Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Explorer 16 Newsletter

Explorer 16 Association members, current and recent.

Explorer 16 Newsletter No. 182 has been published.

If you haven't been emailed a copy, then it's probably because we don't have your current email address.
If so, send it to explorer16news@gmail.com

And a reminder, membership renewals are now due!

Monday, 15 April 2019

Explorer 16 Championship 2019 Results

Sailed at Yarrawonga Yacht Club 23-24 March


In accordance with the NOR, with seven boats competing, places are awarded for first and second in both Championship (Outright) and Handicap Divisions.

Congratulations to Sue Burke and crew Tracie Ham as Outright Winners in Swallow, and to runners-up Michael Lambiris and crew Jonathan Gwinner in Edna May.

Congratulations to John Parkes and crew Robin Quirk as Handicap Winners in The Botty Explorer, and to runners-up Frank Strickland and crew Alison Strickland in Emily.

Well done to all competitors and crew for engaging in spirited competition. A big thank you to Yarrawonga Yacht Club for hosting a marvellous weekend of racing and socialising, and to the Hartley TS 16 Association for sharing their regatta weekend.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Swallow's clean sweep! 2019 State Championships - Yarrawonga


The joint Explorer 16 and Hartley 16 Championships  23rd and 24th March 2019


By Sue Burke - 2019 State Champion

We arrived Friday afternoon to find some other competitors had already pitched their tents and were rigging their boats. Boats continued to arrive as the day progressed. It was great to have the mix of Hartley’s and Explorers with great camaraderie. It was good to catch up with old and new friends.

Yarrawonga Yacht Club was faultless in being as welcoming and helpful as they possibly could be.
Some of us chose to camp and others to stay in other local accommodation. This didn’t impair the ability for us all to socialise.

There were seven Explorers and 12 Hartley’s. I have an Explorer my husband Trevor has a Hartley, we towed them both up separately.

Explorers and Hartleys mix it up on the start line


The seven Explorers were Edna May, Emily, Kalang, Meander, Sally, Swallow and The Botty Explorer (from NSW). There were 12 Hartley’s. Explorers started 5 mins after the Hartley’s in the 5 races over the two days.
Swallow - discussing tactics in between races on Sunday

The first day saw hot weather, with a fresh north-easterly breeze that encouraged a few of us to reef, and few to use spinnakers! Two back-to-back races were held before lunch, and a third after lunch when the wind moderated.

Swallow decided to have full sails and not use the spinnaker in the morning. Emily was reefed and did well in the conditions able to keep the boat stable and got into the lead at times. Edna May had full sails and also did well having periods in front in the first two races. The result of the first race was a dead heat between Edna May and Swallow, equal first. Edna May was in front but Swallow was down the port end of the finish line which turned out to be favoured.

Frank on the foredeck snuffing the kite of Emily


The second race also saw the lead change positions and only seconds between Swallow and Edna May at the finish. During the second race on the last downwind Swallow lost her whisker pole overboard , never to be seen again. Tracie had to hold the gib out manually for the rest of the downwind.

The third race after lunch on the Saturday saw those boats who had reefed shaking them out. More spinnakers were on display.  Swallow was very kindly lent a whisker pole from Sally which helped her keep in the top of the fleet. That was amazing generosity, thank you, Jonathan. The Botty Explorer put her Spinnaker up on the first down wind and was blitzing everyone, then they got into real trouble trying to bring it down which put them right down the fleet, narrowly avoiding taking out Meander.

Last-second kite drop for Botty Explorer - have they left it too late?

Sally showing off her tri-radial mylar genoa


Sunday saw lighter winds. YYC had their boats racing with us as the third start, what a great sight on the water. Swallow was fortunate with finding a few lifts others didn’t get and going for clean air, luckily getting two more first positions. The last race though was down to a knife edge and all explorers were fortunate to finish and get a place. The first Explorer made it within the time limit by just over a minute and the last one by 18 seconds.
Looking fast - Botty Explorer's carbon sails in between Kalang and Edna May


The results were 1st Swallow, 2nd Edna May, 3rd The Botty Explorer
Happy Champions!


