Wow, and what a Worlds it was! The above is my favourite shot of Dad and I from the regatta. A big thanks to Sean Trew who took some great shots on the last two days (most of the action pics in this post are from Sean). Sorry there are no pics from the last day of sailing as I promised, I took my camera out on the water and got some great shots – but it went missing on the last night of the regatta. That said if anyone has picked it up by mistake I would love it back! 🙂
I am now back in Australia, and already back at work after a short trip to San Francisco (will write more on this later in the week), and a drive down the Californian coast post regatta.
The last two days of the regatta we still had a chance to make the top five, and we were off to a good start in race 10 with a convincing 2nd place. As the breeze built in race 11, for the first time it paid big time on the right hand side of the course. We managed to hold on up the first work, but lost big time up the second work to those who basically hit the corner from the bottom. We then struggled in race 12 when we rounded the top mark in the top three, but got hammered in the top section of the run with no air. We worked our way back to 10th in a dying breeze, we perhaps would have had more passing opportunities if it wasn’t for the first Z course of the regatta. It was a bit of a dodgem course at times!
Race 12 hurt a little (like so many others), knowing that we had fifth and sixth places overall behind us by some margin and lost places. Fifth and sixth extended their gap on us at the end of the second last day, but we had extended our gap on the boats behind. This meant that seventh position was more than likely ours, even with two races to go in the fourteen race series. The pack in front of us had also tightened up on the second last day, with 1, 2, 3 and 4 able to take the World Championship going into the final day, and fifth and sixth on equal points.
It is unusual for Dad and I to go backwards in the pack. Usually rounding in the top three means that we will finish in that position, or above. The regatta that we had trained so hard for physically was definitely more a test of mental toughness! The racing was just so tight, you really could not afford to make boat handling errors, but the tactical errors made for the biggest wins and losses. At times it was just too hard to predict, when you thought you might lose out you would gain some, and when you thought you would gain sometimes you just lost out. You just had to take your turn when it came.
On the morning of the last day, we realised we were the leading Master (aggregate age of 80 and above), awesome – good job Master Rob! So we had something to protect even though we weren’t likely of moving out of seventh position.
We were postponed onshore for quite some time as it was glassy in the Gorge. We headed out before the racing started with our light gear and rig, but took our heavy weather gear down to the beach where we had been leaving our water. By the time we had waited on the beach for about twenty minutes, the rest of the fleet was on their way out, and the breeze was definitely building. We changed over our gear, and were excited to get some racing in real breeze! This is what we had come to the Gorge for!
We sailed really well to finish with a 3 and a 6 on the last day. The third was a twelfth around the top mark, and the sixth was a thirtyish place around the first top mark. More on par with our usual style, we continually made places, especially downwind. Even though we thought seventh was our only possible result, we only finished two points behind sixth place overall and were officially named World Masters Champions! Results are available here.
The USA boats finished first through to fifth, and really showed us how it was done sailing on their somewhat ‘home’ waters. Anthony Boscolo and Haley Lane were the newly crowned World Champions, who lead from start to finish after three bullets on the first day. Amazing effort! Second place was Michael Karas and Molly Jackson, who came third at our Nationals down at Victor Harbor over Christmas just gone, they sailed the breeze so well! Third was Dalton Bergan and Lindsay (nee Buchan – Tasar royalty) Bergan, who also just kept winning races, and finished strongly to jump up onto the podium on the final day. Fourth and fifth were from the USA as well, both former Tasar World Champions, the Renehans (1992) and the McKees (1996, 2003, 2007), with ourselves in seventh (2005, 2009) just to put into perspective how consistently the “young guns” sailed in the incredibly variable conditions against strong Tasar stalwarts!
It was great for me (even though I am technical a Master World Champ!) to see younger people coming through in the class. We definitely don’t have as many of the 25-35 demographic sailing the Tasar in Australia, maybe this event will help lead the way to have more people sailing in our awesome class 🙂 A pic of the full Aussie team (who had more boats than the even the home country USA) is below!
A big congratulations to all, and also to those who didn’t finish in the top five, who made the regatta what it was! This was Dad and my seventh Tasar Worlds, and the hospitality and camaraderie amongst the USA fleet was just fantastic to experience. I am so thankful I was able to meet up with Tasar friends from the past, and to meet some fantastic new friends (who should come and visit sooner rather than later!), what the adventures are all about. The racing was so challenging, and has provided some great insights to how I can improve my own sailing, which of course is the second aim of the game after fun! I am really hopeful that we will see a large amount of USA and Canadian boats in 2015 for the next Worlds which will be held in Western Australia, of course along with our friends from Japan, the UK and Europe!
See you there!
Stay tuned in the next few days (or maybe a week depending on my recovery) for my report on visiting San Francisco ahead of the Youth America’s Cup and America’s Cup – but in the meantime as always for more, check out Facebook or Twitter.