Well, I'll endeavour to cover both the Small and Large Cats this week in his stead although it will not be easy to fill his shoes. They're probably size 16's(!!) - sorry Hugh if you're reading this (lol).
The AGM was held at 11am in the clubhouse with Club President Richard Hipsley convening. After Tony Sanderson presented the financial report this year's directors and officers were voted in. Most choosing to continue their role - although Jody graciously accepted the position of club secretary after Teresa Marzano decided to have a break. Hugh and I remain the small and large cat delegates. And Tony Sanderson continues as the Treasurer.
Well, the weather was very kind to us, sending warm temperatures and clear skies but the south easterly breeze was a little on the light side. We had better numbers in the large fleet than the previous week - but still a few missing persons - hopefully they will all be back on deck soon. In all, 5 large cats and 4 small cats came to sail.
It was really great to see the return of Ross Fyfe on Yabby after his knee replacement - and it was fortunate the day was a gentle one for his first foray on the water after missing out on the last half of last season. I had the impression he was very glad to be back on the water again.
Unfortunately, there was a nasty accident for Paul English while he was fashioning a spacer for his hounds shackle. He was cutting through a nylon fitting with a sharp serrated knife and it slipped and deeply cut the back of his left thumb. He very calmly turned to me and said, "I've just cut myself very badly, its going to need stitches for sure." He applied pressure whilst we organised for Lois to take him to the surgery at Warrawong Plaza. He returned later with stitches and bandage. The doctor said he shouldn't do anything with it for a month as the tendon had been partially severed. What a shame for Paul to miss out on another ding-dong battle with Kurt Griffiths on the 16sq's.
Tony Sanderson and Jack Kroek were officers on duty and set a port course with the start to the south of Gooseberry Island, the windward mark towards the IYC channel and the wing mark almost halfway between Gooseberry and the clubhouse. The small cats got away on starboard tack with Bill Ledger on Billyo (Nacra 14Sq) showing great speed in the light trapezing conditions and Paul Leaudais, Ross Fyfe and Jody Mathews giving chase on their Windrush Super Sloops. They all chose the left hand side for the first work where there was good pressure.
The large cats, all sporting square top mains, gave chase 5 minutes later with the A Class Symphony leading from Bob and Johnny Porter on the Phantom Menace (Nacra 5.8NA), Rob Porter sailing one-up on Shark Bait (Taipan) and Kurt Griffiths on Wreckless (Nacra 16sq). Symphony badly overlayed the top mark allowing Phantom to recover lost ground.
The large cats caught up with the second placed Paul Leaudais on the first reach but BillyO was still holding on up front. Phantom passed underneath Symphony on the second reach back to the bottom mark - the Nacra 5.8 was sailing deep and fast. Rob Porter caught up on the reaches, too. On the second work, Rob had the Taipan sailing very high and fast - and found better pressure - managing to take over the lead by the top mark. Kurt Griffith sailed the same line as Rob and thus kept in touch on his Nacra 16sq.
On the downwind leg, Rob sailed into some light patches allowing Phantom and Symphony to slip past again. The lead swapped between the Nacra 5.8 and A class a couple more times.
The finish was tricky for everyone with the wind changing and shifting quite unpredictably on the short work from the X Mark to the finish line.
In the end, the large cats were led home by Symphony, closely followed by Phantom Menace, Shark Bait and Wreckless. BillyO led the small cats home by a good margin, next was Silver Fox Paul Leaudais, Ross Fyfe on Yabby and Jody Mathews on Blue Tongue not at all aided by the dying breeze.
Overall, it was an enjoyable day on the water - some would prefer more wind I'd imagine - but it was a very pleasant day nonetheless - apart from Paul English's rigging mishap of course.
The Small and Large Cat results can be found here.
Just a quick reminder:
1. Jervis Bay regatta at Callala Bay is being held next week (Labour day long weekend). Tony Sanderson has booked accommodation and has plenty of room. Anyone interested in going down, advise either Tony Sanderson or Paul Leaudais and they can fill you in with the details. This is a great regatta with a multiple short race format.
Have a great long weekend everyone! Get well Paul!!
Regards, Ross Boyd