AusWeta News - February 2018: Port Kembla Blows Up | Reports| Videos |Events |Tips, bits, tricks and tests

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Welcome to the Australian Weta Class Newsletter

This regular newsletter aims to give you the best of the Australian Weta news and to share tips, tricks and information that can make your Weta sailing more enjoyable.

Report: Port Kembla Blows Up

Three Wetas took Ian Richardson's invitation to visit his club for some flat water sailing on Lake Illawarra with some wind this time - after the previous attempt turned into a soggy drifter.
The weather was perfect before the start but then the wind arrived, and it built and built until we could see the white horses looking down the lake from the clubhouse which was sheltered by trees.
"We're going to get slammed" Peter remarked as we launched. And we were!
The shallow water meant a steep chop soon built up and with the wind coming off the land there were vicious gusts with 10 degree shifts. We all had a few close shaves while waiting for the start and Geoff soon decided that "survival mode" wasn't for him and he came in before racing was cancelled.
Ian, Paul and Peter decided to have their own unofficial race but Paul already had a captive nut break loose on a jib cleat which he managed to fix temporarily, but half way up the first beat it came out again and with the cleat dangling off the sheet, he had to come in.
Peter was narrowly ahead as they rounded the top mark but a big gust caused Peter to nose dive on the reach. He had caught up with Ian on the next rounding but another big gust caused the boat to turtle with the mast stuck in the mud. Peter managed to get it up but now had a "Lake Illawarra choc-top" mainsail which was showering him and the boat with mud.
Both Peter and Ian decided to come in at this point and Peter had to spend an hour cleaning the sail and boat to remove the mud.
We will try again as Ian has promised they do have nice breeze usually!
Report: Ian Richardson/Paul White

Close quarters on Sydney Harbour

Geoff has some near misses on Sydney Harbour
Close Quarters Sailing

Swept Away at Bundaberg

Our intrepid class president, Hamish, battled torrential rain and toothache to sail at Bundaberg regatta only to find that Saturday was blown out so they toured the rum distillery instead!
Racing scheduled for first start at 0800 on Sunday in the hope of getting some races in before the wind came in later in the day. Unfortunately this coincided with a strong run out tide along with a lot of fresh water in the river so there was quite a bit of current to contend with. 
First race got under way at 0800 and took 1 hour 40mins to complete. The course was shortened for the subsequent races which only took about 40 mins up and down the river and getting quicker as the current eased and the winds picked up. I believe they got five races in but I packed up after the second race as I had a long drive home and was not feeling very well (toothache with extraction later this week). 
Report: Hamish Urquhart
Battling the strong current at Bundaberg
Close Quarters Sailing

Three Weta sailors take on an epic 300 nautical mile Everglades Challenge, USA

OK so this event wasn't in Australia but wouldn't it be great if we could have a similar event. A Weta has already sailed 350Km from Townsville to Cairns.

The Everglades Challenge is an unsupported race down the West coast of Florida, USA from Tampa Bay to Key Largo which attracts a wide range of experienced sailing and paddling people and craft – from the home-built to production boats. This year the 95 participants included Olympian and US-sailing "Hall of Fame" member Randy Smythe in his self-designed trimaran Synergy, attempting the even longer Ultimate Florida challenge around the coast and across the top of the State via rivers and canals.

The three Wetas entered included:
o Scott Finley (aka CaptJackOtter) – Very experienced lake sailor. His third attempt in the Weta after equipment damage forced him out in previous years.
o Dan Davies (DanO) – Experienced Weta owner and racer but new to the Everglades Challenge
o Mark Ellison (Triman) - First attempt in the Weta but he is the current Everglades Challenge record holder in the Hobie TI class 

After a weather delay due to a US Coast Guard "Small Craft Advisory" because of strong winds, the event started at 9pm on Saturday 3rd March, with competitors required to push their boats into the water from the high water mark on the beach. Most had already reefed for the start including the Wetas. 

Day one started with an easy reach out of Tampa Bay and down the coast through Stump Pass to the first checkpoint located in a marina in the Intracoastal Waterway. Dan Davies used his racing experience and modified larger rig to good effect to establish a small lead over Mark Ellison who could use his prior course experience for navigation.

