See Small Cat Repoirts -Large Cat reports are combined with small cat reports for the moment. Regards Hugh Lewis
It seems the weather felt guilty for the way it’s been treating us of late – and fair enough too. Saturday morning was glorious with its blue sky, fair winds and dry ground. The stage was set to give a happy bunch of sailors a good reason to be happy! After all, this was our final race of the season, a season that has been chock full of drama, passion and ecstasy.
Kurt Griffiths took full notice of last week’s blog and answered the call, to bring his 16Sq Wreckless as instructed. Likewise Paul English, arrived fashionably early with his 16sq Playtime in tow. Les Porter was an early morning apology, and unfortunately could not make it. So there were three large cats this week including my A Class Symphony 2.
The Small Cats were in full force – I counted about 10 boats – with Andy Blakeley taking a break from TY crewing to day sail his Windrush with family.
Hugh Lewis is quickly becoming our club paparazzi and he took a lot of photos on the day. Some gorgeous sunset shots too. You can see them on his blog. Note that he didn’t get any of Lois and she’s quite happy about that. Ha ha!
After getting the boats rigged we caught some lunch and a chat here and there. At the briefing Richard Hipsley acknowledged Barbara and the canteen Team Leaders for their efforts over the season. Thank you to all the ladies.
On duty was Trevor Dunn and crew who set a course that would have been perfect if not for the wind changing its mind and shifting from North round to the NE. After a short delay while the marks were rearranged we were all set to go. The start was in the middle of the Lake with top mark towards the IYC and wing mark close to Gooseberry Island. The wind was from the NE and variable with 10 to 15 knots but gusting up to 20 at times.
The Large Cats hit the start line bang on the gun at the favoured end. Paul on Playtime showed excellent height and speed in the moderate conditions – and managed to keep up with the A Class which was feeling a bit overpowered in the gusts. Kurt sailed lower and faster but Paul seemed to be going better.
After tacking onto port to lay the windward mark, Symphony seemed to going a lot better and not choking in the gusts. The Small Cat fleet was in good form and Ralf and Tony Zhara held the Big Cats at bay for the 1st triangle. The reaching was excellent - punctuated by some solid gusts around 20 knots. A couple of the small cats came unstuck approaching the bottom mark. I think one was George Lemann who lost his footing whilst trapezing and ended up having a swim.
Meanwhile Kurt Griffiths was suffering with pain from his Magic Marine trapeze harness. The webbing was cutting into his kidney area so much it gave him a headache. Feeling unwell he decided to retire which is a shame. It would have been a great final battle between Kurt and Paul.
Paul had some adventures when he was trapezing upwind – he eased the sheet for a big gust – and it slipped from his hand. Before he knew it he was dumped unceremoniously in the drink – still on the trapeze but a long way from his boat – with a windward capsize imminent if he didn’t react quickly. Paul cleverly grabbed the shock cord connecting the trapeze to the boat – and used it to pull himself back alongside – and eventually back on board before continuing. Phew!
On Symphony I found the wind a bit of a struggle – especially on the last reach to the X Mark. The reflection of the low sun on the water hid the gusts that were coming off the shore. Sorry to say but I sailed that leg pretty conservatively to avoid having a swim.
Paul and I finished with about 12 minutes between us. Again, that’s another fine performance from Paul and he won the final race handily on progressive handicap.
Whilst we were out racing, Lois went to the assistance of a poor seagull that had become badly tangled in a fisherman’s line. The more it struggled and squawked the tighter the lines around it became. She took the bird to the canteen hoping to cut it free with scissors – but the lines were quite embedded. In the end they rang Bird Rescue who came to the aid of the luckless gull.
Now a strange thing happened whilst bringing Symphony 2 in to shore. Perhaps this was a perverse form of universal karma – but I managed to catch a fisherman fishing at the end of the pier. His line wrapped around the T-rudders and wouldn’t come off. He yelled out that the line was not going to break – must have been 50 kg line or something. Anyway, I jumped off the boat in the shallows and released him. I’m not sure if it was the same fellow who snagged the seagull but I’m secretly hoping it was. Ha ha!
