Welcome to Yachting Girls

Welcome to a blog where the adventures of a team of crazy women who are mad about sailing can be shared.
We are living in the beautiful Huon Valley in Tasmania, surrounded by outstanding sailing waters.  In June 2007 my husband and I purchased a Columbia 27 cruising yacht.  My husband crews in a Top Hat 24 in the races held by the Port Cygnet Sailing Club so our yacht was going to sit idle for most of the sailing season.  A great idea came to us - lets have an all women crew and take on the men!

Follow our adventures...share our laughs...cheer us on...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Summer sailing

I digress this week somewhat from race sailing to reflect on the number of wonderful women who love to sail.  I keep coming across them as I surf the net while I am keeping track of some other favourite people who do crazy things in boats. Visit the link Sailing Simplicity and follow the adventure and reflections of Teresa who has given up a great deal to follow her dream of living aboard a yacht with her cat Dory.  As a person who has recently sold up everything in South Australia and moved to Tasmania with nothing but what would fit in an 8x5 trailer and the back of a Landrover Discovery, I can really relate to the wonderful cathartic effect of leaving all the junk from ones past behind. Unfortunately we have really started to acquire the junk of a middle class lifestyle again and I wonder why. It is nice to have good things but do we really need them?
I left behind a good job, a not so good house and a heap of stress to move to a not so good job, a lovely house and a heap of stress!  Now who's crazy?

The compensations here are the wonderful waters for sailing or just watching.  What a stress release to get out on the water every week - wind in the hair etc - all that romantic but real living!  
Yesterday's race was another fine example of the exhilaration that a fast moving yacht can provide, the freshest of cold air, the challenge of trying to beat a friendly foe and camaraderie of the after race reflections over a barbecue and a drink or two.  I worked hard enough to have a few sore muscles and a sense of being of value aboard. With Christmas fast upon us I look forward to the New Year - watching the yachts arriving from the Sydney to Hobart Ocean Yacht Race, Fireworks at midnight on the docks on New Years Eve and the Twilight racing season when the girls will get together and take on the men for our second season.  What a joy of anticipation.  Must make sure that we have enough people to do it properly and that the yacht is in as good a condition as she can be. Til next time... Seasons greetings and good sailing if you can.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Summer Race 2

It is wonderful to have such great friends who will take me aboard and let me sail even though there is little work for me to do. Wyvern was again my sailing berth with the Cap'n and my "Significant Other". Sunday's race was sailed in very gusty but also fickle winds that continually changed direction.  We sailed well, flying along in great gusts of wind - water creaming over the side.  Not much fun when your feet end up in 4 inches of water but very exhilarating none the less. It was a long race and the 11 yachts were well spread across the course.  Two yachts ended up withdrawing with gear problems and the rest were very competitive with small tussles between groups of yachts ongoing throughout the event. The Etchells were not out in force so Bushido had pretty much the lead to herself. The two Solings were vying for the lead very competitively until one had to pull out with a snapped halliard. For once the wooden, older yachts outnumbered the more modern GRP hulled racers and there was some strong competition for handicap results.  Of the 11 yachts that started we came 3rd with Bianco and Pelican placing 1st and 2nd. Still we are well in contention for a series win.
My confidence is still building and although little hands-on activity is available - at least I am good ballast in strong winds.
'Til next time... 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Summer Race 1

Beautiful weather with a stiff breeze was the order of the day for Sunday's race - the first of the summer series.  This would have to be one of the most competitive races that I have been able to race in.  Again I was aboard Wyvern with the Cap'n and my "significant other" male.  The wind was blowing up the bay from the south west and so there was a significant amount of tacking requires to get to the first mark which was way down the bay.  The Cap'n showed his depth of knowledge of the sailing conditions in the bay and so we were well placed at the first mark. Throughout the race we were dicing with three other yachts - a Couta boat, Bianco, an Endeavour and One More Time, an Etchell. Some strategic tacking meant that by the second mark we were in front of all of these. On the fourth leg of the race they overtook us and over the remaining legs we were dicing backwards and forwards but were able to successfully hold the thre yachts off to cross the finish line ahead.  When the handicap results came out we had won the day.   There were 13 yachts in the race so we did well.  It was great fun and the competition was excellent. Hopefully we will get to repeat the exercise next Sunday. 'Til then.. good sailing