The Australian Sharpie is a highly competitive yet social class with a long history of attracting and developing champion sailors

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Port Vincent Report - 3 Unusuals

Where can you walk down the main street of a town with a fully rigged Sharpie, even stop in front of the Local pub to take a photo?

Answer. Port Vincent in South Australia..

Leaving Perth on Friday morning we flew to Adelaide, hired a car and had a quick tour of the main sailing clubs along the Adelaide coast. Then set out for a 3 hour drive to Port Vincent. The one pub town was a bit daunting at first, the only thing missing upon arrival was the theme music from Deliverance.

With the first race due to start at 2pm on Saturday, we had plenty of time to calibrate our borrowed boat. "Hot and Dusty" was blessed with the 910 sail number for the weekend, and after 3 hours of playing with the rig and going over the boat we were happy. So at 12, we picked up the trolley and set off, walking down the main street with the fully rigged sharpie (we pre-walked the roads to make sure all power lines were underground, which they were). We stopped in front of the Pub for a photo opportunity and then arrived at the club.

The breeze was light, but luckily by about 1pm we had 10 knots from the south east, so we hit the water. We had a good sail around trying to familiarise ourselves with the boat, the sailing water was great, flat protected water with no other boat, just 25 Sharpies and 3 Unusuals.

There were 2 races programmed for the afternoon on Saturday and 1 on Sunday in the South Australian State titles, so it was on. The first two starts showed this with 2 generals, then the PRO threw the black flag up, and everyone seemed to settle down. The starting practice was excellent though, 4 starts amongst 25 top boats all vying for the best spot on the line. The racing was just as close. Throw a blanket over the first 15 boats. With at least 6 boats having won nationals or been close or very capable of winning nationals the competition was hot. We had a great couple of races pushing ourselves around the course, our goal was to sail against the best with our sails, and hold our own, and we did. Two top ten finishes, battling out for a top 5 finish to be pipped by All Scooped out, and Moes Tavern. It was awesome. Such a great challenge and opportunity to sail against these guys. Thanks to the SA Sharpie association for being so welcoming, we had a great time on and off the water and appreciate the stories and incite we get from everyone we talk to, and also appreciate that you allowed us to sail in your state heats.
As for Port Vincent, put 60 sharpie sailors in a small town for the night and they make it their own, the pub was hammered, and laughing all the way to the bank, but everyone had a great time and some thumping headaches the next day. The atmosphere the sharpies create made us realise why they chose a place in the middle of nowhere to host their states heats. Maybe we will be back next year.

Team Vita Brevis
(Brendon, Miriam and David)

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