Here are the finishing results for the day followed by the final series standings:
Paul and I have shown up almost every week and this meant the result was very close, going down to the wire. The lighter winds that prevailed for the previous two races made all the difference. Paul is sailing Playtime really well now especially when the wind is moderate to fresh.
Back on shore we de-rigged and swapped stories. Sailing has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s certainly right up there with drinking fine wine and canoodling. It’s invigorating and relaxing all at the same time. May we all be strong and fit enough to sail for many seasons to come.
The final act of the season is the Presentation Night on Saturday May 13th. I hope to see everyone there. The theme is ‘under the sea’. It’s easy to book tickets via the PKSC website front page.
See you all at the Presentation night!
Regards, Ross Boyd
Large Cat Delegate
PS. Les Porter is planning to head up to Humpybong Yacht Club for the Qld A Class State Titles in about 3 weeks. It’s situated near Redcliffe on the sea and is protected by Moreton Island. I might go if work permits. There are a few non-foiling boats that sail out of there. Wish him luck!
The unprecedented rainfall of March finally abated and April Fool’s day ushered in a blue sky with light SW to ESE winds. On arrival we bumped into Kurt Griffiths who advised he had a wedding to attend - (not his, he's already had one) - and hence couldn’t make it. Bob and Johnny elected to bring the Windrush TY and take dad Rob out with their two girls. That left Paul English, Les Porter and I to contest the penultimate round of the Pointscore.
I went out for an early sail to make sure everything was ship-shape after replacing all the beam bolts - a task that Lois and I only just finished late on Friday afternoon. The water was remarkably clear despite the recent rainfall. The wind was very light but the forecast was for increasing strength late in the afternoon – for most of the race though it didn’t exceed 7 knots. In a nutshell, it was almost perfect weather for the two A Class cats – and not at all favourable for Paul’s Nacra 16 Sq.
After briefing and a bite to eat we hit the water. Rod Nairn and Amelia Richardson were on duty and they set an enjoyable port course. The start was south of Gooseberry Island with a work towards the green Holfuy stick and the wing mark towards the clubhouse.
The big cats started cleanly around 2:24 with Paul struggling a bit for power on the 16Sq in the marginal trapezing conditions. Paul tacked early searching for some wind. Both A Class cats tacked later and Les caught a puff and quickly stretched out a 100m lead rounding the top mark with some of the small cats. On the reach he managed a short burst on the foils before finding a light patch near Berkeley Point.
Alas, Paul’s gamble on the right side didn’t pay off and the wind conspired against him to make it slow going to the top mark. At the wing mark the A’s caught up with the small cat leaders Ralf Steyer and Billy Ledger having a great tussle. At this point a gust took me straight to the bottom mark. After rounding and heading to the right I just escaped a lull that came down the middle of the course. Everyone at the bottom mark was caught up in it - including Les and Paul. And that was the big turning point of the race.
Back on dry land, Paul mentioned being badly thwarted on one work. It seemed no sooner had he tacked on a knock that it would swing back again. He counted 8 tacks on that one work – which would be fine on a dinghy but not on a 2.5m wide cat.
Here are the results...
Note that the Club Championship has been finalised.
What this means is that members who did not complete the minimum of 4 races have been excluded from the series. This affects the results of some races and the overall totals.
Likewise, when the pointscore wraps up next week, those that have not sailed the minimum of 6 races will be excluded from the series. This has an even greater impact as the progressive handicaps will alter due to the exclusions. I'm writing this so that you understand beforehand why the results will change after the exclusions. Unfortunately, the Sailwave software doesn't handle these exclusions weekly - only at the end of the series.
Regards, Ross Boyd
They say the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. Well, rain must be different here in Australia – because it falls pretty much everywhere….
It was another sodden day on the sodden grass on the sodden rigging area. And to add insult to injury, the forecast 10 knot Sou’Easter didn’t bother to show up. In fact, the only thing that showed up was more rain.
