Monday, April 12, 2021
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Burford takes Queensland RC Laser Championship for 2020

RCLaser2020BoatsChampionship on the line at the Gold Coast20 July 2020

Another spectacular warm Gold Coast day with clear blue skies greeted the 14 competitors that represented a total of four Queensland Yacht Clubs. However the 10.00 am race start was delayed due to the lack of wind, soon a very light 2 to 3 knot north easterly breeze rippled the glassy lake surface sufficient for Race Officer Bill Clancy to call for “Boats on the water Please‘’.

As the day progressed the shifting breeze filled in from east south east and rose to 5 to 8 knots, giving the sailors some challenging sailing conditions so a total of 15 races were able to be completed. RCLaser2020WinnersLeft to right: Daniel Bergan 3rd, Perter Burford 1st and Alan Walker 2nd.

Members of the host club dominated the first overall 9 places, with Peter Burford taking first place on 33 points, with ex PRYC commodore Alan Walker finishing second on 37 points and Daniel Bergan third with 39 points , which highlights how close the days racing was, congratulations well done guys.

PRYC wish to thank all of the competitors for making the day a great success , plus a special thank you to David Black (SLMM) for scoring, Laurie Hinchcliff (Sailing Secretary, the event organizer) and the experienced Race officer Bill Clancy for running and managing the days event with his team of club volunteers.

Ron Brown (PRYC)

 Detailed Results HERE


Radio Sailing in Moreton Bay!

Offshorewidesailing Flat water and a great breeze in Moreton Bay for the Offshore Challenge

15th July 2020

Thirteen entries for the Wynnum Manly Offshore Challenge with ten registering last Sunday, at the end of the Wynnum Jetty.  Just before the start Mike Freebairn arrived, shorts, T-shirt, no shoes, IOM in one hand and transmitter in the other.  That made eleven.  Mike threw his boat in the water 30 seconds before the start sequence and got a creditable third off the blocks.  Disappointing really, some of us also-rans had been tuning up for an hour.

The breeze was out of the west, so just 200 metres off-shore made for flat water, very different to the trial we did a few months ago where our boats disappeared behind a few Moreton Bay chops.  Lifts and knocks were not subtle and big gains could be made by the observant.

The jetty is an excellent RC racing platform, elevated with slip resistant steps on every side with a couple of shelters if it had rained.  Space is limited and the next event will be capped to 15 entrants.  But that is a good thing if you are one of those who gets in early!  The strength of the location is that a fair course can bOffshoreWinnersLeft to Right: Greg Torpy 2nd, Mike Freebairn 1st and Doug Allen 3rde set for any wind direction.  Elevation of the control area is about 2m at high tide and the start line is literally metres away. 

As the races ticked by, dark clouds gathered on the western horizon bang on script with the BOM, so the race committee decided to not take a break to ensure that we got the required twelve races in.  Anyway it was freezing for the unprepared and no one argued about just getting the races done.  After presentations and the walk back to the car just, a light drizzle started.

For anyone considering entering the next one in less than two weeks time, a trolley is an essential item.  Several trolley variations were seen making the journey, just make sure they are compact, two wheels max. 

No running commentary of who did what necessary here, the results tell the story.  Everyone who didn't win came away with their sad 'if only' stories, there will be a next time!  Entries are open here.

Ron Fawcett

Full Results HERE



Marbleheads Restart Queensland Competition


Sunday 5th July 2020

Coming out of the extended period imposed on us all due to COVID-19, the Queensland competition calendar restarted with the South Queensland Marblehead Championship.  Lake Sampsonvale Water Sports Association (LSWSA) hosted the event.

The Marblehead class has seen a resurgence in the last year with a number of new participants and new boats appearing.  Three sailors have purchased new F6's and twoMclassClippedWinnerGarry Russell with his new Championship winning weapon of those arrived just in time for this event, with another yet to arrive.  Both Geoff Morris and Garry Russell christened their F6's at this event and Trevor Fisher unveiled his new Katana.

