in every way
or Ask Bob if he will do it again
God if you let me live I promise I'll reform
By Bob Norson, SV White Bird
My fingers are tingling. I just spent
30 minutes in a hot shower so feeling is returning but the bruises
are starting to show. How did I get into this???! The first two
days of the Rendezvous were mild to frustrating wind and sea
moderate to nothing. The forecast for Monday (today) was 20kts.,
easing to 15
The start in Pioneer Bay was fresh but
fun. We manoeuvred to the line with a good start. Leaving the
bay behind after a jibe, the smaller kite went up with the full
main. Soon the log was well into the teens. Adios
is seriously fast, I thought. This multi hull stuff is great!
What a thrill. Cap'n Steve says he will be selling Adios
maybe I should talk to him cause this is really the
way to sail
OH YEAH!! Old WhiteBird , our steel
ketch, would be rolling along at five knots now, poor old thing.
I don't know how I've put up with her all these years.
We were near Spudgun
normal. I was trying a waterproof camera container for my old
analogue camera. I got off a couple of shots before the camera
did what it is known for and died of battery illness just as
things were getting good. I brought out my new you beaut digi
and grabbed a couple good ones but nearly drowned it, so stashed
maybe later when the wind would be calmer and not
so much spray
Spudgun is pulling away slowly.
Geez, we are doing 20kts under spinnaker! I can hardly feel a
breeze as we are near wind speed. The times when I can feel a
breath the boat launches and we see 23kts. The spray is a little
annoying. As we round Armit Island we dump the kite in the shelter
of the island and go to the #2 jib with 1 tuck in the main. It
seems rough for being sheltered. We charge forward
in roughening conditions. We aren't sailing as much as blasting
from wave top to wave top. Cliff and I move to the windward hull,
then notice that the pointy bits seem to be aimed at the sun!
Without a word we then move all the way forward.
The freshening wind is picking up the boat
when it blasts over the top of a wave. The boat is getting a
lot of air and we are seeking to use our body weight to keep
it from going higher. All feeling of self importance disappears
out here. Earlier today I might have considered myself a big
time journalist but now I can be replaced by two sand bags and
a bungee cord. The wind wants to pick the thing up and fling
her over. I can feel the wind seeking the opportunity
one big wave
that moment when the skipper is inattentive
at the helm
anything not right
Cliff and I are soaking
wet from white water and it gets rougher. This is not quite as
much fun now. I'm waiting for the easing to 15 kts
that we were promised. The thought that on WhiteBird
right now, I would be heading for the galley for a nice hot cup
of something crosses my mind
oh well, the price you pay
for your sport. I can handle it!
Something has happened to Spudgun.
I see them scramble as we go by. It takes them some time to regroup
whatever it was. As we leave them behind they are on a far less
favourable course. Adios out points Spudgun
and Sirocco is now closing in on us both. We round
the Cones (Double Cone Islands) and we make our tack for home.
The wind has picked up instead of easing, the chop is atrocious.
Short and steep. Cap'n Steve comes up with swimming goggles and
a big idiotic grin. The man is obviously unbalanced if he thinks
this shit is fun.
When the bow gets air the wind picks the
boat up and pushes it sideways until the leeward float connects
with water again with a crashing jar.
Adios has a spindly, fragile look and how she can
take this punishment
.? Earlier I had noticed a sharp cracking
noise and traced it to the aft beam moving outward from the hull.
I thought I might bring this to Steve's attention
down and commented, Yeah it does that. OK
I can't open my mouth to speak. I'm drowning
in saltwater. The green water is coming up through the mesh tramp
and slamming us on the backside, flinging us around like rag
dolls as we clutch desperately with numb hands to anything, as
the lower body is left to go where it will. Steve, and the other
Steve and Wayne in the shelter of the cockpit laugh and shout.
Are they really that sadistic or is it bravado?! I don't give
a shit really, I'm just hanging on for dear life and hoping this
hell will end soon. I've got bruises on my ass from being slammed
with waves, I haven't been able to see for the last 10 miles
and a mushroom vent just blew off the cabin top and will probably
wreck my new $1,500 camera down there. Who cares? I just want
to be warm again and breathe air that fish can't swim in. To
hell with this multihull shit! You couldn't give me one of these
horror shows and the only thing keeping the grinning menace at
the helm alive is the fact that I can't let go or I'm dead.
I do have the satisfaction of taking a
glimpse behind. No one else is driving this hard. We are winning!
Gradually the seas ease as we pick up the shelter of Pioneer
Bay. We find the finish mark and cross just ahead of one of the
first cruising class boats. They had a shorter course. It is
Southern Comfort and they are on the bow in bikinis
That was two hours ago and now I'm going
to reach into Cap'n Steve's fridge for another Toohey's and reflect
on all of this
I may let the bastard live after all
has given me a T shirt with their racing logo on it and for some
reason I now think that is good enough to compensate. I will
drink every beer in the fridge though
right down to the
last one if I can
..then make an offer for Adios.
MORE ON THE RENDEZVOUS
Surviving the race was easy the first two
days..it was the gathering at The Anchorage Restaurant that was
dangerous. Between the Atmosphere of the place and the quality
of the crowd it was real hard not to relax and have some fun
along with everyone else. So I did! If my details are a little
.well look, I'm not doing this for the money. I tried
to get info from Cap'n Steve afterword, but he and PJ went walkabout.
