This year I had no intent to go to the Nationals. New job, family commitments, etc, etc. Too many “excuses” said our stellar helmsman Matt! In the end we entered just before the cutoff, and put in place a plan where Matt and Reedy towed the boat the 700 km from Canberra to Williamstown while Brendan and I would fly down late on the Friday evening after work. Walk-on / Walk-off sailing! So for the third year running Quo Vadis and the Canberra crew made the 1400 km return trip down to Melbourne for the Noelex National’s.
DAY 1 – FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018
Matt and Reedy left Canberra very early on the Friday morning to tow the boat to the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. The bowman had come around the evening prior and we did last minute preparations on the boat and the trailer. Of course, as we were dropping the rig off, for the first time ever, the car displayed a trailer fault, ABS brake fault, and refused to engage cruise control! Arghh! We took the view that telling the other two was bad luck, and if we said nothing, then the fault would not reoccur. Hmm – not to be. . .
Matt and Reedy drove the 700km without cruise control, and without getting a speeding fine, arriving safely at the RYCV, Williamstown. They rigged the boat and launched it at Warmies, about one nautical mile away, and then moved everything down to the yacht club.
The Bowman and myself flew in from CBR late that evening and met up with the other two at the Quest Appartments, for a late night pre-regatta Corona and Pizza.
DAY 2 – SATURDAY 19 MAY 2018
It was nice to be racing in salt water and to compete in one design racing – no waiting for CBH to be scored! We had made the decision to race four crew up which didn’t pay many dividends for us. There was talk about leaving one person off for the day but it didn’t seem right to bring a full crew down from Canberra and then sit someone out!
Race 1 was great with us coming 3rd, however Race 2 brought back memories (nightmares) of last year when were OCS for the start. By the time we had gone back through the start line the other boats were well ahead, seeing us finish in 7th. Race 3 and saw us do a better in flukey conditions to come 5th.
We retired to the bar at the RYCV and ended up staying late into the evening before walking back to our apartment. Great night!
DAY 3 – SUNDAY 20 MAY 2018
Stronger winds today made having the four person crew worthwhile. Some really consistent and stellar sailing from Matt and Reedy saw us place 2nd and 1st respectively in the last two races of the regatta.
There was very little in it on the second day with some very tight racing.
At the end of Race 5, with one drop we finished in 2nd place overall which we were very pleased about. Some of the crew were fatigued so we retrieved the boat as quick as possible, and giving or apologies, we headed back to Canberra as early as we could. Matt was asleep before we had driven out of Williamstown!
We arrived safely back in Canberra at about 9.30pm that evening, again without cruise control and flashing error messages on the dash. Speaking to FORD on the Monday we were told that this was sign of low or faulty car battery – sure enough the problem went away as soon I replaced the battery – wish we had of known this earlier!
We missed the Collings and Leewana this year but all congratulations to the Phillips family on Running Free for some great sailing and a great win. Many thanks to RYCV for hosting and to Ron, John and Veronica, Andrew and David for putting on a great weekend.
Hope to see you all next year, Duncan, Matt, Reedy & Brendan (Quo Vadis)