All week the forecasts stayed the same, 1 to 5 knots from the west for Sunday, A-rigs were checked.  In the first half of the regatta it was really a two boat competition between Greg Torpy and Geoff Morris in a light but fairly consistent breeze.  But about lunchtime the breeze dropped out leaving 'drifter' conditions to finish the day.

After starting the day with a broken main sheet and a double digit score, Garry Russell slowly improved his position and his confidence with the boat.   When conditions went soft he started stringing wins together bagging four of the last five races!  With little experience with the F6 and no experience at all with a swing-rig, Garry had the boat tune clearly faster and higher than identical craft in the same race and made it look easy.  It's often claimed that very light conditions are a 'lottery', but Garry's results show otherwise.  His consistency in the drifting conditions gave him a South Queensland Championship by the slimmest of margins, but let's admit it, they are the sweetest!

This left Geoff Morris and Greg Torpy (last year's Champion) to fight it out for the minor placings.  Well done guys!  Any of the top three had a chance at the top trophy at some stage of the event. 

Another notable performer was Trevor Fisher with his new Katana finishing just off the podium in 4th place.  Trevor took out a heat win and that indicates he will be at the pointy end of the Queensland fleet, perhaps a win, after he gets to know the new boat. 


This event has set up the class for an exciting Queensland Championship in Hervey Bay 12th and 13th September.  The Championship could go to one of many sailors in this very competitive class.  The growth of the M's can be attributed to the efforts of Trevor Fisher and his work in the Queensland Class Coordinator role.

Once again the LSWSA set the standard on event management, the facilities and spirit that it was held in was absolutely first class.

MclassClippedTentExcellent Facilities at Lake Sampsonvale.

Thanks go to:

Mike Jeffrey - PRO

Bruce Fraser and Andy Havas - Boat Crew

David Black  - Scorer

Bob Worton - Club Secreatry and Event Manager

Trevor Fisher - Marblehead Class Coordinator


Full Results HERE





Club Saling Starts - with restrictions

StartRacingRulesFrom midnight 15th May COVID-19 restrictions change in Queensland to allow up to 10 people to gather in outdoor activities as long as required social distancing is observed.  Please ensure you understand those requirements so your wallet is not affected.

So after a few months off everyone will be keen to get out there and compete but there are a few things you can do to make sure you day is a successful and enjoyable one.

The first is boat maintenace.  Just because your boat has not been doing anything does not mean it will behave itself on the day.  Corrosion doesn't sleep.  For those with metal masts a quick check and a poke around is well worthwhile.  I know of a couple of well maintained boats that have reported corrosion issues that could have been major if the first day of sailing had been windy.  Mainly applies to IOMs but other classes with carbon masts have metal fittings. 

Another key area is electronics.  Had a winch that initially did not chime up, took a rotation by hand to wake it up, a sign that the motor had sat on one spot too long, maybe it's on the way out.  Another was an otherwise well treated receiver that for no apparent reason decided it had had enough.  No visible signs of corrosion.  Batteries also need a good look at.  Had a couple of reasonably new LiPo's come out of storage a little puffy.  Disappointing as they had been placed in 'storage' mode a few months ago so clearly this characterstic of these batteries has little to do with use, more like age.

Depending on where you boat was stored you might also check those deck patches if your boat has them.  If your boat was exposed to any light at all in the garage then the patches can become brittle and one bump and they could split more easily than they would otherwise.  Advisable to replace them anyway.  While you are at it, why not refresh the sheets as well.

So that takes care of the hardware, but how about the software, rules in your head?  Could that do with a refresh?  The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) are read about as often as the manual for your refrigerator, that is they could be consulted if something goes wrong.  Rules are boring in print and not designed to be read like a novel so let's try it another way.  This linked video is one of the best attempts to make the basic rules digestible that I have seen.  Invest 20 minutes to improve your understanding of the rules we all sail to, it will improve your confidence and so you can enjoy your sailing when you return.



