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

Monday, January 28, 2013

yellow boat report 27th Jan.

After waiting until about 1.30pm for another Sharpie to arrive at MBSC, we concluded that we must be off the race cancellation mailing list, and decided to go out for some capsizing practice instead, during which we discovered the "lets all hide from the forward hand" technique. (See picture). Fair enough, its Aussie day weekend and perhaps everyone was away, or maybe just still prostrated from the nationals? Hungover perhaps?
Olympian Tessa Parkinson, clearly having nothing better to do, offered to come out and give us some on water coaching and take pics - Our starter Andy also came out in Molly to keep an eye on things, so many thanks to them. I hasten to add that the pictured capsize recovery technique is entirely my own idea made up on the spot and worked a treat. Note the symmetry of our right arms...Being so good at capsizing, we thought we should get cleverer at getting upright again! It relies entirely on the fwd hand not pin-dropping through the mainsail window however (like he did last week). He scooped us up quite effectively today and off we went in a trice, so we like him again. even though it was his fault in the first place.
Tessa then came aboard for her first ever sail in a Sharpie, while Susie took a break in the RIB. When Tessa eventually took the helm, it was interesting for me to see her upwind technique (very low and fast - then building hight) rather than my "middle of the road" approach in about 22 knots. But who knows when there were no other boats to compare and she has never sailed a Sharpie... She said " shit this is complicated" more than once (probably due to the state of the yellow boats chaotic control lines)...but she was surprised at the power of the Sharpie and I definitely learnt a great deal as well. We were absolutely pegging it upwind after some tweaking that's for certain! I retired hurt however, not having hauled on a sharpie main-sheet for 15 years and the salt water stung my eyes too much...
It cleared up my Aussie Day hangover anyway - thanks again to Andy and Tessa and also the 18ft skiff boys.
Chris Bell
Cut The Mustard.

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