Thank you to Yarrawonga Yacht Club for hosting a great regatta, for amazing hospitality and a great BBQ on the Saturday night.

Thank you also to the Hartley TS16 Association for allowing us to share their regatta.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Monday, 25 March 2019

Race Report - Keeley Marine Supplies Marlay Point Overnight Race 2019


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After such a huge race in the 50th MPONR in 2018, expectations were high for the 2019 Keeley Marine Supplies Marlay Point Overnight Race. With new sponsors, a new team guiding the race planning, onshore activities and supports, the 130 race entrants were looking forward to another great race.

Three Explorers headed down to Lake Wellington to race. Emily (Frank Strickland with ace crew Michael Baker – an Explorer sailor from way back), Swallow (Sue and Trevor Burke) and Captain Phasma (Ric Lamont and Guy Hansson).

Ric Lamont on Captain Phasma pre-start


The detailed forecast had us expecting a light to moderate easterly to turn north and light a few hours into the race and then completely die at 9am. It was imperative we finish before the wind completely died as no-one wanted to be bobbing around getting hot.

A spectacular sunset, made even more dramatic from the smoke of the nearby bushfires, heralded the start sequence. At the white-flare, we set off in one large fleet. Officially the slowest class in the fleet, the first 10-15 minutes were spent trying to find clean air as the larger boats powered over the top of the Explorers, who were already spread out across the line.
Smoky sunset heralds the start of MPONR 2019


Captain Phasma, going slowly on starboard tack, watched as Emily sailed through her lee and climbed above. After realizing a spinnaker sheet was dragging behind, they picked up pace again and stayed with the pack.  By 11pm, with the wind now down to 4 knots, the tail of the fleet was nearing the entrance to the dreaded McLennan’s Strait. In the straights the tall boats can pick up breeze at the top of their sails, but the little boats have to rely on the current to push them through, the odd puff and the apparent wind created by being pushed by the current. Average speed through the straights was 1.8knots and before long we were greeted with 3 knots coming out of the North West at Hollands Landing.  

With the spinnaker set, it seemed to take forever to reach Storm Point, where the fleet took a more northerly course to head up Lake Victoria. At this point, most boats pointed straight for the next mark – sailing 500m from the lee of the northerly shore, whilst others ventured further south to seek clearer air.

In the pre-dawn light, the Explorers spotted each other, again amazingly, within 100 metres of one other after 9 hours of sailing. Captain Phasma led Swallow around Point Turner by 10 boat lengths, which was quickly erased and the position changed, followed by Emily another 10 boat lengths behind. A couple of supposedly faster boats were in the mix causing all kinds of wind shadows, and with the finish line in sight, a highly tactical sprint to the finish was underway.

Sailing high and fast, with her tri-radial genoa filling beautifully, Emily sailed right past the other two Explorers as she reached Montague Point, 300 metres from the finish line. And then…..

Swallow drifting in the final stage of the race
The wind stopped. Really stopped. As in, not a breath of air.

This wasn’t right! It wasn’t supposed to die off until 9am! And now we were stuck. Swallow smartly turned down an offer of a spare paddle from Captain Phasma and the Explorers watched any chance of taking out the handicap places slowly slip away.


A large crowd of early finishers on the docks at GLYC were urging us on, or egging us on, not sure which. Emily picked up a sniff of breeze and started to make ground. Great drifting sailing techniques from Frank and Michael kept their boat speed up and they finished at 8:30am. Captain Phasma followed 7 minutes later (a gap of only 50 metres) and Swallow a further 7 minutes behind.

Final placings on handicap for Group A, where there were 53 starters:
-       Emily 11th
-       Captain Phasma 13th
-       Swallow 17th

If only the breeze had stayed in. At least there’s always next year!