Over the Christmas and New Year period, Rob Douglass and I headed down to Victoria to contest our 17th Tasar Nationals (in a row)…
Yes… that is a feat itself I know!
It was a very tricky regatta, the practice race was blown out, we had light days, breeze on days, beanie days and sunburn days!
We didn’t start off particularly well. After three general recalls and an eventual black flag start (as was the case for most starts), we found ourselves being too conservative, and had to dig our way out of the depths of the pack. We salvaged a 7th.
We didn’t have a great start in the second race of the day either, but as the breeze steadily built, we came into our own and fought our way back yet again. We didn’t lead until just after the last bottom mark and took the win to help with the pain of the first race.
Tide was a particular factor at this venue, and it got to many on day two. Including at times, us. We still weren’t getting out of the gates well, and continually found ourselves digging our way out. We managed a 2, 6, 4 on day two, definitely not our usual positions and slightly frustrating as we did lose a few places in one of the races, which was definitely unlike us!
Day three definitely hurt the most. Our 7 and 5 on the score board, could easily have been a 3 and a 1… we just were unlucky at times, or perhaps not on top of the big shifts that were happening in the remnants of the southerly that blew out our practice race… It was also freezing in the morning… so much so that I was wearing a beanie. I knew I didn’t like Victoria :p
Day four, the first day sailing in the New Year and we had somehow found our form, finally! We even got off the start line! We just missed out on a second in the first race, and again stole the first in the last race of the day, to leave us within four points of the lead. The second drop was not as kind to us as others. So even with a great day of sailing, we didn’t close our gap on the leaders at all.
Going into the last day of racing, we needed to win, with our opponents fourth or worse to take the title. We absolutely nailed the start (see the gallery above for pics), and lead around every mark (even though we sailed to the wing mark initially!). We did all that we could. Our opponents sailed around the top in 8th… and we extended our lead… but it wasn’t to be as the Victorian favourites sailed through to third, and their first National title win.
I am really so lucky to be a part of a team that works so well together, and even luckier that my teammate happens to be my best mate, and Dad. Thanks to Russell Bates for this awesome shot that really captures how much fun we have sailing together. Also helps we had just won a race 😉
A big thanks to Tasar Victoria for hosting such a great event, and to the local club. Even if it was in Victoria (you know I joke!), it was an awesome event, with a great bunch of people!
I had a great time, and I am proud of the way we sailed. We really did finish the regatta strongly, and did all that we could to take our seventh title. It just wasn’t meant to be!
So in the picture above, we were celebrating our 2nd at our 17th Tasar Nationals in a row… with 11 times on the podium; six wins, four runners-up, and one third… Bring on the 18th Nationals, also our eighth Worlds in WA in under a years time!