVey, Doug Chetwynd and myself to oversee the running of the National Titles to be held in December this year. 

We are in the process of finalising the Class Rules with Weta Marine in line with the changes announced at the AGM and feedback from attendees at the State Titles in QLD, NSW and VIC. 

How to renew or join AWCA
To join the class or renew, use the instructions below or contact Hamish for alternatives.
Register and renew your AWCA membership through the AWCA Revsport website using your AS Number. If you are registered with a sailing club you will have a AS Number. To check your number click here.

Hamish Urquhart, AWCA Secretary

The Class Association website can be found at class documents including Draft Rules can be found here.

AWCA Merchandise

Buy your customisable Weta Merchandise here - all profits go to running costs and trophies.
Weta Fun. Fast. Easy T-Shirt AWCA Beer can or Stubbie Holder Can CoolerLife's Better with a Weta Performance Hat

New Customisable Weta Rash Vests Available  here - Kids, Men and Women's sizes available
AWCA Resources

Discussion ForumUsed Weta Buyers GuideWeta Wiki - everything you need to know
Facebook Page - Public Page, Like for updates, share photos/reports;
Facebook Group - AWCA members discussion
Weta Events Calendar - Add your event or share which events you're attending.
News, reviews, tips and reports to

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