The large cats had a visitor in Mark Bannister from the Southern Highlands and he brought his freshly painted A Class “Tool” design for an outing. It was a good thing too because the large cat numbers were down – for various reasons….
Bob Porter’s Phantom Menace has been sold and he plans to replace it with another Nacra 5.8 very, very shortly. Les Porter is awaiting the arrival of his new A Class which should arrive in about 3 weeks. Kurt Griffiths was on Sydney Harbour crewing on a yacht. Rob Porter was on duty (with Bob and Joshua) and is still wearing a boot while the broken bone in his foot heals.
So there were only three of us to contest the Club Championship race 3. Our resident poet laureate Paul English was very keen with his Nacra 16sq sporting a new carbon tiller extension- and of course Mark Bannister and I were each sailing our A Class.
Last time Mark was here we had a gusty nor’easter. Well, some things never change and today it was the weather.
Bob, Rob and Joshua set a port course with start south of Gooseberry Island, windward mark towards IYC, and wing mark towards the club house. Everyone got away on starboard tack okay with Paul English showing good upwind speed and footing off nicely. The A’s split tacks at the start with Mark choosing to go early up the middle. When we converged at the top mark Symphony narrowly led. The reach to the wing mark was quite difficult (I thought). There were some unexpectedly BIG squirts coming off the point and it paid to be a bit cautious to avoid cartwheeling. “The Sailor From Snowy River”, Ralf Steyer on Dark Horse was leading the small cats and sailing surprisingly fast upwind. We finally caught him on the second work.
At the top mark I had a very close call with Barry Grant’s TY Momentum. We were approaching the top mark on starboard and I was just above him and easing sheet. The mainsheet slipped out of my hand and I hit the water –yanked on the tiller to regain control – bearing away right across the bow of the TY. I have a very vivid visual recall of his bow bearing down on me only a few metres away and expecting a total disaster. A little shaken, I rounded the mark for the downwind leg glad to have a boat that still floats. On shore, Barry assured me the TY could spin on a dime and he would have avoided any impact. Good to know!
On the final reach to the X mark it was gusty and hard to predict – Mark B. had more nerve and pushed hard to catch right up at the X mark. Only 17 seconds separated us at the finish. Paul English sailed a lonesome race without Kurt to spar with. Afterwards, Paul said he eased off a little to make sure he brought Playtime home. His injured thumb was swollen so I imagine he sailed with some pain as well.
It was fairly close on yardstick so well done to everyone. Here’s a snapshot of the results including Mark.
Next week there is no club sailing. The club is hosting the F11 States and volunteers are needed if you can help out.
See you all next time!
Regards, Ross Boyd