Radio Sailing from Home!

VRMainPageMany of you will already know about Virtual Regatta but for those who do not and are going nuts at home, here's something for you to get some kind of sailing fix.  Sailing simulators are very like radio sailing, that is not on the boat, watching from the outside.  So for Radio Sailors this aspect of it should be familiar.

Sail racing simulators have been around for over 20 years so what is it about Virtual Regatta?  From Wikipeadia  "In 2015, the company developed Virtual Regatta Inshore, a fleet racing game (similar to that of car racing games), in partnership with World Sailing. This led to the first eSailing World Championship in 2018."

Last week I had a look, plenty of time now after all and I really wanted to go sailing.  Here is my experience so far.

Firstly and most importantly races are starting 24 hours a day.  A pool of thousands online feeds a continuous stream of races.  As soon as you finish a race you can start another.  It can quickly become very addictive.VRminusone

Initially you have all the go-fast features, time and distance to start line, Best VMG, Wind information, Lay Line etc.  Nice.  Then before you know it they are stripped away one by one.  WTF?  Then the first investment is asked for.  More on this latter.

About steering.  On my laptop the <- and -> arrows on the keyboard steer the boat but there is a delay sometimes and it is really really easy to over steer.  This can lead to loss of a few places or worse, a penalty which is enforced by slowing your boat down for a number of seconds.  The Best VMG feature is the most valuable as one press of the 'B' key will set your boat on the fastest course to the next mark, either up or down wind.  As well as the obvious of windward, when bearing away at the top mark you can press 'B' and the boat will round perfectly, fast, no problems.  But if you have not bought the features after a while, the wobbles can set in, too far one way then the other before you foul someone and your 3rd place turns into 13th.  So ok you think you are good enough to steer the boat without it, yes, with practice you can, but the handicap is noticeable when a boat with Best VMG smokes you at the next rounding.  My most common unforced error was hitting the bottom mark when rounding on 'manual' steering, luffing up and hitting the mark or another boat.

VRStartingThis company is a business; they did not build this so that if we get bored we have something to play with.  So if you are serious, you would best pay 9.99 Euro's for VRstarterPacka Starter Pack that is apparently half price.  You can still play on without paying though.  I would have preferred they were more upfront on the costs rather than progressively disclosing them after they have applied the same physiological techniques as used by the poker machine industry to suck you in.  The best examples are the little barrels presented to you at the end of each race.  Click on them and an animated sequence and sounds unscrews the barrel to show what tokens you have won.  Gets the endorphins going apparently, says the research, like Scratchies.  The green tokens can be used to buy features for the next race, the ones they took off you.  Personally the endorphins for me kick in at the start sequence, the little barrels are a bit 'dinky'.

The rules are the RRS and generally they are applied well, better than Radio Sailing anyway because they are instant and you can't argue.  There are some differences though.  Rule 18 is a bit patchy at the top mark and fouls inside the zone at the bottom mark are questionable.  I came into the bottom mark zone clear ahead on port and was pinged for a port and starboard when a boat screamed in late from starboard.  But I would say that wouldn't I.

On more than one day after sailing badly, getting smashed or being penalised for the second time for doing something stupid, then coming last, I shut the game in disgust swearing not to return.  Now that doesn't sound like Radio Sailing does it?  But the next day I would switch it on again and start another few races resolved not to give them my bank account details to buy stupid green tokens, "I can beat them anyway!"  But there are some seriously good sailors there from all over the world and many of them would have have invested.  I hight have to revise my stance.

Virtual Regattas are now big time with a recognised World Championship on offer, the first one was in 2018.  I recommend that any addicted sailor have a go at this 'sport' and form your own opinions.  I'm thinking of going back and having another go right now. 

This time I will nail the start!  I will!


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