Sunday brought easier breezes and with an early 9am start we did 4 short races back to back. I was disqualified twice for sailing through the start-finish line during races 2 and 3. The race committee said they were very sorry but that’s the rules. I replied ‘I was very sorry, too.’ – to which they laughed – but no pardon for this bad boy. Fair enough, too.
The Cat’s division was won by a Paper Tiger well-sailed by Alex Craig (Vic State Champion) with our Bob and Johnny Porter taking 2nd overall on the Nacra 5.8.
We really enjoyed the camping (despite the cool nights) and the Yarrawonga Yacht Club’s warm hospitality. It was fun!
Small and Large Cats Report - 22nd October 2016
Now, Paul is a professional Voice Artist and Videographer and he also created an audio visual version.
To view it, click here and enter the password: PKSCreport
For copyright reasons, please don't publish or copy the video, thanks.
There was movement at the clubhouse, for the word had passed around
That the cats both large and small had got away,
And had joined the other boats – the start line they’d be bound,
So all the skippers, bar a few had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted sailors from the suburbs near and far
Had mustered at the clubhouse, the wind report a fright
For the cat skippers could see hard sailing when they pulled up in their car
And the sails and rigging shuddered nervously with delight.
There was Old Billy Ledger, who’d rigged up early that same day,
Who took twenty or more readings with his clever wind device,
“It’s building slowly stronger,” he said as he walked away,
“It’s too much for me today”, he said, “I won’t rig to roll the dice”
Then Mr Fyfe spoke up, a man of wisdom who’d seen it all,
“I think I’ll wait a while” he muttered, “I can feel it in my new knee”
“ The wind is too strong from the south and building to a squall”
“Take heed, you youngsters if you go, for me I’ll stay and see”
And one was there, a stripling on a Nacra 16 beast,
He was hard and tough and reckless - just the sort that don’t say die
There was courage in his quickness – we’d have to say at least
“I’ll have a go”, he said, I saw the gameness in his bright and fiery eye.
A fair lass rigged up and dressed she was, Ms Jody was her name,
And courage was never lacking but she too thought to miss the start,
And she double-checked with all her skipper friends, asking each of them the same:
“Will you go or will you stay, the doubt grows in my heart”
Another Nacra 16 square put up the single sail
But doubt lay deep inside the man as he thought of Jervis Bay
And a recent cut that hurt so deep both made his courage frail
“But I’ll make the start, if that at least, on shore I will not stay.”
And so the others followed and or at least they’d made up their mind
And battled to the start line across shallows and rough waves
The starting boat had anchors out but drifting did they find
And thoughts of rescues might have crossed their minds and of necessary saves.
The small cats went off without a hitch, ‘tis hard to say who led
The sails blew in, the sails blue out, the hulls buried to the stays
As they set off in search of the buoy with questions in each head
How long to last, what will break and is this some stupid craze?
The big cats now and only two, it was time now to set the start
But a decision by one to go nearer port made worse the handling be.
And so turned around to try again but the gusts savaged at his heart
Until finally he gybed around and crossed the line – his name on the list to see.
Now I’ll spare you the details and how long some of the sailors stayed out there
But the last one starting was the first to come in, and glad the decision was made
For those gusts were recorded up to 30 knots and sails could easily tear
And gear can break as indeed it did, and bodies and boats come frayed.
Not long after or so it seemed, some others thought the same
And a steady procession came back in, gladly helped by all on shore.
A weary Tony came in relieved; in discretion there was no shame
For a better sailor ‘tis hard to find and yet what could he do more?
And what was this? Who’s coming in but the other Nacra Square?
The courageous young skipper had had enough, too much sail on high
And rudder problems when bearing away – some problems also there
Still new to his boat and tuning it all – “Ah the 5.8” I heard a sigh.
Tony S was dazzling as he often does, when the winds are big and strong
Until a small but important piece of gear, decided to give way
One minute out in front he was then swimming his swansong
And tired and sore of getting it up he needed to call it a day.
The pilot man flew strong for a while, but he buried it after the bend
And tried as he may to right his boat the gusts were far too strong
And flip and flip and flip some more, the rescue boat did send
In condition as these, it must be said, very few will indeed last long.
Paul L came in and happy he was, that he had finished without harm
To both himself and his boat, so not a hope had he in fact dashed
And later was heard to remark when happily bending his arm
“I couldn’t last any longer and was tired getting smashed”
Now the rescue boat had had its fill and needed more help on hand
And came to shore in seeking same, and called to our young Kurt
And with alacrity and smiling still, he jumped to join the band
And helped rescue two and even more, he sailed back their boats unhurt.
Now if your thinking who could last and you’ve counted one by one
There was a sailor man who battled the wind and he stayed the course
For Ralf sailed hard and sailed true and crossed the line and won
A magnificent feat that on the day belonged to his Dark Horse.
And where around the Berkeley where the reed beds sweep and sway
To the breezes, and the rolling hills are wide,
The sailor man that beat that southerly is a household word to-day,
And the sailors tell the story of his ride.