In other sad news, last Saturday was the last race of 2016 and now we have a month’s hiatus. This is a great pitfall to all those who love to sail and I wonder if we all lobby together - Xmas break could be moved into the off-season.… something to discuss at the next committee meeting.
Pointscore 11 was the annual President vs Secretary’s race. This Round–The-Lake extravaganza attracted numbers in all classes. It even heralded the return of Rob Porter back from injury. By the way, brother Les takes delivery of a brand new A Class foiler this Friday so the rest of the season is going to be packed with entertainment! For sure, Dean Souter is fun to watch on his foiling Moth - he’s young, he’s fast, he’s got great abs (so Lois tells me!) - but the difference is that Les really knows how to thrill a crowd.
Anyway, I digress. The entire PKSC fleet was split randomly into two teams – the Presidents and the Secretary’s - and assigned a Red and Green flag accordingly. Many sailors were in festive mood and festooned their craft with tinsel streamers and other bling – others wore Santa hats or reindeer horns. I went all out with Barry Manilow cassette tape on the forestays.
The weather was perfect with an Easterly blowing 10 knots I guess. Ross Fyfe and Paul Leaudais were on duty and set the perfect course with a work from just south of Gooseberry around the reef at the point, a broad reach across to Windang, a run down to Kanahooka, another broad reach to Oak Flats – then a long work back to Windang – followed by a fantastic tight reach to the X mark and home.
The TY’s, Monos and Small Cats got away smoothly. We had 4 Large Cats at the start line, Bob and Johnny Porter on Road Apple (Nacra 5.8), Rob and Josh Porter on Shark Bait (Taipan), Paul English on Playtime (16Sq) and me on Symphony 2 (A Class).
The race would be Paul English’s finest hour – actually no, it would be his finest 90 minutes and 45 seconds. Paul started on port tack to get to the right side of the first work. Road Apple and Shark Bait headed to the left side. Bob said afterwards he’d watched Ralf Steyer on Dark Horse (WR S/Sloop) get a great lift to the reef going that way and thought they’d try to repeat the performance. Shark Bait went that way also.
Meanwhile Paul on Playtime was footing off for speed and really flying upwind. We crossed tacks a couple of times and Paul was able to force me to tack onto starboard as we approached the reef where the wind became very fickle. Both Road Apple and Shark Bait were nowhere to be seen as Paul and I rounded the reef and broad reached across the shallows to Windang.
Road Apple gybed after the reef to get a better angle to Windang and desperately tried to chase us down. They did the same at the Kanahooka buoy and had a tremendous reach across to Oak Flats regaining much ground. Paul E was sailing an inspired race and was still in touch with the much faster yardstick boats as we headed up to Windang on the work.
Road Apple worked their way into the lead in the shallows as Symphony became stuck in the weed and then had to tack around a boat trawling a line of crab pots. Not crab pots again!
The reach home was fast and furious. Road Apple easily took line honours by nearly 5 minutes. Then Symphony 2, with a 155 second gap to Shark Bait and then remarkably Playtime just another 99 seconds behind!!
Paul on Playtime absolutely smashed it out of the park on progressive handicap. It was certainly a brilliant way to finish off this half of the season. Keep it up big fella! It was also great to see Rob and Josh back on deck after such a long lay-off.
After the race Barry Grant presented prizes to all the winners. There were a LOT of winners and grinners. It was a great day out and thanks to everyone for participating.
Have a wonderful and safe time during the festive season. Next race is PS12 on 7th Jan. I believe the Cuddy Cup for 14’ Cats is on at Swan Lake so good luck to all those heading down there.
Regards, Ross Boyd