For sure it was disappointing to not get a race in – but on the other hand – it was an enjoyable day nonetheless with plenty of keen small and large cat sailors despite the weather. Not to mention a whole gaggle of Weta Trimarans bent on getting some practise prior to the World Master Games in NZ.
As it was we all drifted out optimistically to a start line that was set equally optimistically by Richard Hipsley and crew David. We then bobbed around and soaked up the atmosphere so to speak. I did say to Richard he should be selling umbrellas. He would have made a fortune.
Surprisingly, Les managed to get Wilbur, his foiling A Class, completely airborne before the wind decided to completely evacuate – so it wasn’t a total loss. Paul English and I came to sail our respective hearts out in an effort to win the coveted Pointscore but instead we were forced to keep our powder dry (as best we could) for the last two races of the season.
Thanks to the TY guys for towing us all home when the race was inevitably abandoned. That act of kindness will not go unforgotten.
So, there are no results to speak of this week.
I must add that a broken beam bolt was discovered on my boat Symphony pre-race. We decided to risk it in the light winds. On the Sunday, Lois and I drilled out and removed the sheared bolt and to our amazement found both 5/16” bolts on the starboard hull were sheared and the only thing holding the hull to the main beam was Silastic adhesive and a large amount of good fortune!! Les Porter very kindly dropped around lending support, advice and tools to get the job done. Thank you Les! I’m picking up some high tensile bolts today (Monday) so we should be back in business for next weekend.
Next week is PS23 and CC8 - WillyWeather predicts a light sou’ Easter. Be sure to come and join in. Only two races left for the season!
Regards, Ross Boyd
Soggy grass was the order of the day on arrival in the rigging area. Those with 4WD vehicles drove in fearlessly but not this little black duck. We parked outside near the TY’s and rigged there. A few minutes later, Paul English rang with a tale of woe and trailer tyre delamination. His left tyre had shredded on the Princes Hwy exit ramp. Luckily, the event occurred very close to a local tyre repairer who had a suitable tyre in stock. Paul managed to get his foot in the door just as the shutters came down at 11:30am. How good was that!?
Paul’s good fortune meant the size of the Large Cat fleet DOUBLED. Now there were two of us! Les Porter SMS’d that he had work commitments and was unable to come out and play.
The day was overcast with a 10-18 knot SE blowing. Occasional rain squalls came through but overall it wasn’t that bad. The water was murky with a lot of sediment from the storms and there were warnings at the briefing to “Beware of the Logs”. I saw a few submerged branches near the starting area and was happy to miss them.
Brad, Todd and Hayden were on response duty and set a great course for the scheduled round-the-lake race. Start line was out in front of the club, 1st mark at Primbee, 2nd near Coonawarra, 3rd just west of Mt Warrigal, back to Coonawarra, then Warilla and an exciting reach down to the reef markers and finally X mark and finish. By the way, don’t miss the great video footage they posted on the PKSC Facebook page. Thanks guys!
All classes got away without a hitch with navigation being the main challenge especially with the limited visibility due to the occasional patches of rain. A Lightweight Sharpie led the way until halfway to Mount Warrigal and then the Large Cats took over. I was relieved to see the response boat head to the Mt Warrigal buoy and show us where that mark was.
The highlight was the reach from Windang to the reef. Some surprisingly strong puffs were coming through on the eastern side which made it interesting to say the least.
In the post-race chat, Paul mentioned he’d almost missed the reef rounding by heading straight to the X mark from Windang. Fortunately, he realised before it was too late although it did cost him a lot of time.
Here are the Large Cat results on progressive handicap….
Next week is PS22 and the long-range forecast (courtesy of WillyWeather) is for a light sou’ easter. With only 3 races left till the end of the season - be sure to come and sail. The winter cometh…
Regards, Ross Boyd
Light winds were the order of the day with the afternoon SE breeze nudging 8 knots. Kurt Griffiths took some convincing that it was actually worth going out. With Les and Bob Porter both away at State Titles we needed everyone on deck.
Bob and Johnny Porter headed north to Trial Bay to defend their State Title and achieved 4th place overall. On recent form I’d have picked them to win it – there must have been some very strong competition. Uncle Les sailed in the Victorian A Class State Titles at Westernport Yacht Club and managed 9th place overall despite not competing in the first and last races.