They are in the top end now somewhere. No joy at the yacht club
either. Everybody remembered (if vaguely) the social aspects
but otherwise I am left to my famous, or infamous memory. So
this is what I can tell you. Sandy and Julian Way of SV Catchus
came determined to bring home one of the silver and black jade
medallions and they did with an over all win. Ray on the SV Thrill
neck added to his collection of Blue Water Jewellery. He
did well last year. The Grainger 075 Sirocco was
driven very hard by skipper Bob Thompson. Though Adios
took line honours the third day, it was Sirocco that
cleaned up on handicap. We on Adios had just crossed
the line when we saw Sirocco screeming in behind
us. My hands were still too numb to work a camera so I missed
a hell of a photo. Sirocco looked like she was on
fire from the spray. You could see the top of the rig and the
pointy bits forward but everything after that was as if in a
cloud of smoke. My dulled mind took a few moments to realise
that that's what we looked like as well when we came in. Frank
and Geoff on the start boat had a real show that day.
I didn't get a report done for the first
two days. I had a plan to do all the reports the day after the
event but I was so traumatised by day three that I blew my rhythm
and should probably seek counselling. I can say that day two
was an easy one like day one and all went well except for a little
prang at the start line. The two skippers involved were family
members so we expect a real legal shitfight over it
kidding!!). A forehead mounted, portable video camera was passed
around Adios like a toy on day two. With it on, Kay
caught a real bold manoeuvre from Dave on Spudgun
that saw them cross us within less than a foot
god! Neither skipper gave an inch. These racing guys
said as he shakes his head). One of the fun things about that
day was the parade of beautiful spinnakers that marched by the
castle on the hill of the promoter of that other
event that kicked out the mulitihulls because they were beating
the flash mono fleet. What a favour the organisers did! The Rendezvous that has come to be as
a result is ten times more fun and a fraction of the cost to
In an attempt at doing my journalistic
duty, I wandered around the club to get a list of all the crew
members. The result listed below is the best that could be expected
under the circumstances.
If everything isn't entirely accurate,
well, please excuse but I sure had a ball doing it and meeting
a great bunch of sailors. I hope to see all and a few more next
.if you can! Sandy
and Julian Way's floating home is 52' of Grainger design, Chincogan
built very fast cat. Michael and Virginia gave a hand.
Sirocco skippered by Bob Thompson. I missed getting
the crews names, sorry.
Thrillneck A Farrier design skippered by Ray.
Deja Moo A Simpson 11.88 with Tony Ballinger, Robin
Penfold, John and Linda and Graham and Gabby Sindlay.
Wind Song is always sailed very well by John and
Cheryle Kestle. Cheryle wears a lovely 18 ct. gold necklace she
won from us last year to prove it.
Triple Vision The all girl crew of Vicky Applegate,
Polly Fitzgerald and Tanya Hobbs did well and had as much fun
as anyone could have in spite of a little oophsie at the boat
ramp that kept them out of day three.
OuterLimits another fast Farrier sailed with Jeff
and Josh Wall.
BullFrog Geoff Hunters little 6.7 Kendricks tri is
well known around the beach. Clint Croft joined for crew.
Thylacines A Crowther Model 85, she is 50'. Skipper
is Jerry and first mate, Susanne Williamson. Kerrie Baker and
DG- Hound AKA Rothweiler. Check out their web site
Legless Crewed by Ted and Linda Brodel, David Earl
then Steve and Michelle Farmer.
Southern Comfort Another one
of those fast Grainger things. This crew had the audacity to
finish the races in bikinis and speedos, rubbing in the comfort.
I wonder what they drink on board?? Tony Yates runs the helm
and helped along with Sharon (Bubbles) Tisdale, Leo (Harley)
Evans and John (Awesome) Evans.
Tri Reality Had smooth talker Len Rippengale at the
helm with a bunch of no count amateurs like Jo Djubal and Steve
Rance around to get in the way.
Forza The Schionning 1320 was guided around the marks
by Peter Walker, Trevor McGuinness and Bear Clements.
Vega 1 Specified that they had a happy crew,
well duh! I didn't see any frowns anywhere but we'll credit them
as being the happiest crew
That would be Ian
Cambell, Shirley Goring, Patsy Hallen, Peter Summers and Sky
of W.A.?? wish I could read my notes! Hope that was OK.
Bushy Tails Alasdair Noble's Snell design gets around
and this time with a very full crew.
There was Geoff Sparkes and Carroll and
for deck candy we have; Melanie, Sune, Neils, Donna, and Juliette.
'Adios Capn Steve and first mate PJ, Nick Bananas,
the other Steve, Wayne, old man Cliff and Bob and Kay, were all
shuffled around on various days. The ladies were smart enough
to excuse their way out of day three
Spudgun Dave, the skipper and source of this info,
was in worse shape then me so he is to blamed if this is all
wrong. Everyone was feeding him beer in hopes it would slow him
down the next day but it never worked as far as I could tell.
He was always right by us, back ramrod straight facing ahead
with a crew all over the boat. When asked about crew Dave said,
Bruce Changer, Paulie and the Beer Girl
..or something like
I missed entirely; Equollizer
, Imagine and Looking for Mischief