Dan arrived at Check Point 1 (CP1) at 5.49pm and left after a short rest at 6.00 pm but then came the challenge of negotiating the bridges and shallows of the Intercostal Waterway and so at 9pm he pulled into a sheltered cove to get some rest. Mark arrived at CP1 shortly after Dan and elected to spend the night there and left at 6.20 the next morning to overtake Dan who was still preparing to set sail.

The two swapped places a number of times down the course and Dan made a few rookie navigational errors which allowed Mark to catch up, despite breaking his carbon bowsprit which meant he had no gennaker. Battling fatigue, they picked their way through the shoals and narrows of Florida Bay and ended up staying overnight just 1.5 Miles apart with only 15 Miles left to the finish. However, Ellison was first to break camp at 4.15am and finished the event a mere 30 minutes ahead of Davies who was using his additional sail area to catch up. 

Meanwhile, after hugging the coast most of the way, Scott Finlay was having some navigational problems of his own – although managing to sail the Weta very effectively despite being one of the older participants in the event . Alas he failed to make the deadline for the finish and is resting up nearby. 

First placed Weta sailor, Mark Ellison.More about the Weta entries here
More about the Everglades Challenge here

2018 Everglades Challenge Start

Upcoming Events

30th Mar - 1st Apr
Easter Regatta,
Hervey Bay, QLD
Maryborough SC

25th Apr
ANZAC Day Regatta
Yarra (Botany) Bay
Yara Bay SC

More here
App: Windy (aka Windy.ty)
Possibly the most attractive looking forecasts you can find. Windy provides mesmerizing colour images of wind flows across the globe. Windy lets you display observed wind and temperature, forecasted weather, 1500+ paragliding spots, kiting spots or nearby webcams right on the map. Fully customisable, Windy is the weather geek's tool of choice. Available for iOS and Android or on the website here.

Expanded Weta Product Range

The online Weta Shop now has a wider range of customisable Weta merchandise available including clothing, watches, water bottles, bags and more. You can add your name, sail number or boat name and even change the product the design is printed on - More here

Pin head Vs Square Top

German Magazine, Yacht, published a technical article comparing the performance of the two types of mainsails on identical boats supplied by Sapphire Yachts.

As well as reducing drag from the top of the mast, it also makes bearing-away a lot easier and it means you don't need to adjust the main in the gusts so much as the top automatically falls off.

Tell-Tale Tip

The new North sales come with wool tufts for the telltales which are OK when dry - but they tend to stick to the sail when they're wet and have an annoying habit of getting stuck to the seams in the sail.

Also the new sails are grey mylar which makes it difficult to see the telltale on the other side of the sail - particularly if the sun is shining on your side.

So use some duct tape to stick a length of cassette or video tape to the front of the clear window on the jib. Magnetic tape won't absorb water and therefore won't have salt crystals forming which can scratch the window. Put one above the other so you can tell them apart and write P & S on the tape to remind you which is which.

Use waterproofing spray, RainX (for plastics) or silicon spray on the window and crumple the tape to help prevent it sticking.

Electric Blue in Queensland

Matching hull and sail trim for a new Performance (foam core) Weta delivered to the new owner in Queensland.  Any hull colour from the Nuplex range is available.
Wetas for Sale

Weta Trimaran $10,000

I bought this Weta Trimaran in 2011 and have since sailed it literally 8 times at Mt Martha front beach in Victoria. My sons aren't interested unfortunately so it is a waste to keep it. Always garaged and impeccably maintained, it has never had a ding or repair. Included is trailer with additional bar for tail lights and indicators etc. Happy to send more images - it is in Mickey Mouse condition.
Boroondara Area, Glen Iris

Weta 4.4M Trimaran $13,000

Excellent condition had little use. Set up for single handed cruising and racing. 2 sets of sails cruising and racing sails new not used. Kept under cover in shed and well looked after.

Cassowary Coast, Cardwell , QLD

Australian Weta Class Association Report

President's Report
The Australian Weta Class Association is now an affiliated Class Association with Yachting Australia.

This now means we can organise our own National Championships and, as well as giving access to a number of services from Australian Sailing, it means that you can register and pay for AWCA membership through the Australian Sailing MySailor website. If you are registered with a club you will have a MySailor ID. To register, click here.

Kind regards
Hamish Urquhart, AWCA Secretary

Class Association documents can be found here.
AWCA Resources and links
Discussion Forum, Used Weta Buyers Guide, Weta Wiki - everything you need to know
Newsletter Archive 
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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