2017 Lake Cootharaba SC Weta Challenge

December 11th, 2017

The weather was not very promising in the week before the Race Series and access roads were flooded on Friday. However 12 Wetas turn up on the Saturday and we had our own start after the rest of the fleet.  It was terrific to see 11 Wetas on the start line together including Roger Kitchen, MD of Weta Marine, who was making a guest visit and sailed Laurie Armstrong’s boat for two of the races on Saturday, while Laurie was otherwise engaged.

The weather settled nicely into a fairly steady ENE at an average of 18 knots, which was a bit fresh for Mitchell Foley (age 12) but provided great sport for the rest of the fleet. Courses had a 0.5 nm windward leg and were the traditional “Triangle, Sausage, Triangle” with the Start/Finish 1/3rd of the way up the work.

Saturday’s racing was fast and furious taking just over 30mins for the first boat round. Glen Foley lead from the start in the first race but was chased hard by Peter Hackett racing his Weta for the first time and coming in with a second and Michael (Knuckles) Grieve crossing for third. (Peter is more used to racing his F22 on the Multi circuit so has plenty experience with competition.)

Race 2 again saw Glen take honours with Knuckles Grieve 15 seconds behind him followed by veteran Dave Vockler.  Peter Hackett had to retire with a damaged rudder and subsequently was not competitive with his original design rudder.

Race 3 saw Knuckles get the better of Glen for a great win with Hamish Urquhart in third.

Everyone was very energised but exhausted by the days racing and enjoyed a few drinks and very tasty dinner at the Clubhouse before, what was at least for me, an early night.

Sunday dawned with the Lake smooth as glass and everyone drifted out to the start hoping for some sort of a breeze. Storms were forecast for later in the day so the Race Committee was keen to get racing started. Eventually a light breeze settled in from the WSW and it became possible to set a course and get the fleets away. The breeze stayed in for the first lap but then dropped away to a drift for the second lap, eventually shifting to ENE. A decision was made to shorten the course and the start boat moved to enable a good course to be set for the second race. Glen showed great consistency to win with Dave Vockler and Knuckles making up the places. 

The wind settled nicely for the afternoon race with an ENE at 15 knots. Like the Saturday races it was fast and furious with some of the tightest racing of the regatta. Again Glen showed his skills with a good win and then there was only 40 seconds between 2nd and 6th with Dave Vockler again taking second from Geoff Smith in third. 

By the end of the race the Lake was surrounded by thunder storms so the last race was cancelled and we all made our way to the beach to pack up in good, warm, Queensland rain.

The final result for the series was a fine win for Glen Foley from Knuckles Grieve in second, Dave Vockler third and Hamish in fourth. Sue Germain, LCSC Rear Commodore had some nice words to say about the Weta Fleet at the presentation and I’m sure we will be welcome back next year. 

It was a shame that the weather was a bit fresh for Mitchell Foley who only completed one race on Saturday. I’m sure he will soon be one to watch on the water. Angela Gregory sailed all races and, although the weather conditions didn’t suit her, it was great to see her out there competing.
Full results here

© Images by Sailing Shotz Photography by Julie Hartwig. Hi-res versions may be purchased from her website here 

By Hamish Uquhart

  • Categories

Wētā Owners

We’d love to hear from you. Send us your stories and photos.

Contact Wētā