In preparation for the 2023 AWBF (Australian Wooden Boat Festival) here in Hobart, TAS, I thought I would reminisce about the last one - which was way back in 2019.
There's an article about the 2019 AWBF on the site already, but the thing I want to talk about is the trip home, which occurred in spectacular conditions - see the photo of Aziza below:
After leaving port and heading back to port - a 5 hr sail to Kettering - we had the pleasure of watching our sister ship Aziza (a 32' BCC) and her skipper Val heading in the same direction.
As we crept away from Hobart it became obvious that this was not going to be all gin and tonics.
As Aziza inched ahead of Ubi, the order was given on board the younger vessel to hoist more canvas and give chase - and the race was on!
The match racing tactics were only dropped when spectacular sights got in the way...
The two boats exchanged blows as they ran close-hauled down the Derwent towards the iconic Ironpot lighthouse - scene of some famous Sydney to Hobart battles - where the wind picked up and the two BCC's lifted their skirts.
With spray flying everywhere the two crews were forced to double down and sail with skill in the boisterous conditions.
At one point a huge rainstorm completely obscured our vision, with visibility being down to only a few hundred feet.
During the close-hauled battle, Ubi coped better with her two small headsails - inching ahead in the strong winds (but that might have something more to do with the extra crew ballast of me and my dad), yet, as we rounded the headland and entered the Channel at Tinderbox, the wind dropped and swung - leaving both boats to drift lazily downwind towards their home port.
This is where Aziza with her large genoa came into her own. It was delightful to see Val giggle as she saluted while her trusty BCC passed the young upstart.
We spent some time hanging over the side - each shooting video and taking photos of the other. It was one of the only times where we both got great shots of our own boats as we exchanged digital assets afterwards.
Here's the very kind image of Ubi that Val shot (thanks Val!!):
It was interesting to compare the sail setups on two identical BCCs in identical conditions, and I learnt a great deal.
Have you got any experience comparing two BCCs, and noticed any differences?
Let me know in the comments below!!
What do you think?
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