Well done guys!
A highlight of the day was Ross Fyfe celebrating his 80th out on the water in wind conditions that he loves. Congratulations Ross! It’s inspiring for us ‘youngsters’ to see that sailing promotes such physical longevity.
On duty was another club stalwart and septuagenarian Billy Ledger ably assisted by Leo Mavromattis. They set a great port course with top mark towards Primbee and wing mark off the point. The bottom mark was just south of Gooseberry Island. Thank you Bill and Leo!
On the start line there was Paul English on Playtime (16Sq), Kurt Griffiths on Wreckless (16Sq) and me on Symphony (A Class). We all started cleanly on starboard tack with Playtime quick to tack for clear air and head for more pressure on the right side – which certainly paid off! Symphony arrived first at the top mark but was closely followed by Playtime and Wreckless. On the reach we picked our way through the Small Cat fleet. It was there that Kurt with his flat head main was able to slip past Paul. Kurt and Paul were equal on progressive yardstick so line honours would decide their result.
The wind direction was fluctuating a lot and tacking on a knock didn’t always pay off as the wind would often shift back immediately. It was tricky.
At the finish Symphony led by 18 minutes, but the yardstick honours went to Kurt who sailed very well. There were no losers in the large cats, we all finished on the podium. (ha ha!)
Next week is PS21 and Junior Camp. Forecast is for 12knot ESE which should be perfect. Hopefully without the rain! See you all there!
It took more than a bit of rain to dampen the enthusiasm of the Cat fleets. We had 5 large and 5 small cats on the day. The rigging area was already sodden but for the most part the rain held off and limited itself to some patches of light drizzle. The wind was a patchy southerly – much less than the forecast 24 knots – at most hitting 12 knots or so. It was quite pleasant.
Thanks to Ian Richardson and Michael Marzano for doing duty honours this week. Poor guys set the line and then the wind swung to the East about 20 degrees. We watched the Small Cats all start on port at the pin end, and decided to do likewise. This week the Large Cats opted for the standard triangle course - just to be different.
Bob and Johnny on 5.8 Road Apple showed blistering upwind speed to lead the fleet to the first mark followed by Les on foiling A Wilbur and me on Symphony. There followed Paul English (Playtime) and Kurt Griffiths (Wreckless) having a good tussle on the Nacra 16Sq’s. The reach to the IYC channel was an enjoyable blast and Kurt was very quick on this leg, managing to slip past Paul.
Weed was a problem for everyone. It wasn’t normal garden variety weed, it was more like a mermaid’s necklace complete with beads and ribbons. Les caught some on the first run and that allowed me to get past him. It’s amazing that just a few bits of weed will stop an A Class in its tracks.
This week Kurt did well with his flat head main - Paul on the other hand was happy with his upwind speed on the day but had trouble matching Kurt’s speed off the breeze.
Across the line, Road Apple won by 3 minutes from Symphony, then Wilbur, Wreckless and Playtime. On corrected times it was a different story - Championship placings went to Road Apple, Wreckless and Playtime in that order. A podium clean sweep for the Nacras!!
That wraps up the Club Championship result with a perfect score for Road Apple regardless of CC race 8. They were super quick on every leg of the course. I’m sure Bob and Johnny will take quiet confidence to the State Titles next week. Good luck guys!
There are only 5 races till the end of the season. Here are the current standings.:
Hope to see you all there next week!
Regards, Ross Boyd
A cool and overcast day with a moderate southerly greeted our large cat fleet. The rigging area looked a little bare compared to the usual turnout; only 2 large and 2 small cats were there with Kurt and Hugh on rescue duty. I know Les planned to attend the Cock of the Bay at Kurnell on Sunday and was put off Saturday by the strong southerly forecast.
As it turned out, it was a great day for sailing. The wind may have gusted up to 15 knots but no more. It was very pleasant, indeed.
