Kurt Griffiths arrived early to prepare the duty boat and to help out in the canteen by making fun of my feeble culinary skills. He did a good job of that. :-)
Paul English arrived with trusty Nacra 16sq Playtime in tow followed by Les’ A Class “Wilbur” which had been repaired mid-week by Tim Makepeace –and a very fine job by Tim!
By 11am the breeze had circled to the SE and increased to about 15 knots. By 1PM it eased to a luxurious light to moderate 9 knots. Also, the clouds dispersed and it was time to slip, slap and slop as the sun had quite a bite.
There were about 11 cats all up in the rigging area with the glorious return of the Cuddy Cup sailors. From what I heard the Cuddy Cup was a relaxed and easy-going regatta and a nice way to unwind.
On the water Kurt and Bruce set a great port course with start south of Gooseberry Island, wing near the point and top mark towards Primbee. The large cats elected beforehand to sail only windward returns and ignore the wing mark. Incidentally, by all reports, the wing mark was perfectly placed for the TY’s, monos and small cats.
The Large Cat start was a pedestrian affair with all 3 cats seeming to be shy of the starter’s gun. Things soon hotted up, though. At the top mark, Les on Wilbur had outsmarted his rivals by cunningly sailing where the wind was stronger. He rounded first and then topped it off by discharging his after-burners, lifting off and foiling fast and free for a good 300 metres into the distance.
Meanwhile, I was just managing to keep ahead of the fast charging Paul English on his 16Sq. Lately, it appears Paul has found his inner sailor and is displaying consistent improvement on every outing.
Long story short, Les revelled in the breeze. It was just enough to foil downwind without feeling like a passenger on a runaway express train. After 3 out of 4 laps Les appeared to experiment with different angles and VMG. The lightening winds allowed me to creep past while he was busy trying things. And that’s how we finished.
Afterwards, Paul explained he actually switched to the standard triangle course so that he could pursue the Small Cats that had started 5 minutes earlier. It must have paid off because, remarkably, on pure VYC yardsticks, Paul had knocked off both A Class cats in conditions that were more suited to them. Good job, Paul!
On shore, Les had a grin from ear to ear. Not only were there no capsizes or mishaps; he knew that Wilbur could really fly. Some fine-tuning and familiarisation and Les will be unstoppable.
Here are the elapsed times:
With all our fleets being low on numbers we are in need of volunteers for the rescue boat duty roster. Let me know if you can assist.
Next week is Club Championship 5 for TYs, Small and Large Cats. Forecast is for a BIG southerly 22 knots plus. Boy, I sure hope they get that wrong!
Hope to see you all there!
Regards, Ross Boyd