Life's Better - Weta News - February 2018:  Videos | Events |Tips, bits, tricks and tests
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Report: Sydney Harbour Weta Championship - Paul White

Seven boats turned out for a Weekend of racing on Sydney Harbour over 12-13 January and as is often the case in high summer, Sydney turned on some fabulous weather on Saturday only to be blitzed on Sunday.

The weather might have been good but the wind was a bit fickle with a light North Easterly which stayed pretty constant at around 10 knots all afternoon. Ian Richardson was enjoying his first real opportunity to race his brand new boat but still has some more chemotherapy treatment to come in the new year before he could fully recover. Hamish who visited again from Queensland, was also recovering from his hip replacement so it was decided to reduce the three islands race to two islands instead. 

The first race was a windward-leeward and Ian led off the line with Paul in pursuit but while Paul managed to cross ahead of Ian at the first tack after the start, Ian pulled away after this and finished first. Meanwhile Hamish was harrying Paul and try as he might, Paul couldn't keep him behind at the finish. They we closely followed by Ian's son John, enjoying Dad's "old" boat, who had managed to catch up by going into Rose Bay on the last leg. Behind them were Geoff and "guest" Weta sailor, Tim Disher, who was having a good tussle with Geoff while he got used to the boat.

The we had the two islands race - the difficulty with the start was the first reaching mark was almost at right angles to the start line and we had to cross the line and then reach away. Most elected to unfurl the kite after tacking but a few brave souls including Ian and Paul made a run on port with the kite already flying. 

The next problem was to actually find the tiny tube of the fixed AS mark against all the moored boats - it was much further to windward than we anticipated and Ian, who had gone low and fast, had to furl the gennaker to tack to the mark. Meanwhile Hamish and Paul had managed to agree where the mark was and just about hang on with the kite flying - although Paul had released the ratchet on the gennaker blocks in anticipation of the long light-wind downwind leg to the island and was struggling to keep the gennaker flat.

As they approached the mark, Hamish turned downwind to furl his kite but failed to notice how close he'd got to it and manage to pickle fork the mark! Paul managed to dodge him and was first away chased by Ian who overtook Paul as they exited Rose Bay, with the others in close pursuit, led by Tim who was going well in Paul's old light-weight early boat (#325).

The next test was to get around the lee of Clark Island, Ian went 20 length wide and managed to just about keep moving and keep his lead which he maintained to the end. The other's all went about 10 lengths from the island and rafted up while Paul did his usual trick and hugged the shore to use the backwind eddy to head after Ian followed by Hamish and John. Not long after clearing the Island, Geoff heard an ominous "ping" and looked around to find the rear bolt of the shroud pad eye on the ama had given way so he headed for shore.

Paul was confused by the location of the start boat near Shark Island and thinking he had to cross the line rather than round the first mark again, gave away a place to John who wasn't far behind. Paul overtook John to windward as they entered Rose Bay but John got him back and they remained that way to the finish followed by Hamish and Tim.

The final windward-leeward race of the day in patchy conditions had Ian leading closely followed by Paul who used the funnel of wind close to the shore with Hamish just behind, who wasn't feeling quite so brave in his new boat. The boat traffic at this point was horrendous with keelboat racers, pleasure cruisers, speedboats all around the windward mark. Paul couldn't get to leeward of one running keelboat and so gybed back to shore while Hamish managed to go wide to the North shore and get a really good gust to the leeward mark closing on Paul but a tourist boat held up Hamish and let Paul through. The next upwind leg had a flotilla of 12ft Skiffs reaching down the course and while Ian and Hamish kept to leeward of them, Paul crossed back thinking he might not be able to further up the course. Ian rounded first closely followed by Hamish who went to the North side to pass Paul and close on Ian. Hamish was just behind at the windward mark and rolled Ian with a quick gennaker set. Ian gybed away and kept to the middle on the downwind leg but Hamish got another flyer on the North shore and just managed to beat Ian by a bowsprit at the finish. And John, who had followed Hamish, caught up with Paul on the line who failed to cover him properly and John gybed to cross ahead.

Unfortunately day two was blown out - Ian only felt he had enough energy for one day of sailing so he and John were absent. We were joined by Peter Martin but the view from the club was deceiving because the strong Southerly was gusting over 27 knots with wind bullet bouncing off the hills forming white caps. Peter started to feel ill and went back in for a lie down. Hamish didn't feel his hip was up to the conditions and joined him. Geoff was absent deciding he couldn't repair his pad-eye in time (perhaps after seeing the forecast the day before) and lightweight Tim was finding it a bit much for only his second sail in a Weta - although he did manage to keep it upright. So the only one to make the start line was Paul when racing was abandoned for the day - of course an hour later the winds had abated to a reasonable 15-20 knots whilst we were sitting in the clubouse for the prize giving and refreshments.

No photo description available.
Thanks to all the WSC volunteers and staff for running the event and to Geoff for organising the prizes.


Note to Weta sailors - matching your outfit to the boat colour is vital for peak performance!

Upcoming Events

Australia Day Regatta & Kurnell Catamaran Club Marathon
26th Jan 2019
Race around Botany Bay and the Georges River - get a jet blast as you pass the airport.

McCrae Yacht Club Australia Day Regatta
26th  & 27th Jan 2019
Weekend of racing open with a FREE BBQ dinner on Saturday 

More events here

Tensioning the jib - you're doing it wrong!

If you tension the forestay and then hoist the gennaker, the tension of the gennaker can cause the mast to bend forward slightly and thus leave you with a slack jib halyard which reduces your ability to point. So when hoisting the mast, loosely tie the forestay to the bow ring so the mast can't fall, then hoist and tension the gennaker. Finally tension and tie off the forestay and then hoist the jib.