As mentioned, Hugh and Kurt were on duty (thanks for that and for supplying photos) and set a port course with start line in front of the clubhouse and top mark towards Mt Warrigal. The large cats elected to sail sausages only. It certainly takes the procession out of the race – but makes it harder to keep count of the roundings, I find.
Both fleets were sailing match races. Tony Zahra and Tony Sanderson in the small cat fleet, Paul English and I in the large cats. We both hit the start line a little late – Paul politely allowed me the luxury of a head start. Having said that, Paul has strung together a bunch of strong performances, lately; so any assistance he was willing to give was gladly accepted.
Clearly there were wind channels and it was important to try to stay in them as much as possible. Mainly we stayed to the right hand side where it seemed strongest. It was possible to lay Gooseberry Island on port tack on the first three works, but on the last work the breeze had shifted back to the SW. There were numerous jellyfish near Gooseberry so it was risky to cut through there in case a rudder popped up. It was pure luck to miss them.
Here are some photos courtesy of Hugh and Kurt on the duty boat:
At the finish, Paul trailed by only 13 minutes or so. On yardstick it was a very close result with Symphony just edging it out in conditions that suited her. Well done again, Paul.
Overall, it was a much better day on the water than last week!!
Next week is PS19 and Club Championship 7 for Small and Large Cats.
Hope to see you all there - rain, hail or shine!
Regards, Ross Boyd
Sometimes the weather can be very pleasant and sometimes it can be horrendous. Today we had a bit of both...
The day kicked off with a welcome cool southerly that managed to behave itself for most of the racing, thankfully (apart from a short rain squall). Then the sky turned green as a nasty storm cell descended upon the de-rigging area and let loose with lightning strikes and hailstones as big as a man’s thumb. To me, it was a very dangerous situation with all the standing masts acting like multiple lightning conductors – Ralf Steyer said he copped a zap of static discharge while dropping his sails!! – it was a great relief to see all sailors sensibly abandon de-rigging and seek shelter.
It was a heavy deluge. The adjacent storm water drain could not cope with the sheer quantity of water and a river of water literally poured through the entire rigging area on its way to the lake.
Lois and I retreated to the car and heard the roof being peppered like small hammer blows. Unfortunately for Bill Ledger, his Honda automatically opened its boot and sunroof – somehow triggered by the heavy hail. Later, we discovered our car had suffered visible hail damage to the boot, roof and bonnet. Sorry to say but we’re probably not the only ones to have a damaged car.
Once the hail and lightning eased after 10 minutes or so - the sailors returned to the task of dropping masts and calling it a day. What a day!!!
As for the racing, we did indeed sail heat 6 of the Club Championship and Point Score Race 17. Jody Mathews was on duty with Brad Curry and Hayden Sellers. It would have been a busy day for the duty officers and they did a great job keeping everyone safe.
Four large cats lined up for the start line situated between Gooseberry Island and the clubhouse. We had Paul English on 16sq Playtime, Bob Porter and Kurt Griffiths on Nacra 5.5 Road Apple, Les Porter on A Class Wilbur and me on A Class Symphony. It was a port course with top mark towards Primbee and wing mark towards the IYC channel.
After a clean start, Wilbur and Road Apple took off with great speed. Playtime sailed freer to gain clear air and was also going well. Symphony struggled for boat speed for some reason (old age?). Being so far behind the leaders it was hard to see what was going on – but it looked like Road Apple and Wilbur were having a battle royale. Les said afterwards he foiled faster than he’d ever gone in his life. Downwind it was lifting off without trapezing. Road Apple was first home by almost 2.5 minutes. But taking into account Les’ two capsizes it could have been a very different result. Paul English had problems when his trapeze harness let go on one side and was forced to make running repairs that cost him a heap of time. Even so, Paul came second on yardstick which was a fantastic result! I told you he’s getting faster! Congrats to Bob Porter and Kurt Griffiths for a well-deserved win on yardstick!
Well done everyone!
A couple of weeks ago, Paul English and I managed to capture some video of the small cats and monos from the duty boat. It was a tough task but Paul managed to make something of my very shaky amateur video with his pro editing skills. You can view it here: https://vimeo.com/204737832
Hope to see you all again next week!