A note from John Shorrock, Reading and Datchet Water RYC member.
A quick report from here in Oz whist hiding from the afternoon sun.
Flights as usual boring and tedious, it is a long way, only being eased by an upgrade to Club on Hong Kong to Perth leg.
We then lapse into the usual family bit, visit this sister, visit that sister, pick up Mother in law etc. Then drink tea in darkened rooms. (The aussies have tiny windows in their houses to keep the sun out).
All this time the weather, which had started very helpfully to us pale faced Brits, being only 23deg C on arrival, was climbing to a glorious 35 or 36 degC by this weekend.
All very boring, but I had a two day “Get out of gaol” pass.
With the help of Graham Bantockt I had an introduction to the friends he made on his visit last year to the Australian Championships at the Perth Radio Sailing Club. A few emails and a phone call on my Aussie sim card and I was on for sailing on Wednesday and Thursday.
This is more like a holiday. Wednesday is low key racing while Thursday is the formal club racing
A 20 minute drive to Jackadder Lake, intros to a set of super friendly devotees, and we were off.
Jackadder Lake is set in a public park with a few passers by showing interest. The weather is pretty predictable, even if the windshifts aren’t. During the morning the temperature rises, with a light variable easterly, up to a temperature on Wednesday and Thursday last week of around 36deg C.
Then all goes calm and at 1-30pm the Freemantle Doctor arrives from the South West, 10kn up to gusty 18kn. Heaven sailing.
Clothing is big Darin B hats and suncream with bare feet to launch and recover.
So on with the sailing. I was sailing borrowed boats, lent to me while each competitor did his spell of observing. Very varied set up on the different boats, some sailed like a dream and the others were a struggle in the conditions. It was A rigs all the way, those changing down always losing out.
As ever, manage the runs in the gusts and you were on a roll.
The shifts were a different matter. They were massive, in strong gusts without any pattern as far as I could see, but the locals seemed to sort them ok. Obviously more practice needed in those conditions .
The best boats for me were a Brtitpop, easy to sail, and a Cheinz which was fast but the set up was not suited to me.
Then it is 4 o c, chairs in a circle, cool boxes out and stubbies (bottles of beer ) all round.
Two great days with ultra friendly guys.
Thank you Perth Radio Sailing Club.
Great to see radio sailors from around the globe welcoming GBR skippers.