Australia Weta Sailor Profile

We'd love to know who you are and how you got into Weta sailing. So send us a description and a selfie photo with your Weta including your most enjoyable sail to date. If you can't manage a written story, just use your camera on the phone to record your segment and email it to (Dropbox, Google Drive or Flickr available for large files). Raw footage is fine - we can edit for your approval.

Upwind Troubleshooting

Speed and Smarts tips for improving upwind performance and trim.

When racing to windward, do you have trouble pointing as high as other boats? Or is your main problem that you can't go as fast as your competitors? Perhaps it is a bit of both.

When it comes to evaluating upwind performance, there are two very important measures - your forward speed and your height, or pointing. If you commonly find yourself falling behind the rest of your fleet figure out which problem you have. Then look read on to find some possible remedies.

The problem: You're not able to point as high as the other boats around you (or, if you do aim your boat as high as the others you can't sail as fast as they do).

Possible reasons
1) Your boatspeed is too slow.
2) Your headsail is too full.
3) The entry of your headsail is too round.
4) Your headsail is trimmed too tightly.
5) Your mainsail is too flat, too twisted and/or undertrimmed.
6) You don't have enough windward helm.
7) Your equipment is not good enough.

Read more here

Self Bailing Bungs

If you have a persistent leak in the hull then this RWB self-bailing bung might just be the answer to replace the standard bung. It features a nitrile one-way diaphragm which is unaffected by petrol, diesel or oil. It also includes a bung sealing plug. Available for both external and internal mounting. Flow rate - 500 litres per hour. It may also work to drain the amas if you mounted one in the lid of the port.
Top 10 Regatta Excuses 

Can you think of any more?
Post them here

TackTick Battery Replacement

A twin-screen compass is probably the best device you can buy for spotting shifts but your Tacktick Micro Compass uses a rechargeable battery that has a finite lifespan.

Opening the TackTick Micro will void any warranties from Raymarine who do not recommend any attempts to replace the backup battery in this unit (they recommend buying a new one!). However, if your only other option is to toss it in the trash, why not give it a shot? The required battery can be found on eBay. Replacement process description here

If your Tacktick still fails to work, an alternative is the Velocitek Prism which uses changeable batteries.

Avoiding Water-borne Pathogens

Wearing hiking boots full of water in the Australian sun is the equivalent of wearing a petri-dish on your feet - a great place to grow bacteria. Any cuts you may have can provide an opportunity for pathogens to enter your skin and lead to serious complications such as Cellulitis and Vibrio Vulnificus (both of which your editor has suffered from). 
So how do you minimise the infection potential:
1. Clean your legs and feet before sailing with soap and water. Cover any cuts with a waterproof band-aid.
2. Squirt some anti-baterical soap inside your boots before you put them on (e.g. pHisohex ) or failing that, liquid hand soap.
2. Wear socks as this helps to retain the soap and reduce blistering
3. Remove your boots and wetsuit as soon as you can after sailing
4. Insert a Milton sterilising tablet or liquid dose in each boot and fill with hot water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes and then drain and dry or alternatively, rinse with more anti-bacterial soap and drain (but don't rinse the soap away), then dry completely. (Alternatives to Milton are Detol and Listerine).

Wetas for Sale

Weta 764  $13,500

2012 model very good condition. White hull, Blue gennaker.  Comes with registered trailer. $13,500.00.
Bundaberg, QLD
More here

Weta 818, $10,900 ono

RACQ NQ Games winner. Comes with all standard rigging and sails, plus LR Sails monster 12 SqM mainsail worth $1200 for ultra performance. Also includes dolly with tow ball hitch for easy launch and retrieval. Trinity Park, QLD 4879 More here

Weta 967, $14,500.00.
2014 model it in excellent condition.
Comes with custom road trailer. Call Dave. Ph 0447544202
More here

AWCA Traveller Series – Queensland & NSW 2018-19 season.

17-18 November 2018 Beware the Bullets, Palm Beach Sailing Club, NSW. Contact Geoff Waldon
24-25 Nov 2018 Kembla Klassic, Port Kembla Sailing Club, NSW
01-02 Dec Weta QLD State Titles. Lake Cootharaba SC. Contact Hamish for any advice regarding accommodation and camping.
12-13 Jan 2019 Sydney Harbour Weta Challenge at Woollahra Sailing Club. Contact Geoff Waldon.
26 Jan  Australia Day Marathon, Kurnell Catamaran Club, Botany Bay NSW. Contact Paul White
3 Feb Pulbah Island Marathon, Speers Point SC (Lake Macquarie), NSW. Contact Geoff Waldon
8-9 Feb ACT Multihull Championships, Canberra, ACT. Contact Geoff Waldon
9-10 Mar Bundaberg Sailing Club Regatta. Contact Glen Foley
30 Mar –1 Apr Maryborough Easter Regatta at Harvey Bay.
5 May Peter Loft Marathon, Bayview YRC, Pittwater, NSW Contact Paul White
19 May  Bargara Bash,  Bundaberg Sailing Club
25-26 May Tin Can Bay Cockroach Cup and Cooloola Cup (TBC)
8-9 Jun 2019 Wyvenhoe Winter Marathon. Book campsites early
27-28 Jul 2019 Humpybong Winter Bash
More events here

Australian Weta Class Association Report

President's Report
We've held two successful events in Queensland and Sydney and now the Victorian Wetas are starting to get organised. Next season we're hoping to organise the first Weta National Championships on Lake Macquarie and also we'll be using the 9.3 Square Top sail as the class standard.

To join the class or renew use the instructions below or contact Hamish for alternatives. 

How to renew or join AWCA
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.

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

Hamish Urquhart, AWCA Secretary

Class Association website can be found at class documents can be found here.
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

Copyright © 2019 Australian Weta Class, All rights reserved.

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