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Rendezvous 04...

 This event was run with typical (at that time) 3 day format with one day in strong wind. Because of conditions the course was run out of Pioneer bay and around the Double Cone and Armit islands. This permitted very spirited sailing whilst avoiding the vicious chop in the main channel, especially if the wind opposes the tide.

 Thats Kay having fun with the head mounted camera... as you can tell, these shots deffinately were not staged!



















































 Rendezvous challenges in every way…or Ask Bob if he will “do it” again…or…. God if you let me live I promise I'll reform…or….

By Bob Norson, SV “White Bird”

Day three….

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…..yeah right!

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” soon…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”…as 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 it away…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…that 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…He glanced 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 and shorts!

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…he 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”.



Surviving the race was easy the first two 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 vague….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…..(just 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…swear to god! Neither skipper gave an inch. These racing guys…(he 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 participate in.

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 year.

“Catchus”….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 at
“Legless” Crewed by Ted and Linda Brodel, David Earl then Steve and Michelle Farmer.

Rendevous! continued...

“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…good thinking!
“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 that.

I missed entirely; “Equollizer” , “Imagine” and “Looking for Mischief”…Sorry.