We had 3 Large Cats, 9 Small Cats and 2 Small Dogs. The two dogs were Les Porter’s faithful friends Colin and Tilly – (Border Collies) who paid us a friendly visit but chose not to sail on the day.
Jack Kroek conducted the pre-race briefing, and then Hugh Lewis rounded up the cat sailors to have an open discussion concerning courses for the Kembla Klassic. Some good points were raised with a short race format being preferred, large cats to do windward returns and small cats to do a mix of triangles and returns. Some fine-tuning to follow...
This was Bob Porter’s first club outing for his shiny new Nacra 5.8 ‘Road Apple’ that replaces his shiny old Nacra5.8 ‘Phantom Menace’. Road Apple debuted last Sunday at IYC and it seemed to go pretty well in the 8 knot winds we experienced – although Bob commented it still needs a bit of mast tuning.
Rob Porter senior came along to watch with his foot finally out of its support boot – but still not race-ready.
Paul English was also on deck with his Nacra 16Sq ‘Playtime’ sporting an upgraded tapered mainsheet – that looked identical to the new mainsheet on Bob’s boat.
Before getting into the description of today’s race it’s important to dispel the sensationalism surrounding an alleged incident last Sunday at IYC. Whilst launching Symphony using Kev’s Yacht Shop’s ramp the wind caught the sail and - with dolly wheels still under the boat - I was forced to jump aboard as any good captain would - to save the boat. This resulted in the world’s first amphibious A Class sailing craft. It handled like a pig with no steerage at all. I’m no genius but (after a few attempts) I realised that putting the rudders down was not helping. I looked back to shore and saw a small crowd of onlookers gathering on the seawall – and finger pointing – and was that laughter? They say a picture is worth a thousand words – so here is the world’s first amphibious bicycle.
So there you have it. You read it here first. The amphibious A Class catamaran was invented on Lake Illawarra!!
Back to this week’s racing…
A big thanks to the duty officers, Richard Lech & Leo Mavromattis who set an excellent NE course with start south of Gooseberry Island, windward mark towards IYC, and wing mark towards the club house. Only three starts today as the TY’s were away sailing at the IYC’s Lord Mayor’s regatta.
On the gun, Road Apple closely led Playtime across the start line with Symphony bringing up the rear. I tacked immediately seeking clear air. Paul also tacked soon after. There was more pressure on the right side and this caused the A Class to lead Road Apple at the top mark. The first reach was exciting and we caught up with Tony Zahra and Billy Ledger leading the Small Cat fleet at the wing mark. Tony Zhara was going very well and obviously feeling more at home on ‘White Wave’ in Super Sloop configuration.
Road Apple proved to be faster than Symphony on the off wind legs and rapidly made up lost ground. As the wind gradually increased to about 12 knots, the Nacra 5.8 started to really hit its straps with better upwind pace. Finally, on the last windward leg the Nacra overtook and reached off for the X mark in a cloud of spray and power. The short work to the finish line from the X Mark is often tricky in a NE wind but Bob made short work of it and won both handicap and line honours by over a minute from Symphony. Kurt Griffiths, if you’re reading this please come back to the club soon, you are sorely missed – especially by Paul E. who would certainly enjoy the competition. Paul sailed well to take second place overall on handicap.
Well done everyone!
It is Club Championship 4 for all classes next week - see you all there!!
The Kembla Klassic and Katagatta kicks off on the 26th and 27th November. Tell all your sailing friends from far and wide and twist a few arms if you have to!
Regards, Ross Boyd