The Tasar Class is one of our favorites. Sure, it’s a great sailing boat that doesn’t require a big pocketbook or over-the-top athleticism. But that’s not what makes it special. It has a real community with various competitive crew combinations of spouses, buddies, parent/child etc., and it seems most people enjoy the off-the-water camaraderie as much as the on-the-water competition.
The Aussies are crazy about the Tasar, and this year’s World Championships in Busselton, Western Australia boasts 122 entries. The Northwest contingent is always strong, and this year is no exception. After six races, Northwesterners own three of the top six places with Jay and Lisa Renehan leading the way in third. This report comes courtesy of Mike Karas, who with crew Molly Jackson is currently fourth overall.
By Mike Karas
We’re just winding down the lay day here at the Tasar Worlds, which was a good break before a bother big day tomorrow. Three races are planned for tomorrow so that there will only be one race on the final day.
The water is crystal clear, one can always see to the bottom of the bay wherever you sail. And all the competitors are keeping a loose eye out for a shark fin, as it has been rumored that a great white has been “loitering” in Geographe Bay. The locals say that this is always the case, but also say they have never seen one…
Until yesterday the wind has been relatively light, and starting i with over 120 boats has been exciting. There is a wide range of skills, so the start ends up being a bit of a wild card, where you’re not sure how to anticipate the boats around you. It is very hard to get consistent finishes.
The courses are generally 2-3 laps of alternating triangle and windward leewards, with a target time of around an hour – maximum time of 100 minutes. The sea breeze is offshore at this venue, one of many things that seems backwards here in Australia. This seems to make the wind quite shifty, and keeps the water relatively flat.
The top few boats have managed thus far to be remarkably consistent, however everyone else seems to have their turn digging themselves out from deep in the fleet – or not.
The U.S. Team is all living together at a large beach house about a quarter mile from the yacht club – a very pleasant stroll in the morning along the shore.
We’ve only had one day over 100 degrees, which is fortunate. That was on Monday, and we only got one light air race off before the breeze shut off.
It’s been an excellent trip so far, and we’re hoping to have more fun and strong finishes in the next two days.