Well, the 1st Australian Viper regatta had it all.
10 boats on the start line, no breeze, a shitload of breeze, great racing, 19.1 knots top speed and tight finishes with boats just seconds apart.
Heather Monkhouse on Histeria said after the finish of one race , “We sailed really well during the race and we were near last. How did that happen? ……And then I looked in front and we had about seven boats just seconds in front of us. We were still in it, if we sailed well…. The racing is so close.”
Saturday was meant to be breeze above 18 knots all day. It didn’t eventuate.
Race one had Rob Beurteaux in Another Girl leading from Kim Leunig in a new Viper, TBA. The breeze dropped on the second windward leg and the back markers hit the right hand corner.
What’s that song …..Buffalo girl ….round the outside, round the outside…..Scotty Glaskin on Kiss My Asp and Tim Reger on Fang went round the outside taking advantage of a momentary breeze switch to take the first heat, with the early leaders finishing mid to back fleet.
The breeze dropped to nothing, and we had a familiar situation for sailors…..sitting around waiting for a breeze to fill in. When the sea breeze finally arrived the race officer got in three quick races.
Rod Beurteaux returned to the winners spot in Race Two followed by TBA with Fang third.
Race Three saw Rod Beurteaux lead throughout the race only to find he was OCS. Tim Reger recorded his first win followed by Mike Navarro in Fizz and Kiss My Asp.
Race four saw Skip Lissiman get away to a good start and record his first win followed by Fizz and Fang.
The breeze had been strengthening and the afternoon race started in eighteen knots and got stronger.
Bill Brownlee in Bob led up the first leg followed by Skip Lissiman, Rod Beaurteaux and Graeme Monkhouse. There were many wipeouts and a few gear breakages. In the end, it became the last man standing with Rod Beurteaux staying upright to the end and having an easy win, followed by Graeme Monkhouse in Hissteria and Fizz.
Oysters, sushi, beer, champagne and lots of stories followed in the carpark for the next hour or so.
Day two started with a light sea breeze that strengthened to 10 to 15 knots over the four races.
Racing was close throughout the fleet. In races 6, 7 and 8 Skip Lissiman and Tim Reger were finishing in either 1st or 3rd and Rod Beurteaux was consistent but frustratingly, always in 2nd spot , finishing seven seconds and nine seconds behind in two of the races.
Tim Reger went into the last race with a good points lead and just had to have a reasonable race to claim the title. Rod Beurteaux was in second, two points ahead of Skip Lissiman but was counting a 6th and a 4th in his scores.
Skip got away to a good start and was closely followed by Reger and Beurteaux and Mike Navarro.
At the first bottom mark rounding Beaurteax had gone from third and was coming in shy and had moved into second with an inside overlap on Reger. On the leeward drop they went prawning with their kite and dropped back to 5th.
Skip won the race with Reger 2nd , Navarro 3rd and Beurteaux 4th.
Overall this gave Tim Reger 1st and Skip Lissiman 2nd by 1 point over Beurteaux.
It was exciting, close racing where little errors cost, big time.
All the invited sailors commented on the Viper.
Andy Fethers, 2013 Americas Cup sailor, commented on the ergonomics of the boat and simplicity of the rig, but the gains you get from subtle changes.
Skip, after his first regatta said, “ They are great boats and I haven’t stopped raving about how much fun they are to sail!”
A great first up regatta for the Vipers in Australia.