The day kicked off with a welcome cool southerly that managed to behave itself for most of the racing, thankfully (apart from a short rain squall). Then the sky turned green as a nasty storm cell descended upon the de-rigging area and let loose with lightning strikes and hailstones as big as a man’s thumb. To me, it was a very dangerous situation with all the standing masts acting like multiple lightning conductors – Ralf Steyer said he copped a zap of static discharge while dropping his sails!! – it was a great relief to see all sailors sensibly abandon de-rigging and seek shelter.
It was a heavy deluge. The adjacent storm water drain could not cope with the sheer quantity of water and a river of water literally poured through the entire rigging area on its way to the lake.
Lois and I retreated to the car and heard the roof being peppered like small hammer blows. Unfortunately for Bill Ledger, his Honda automatically opened its boot and sunroof – somehow triggered by the heavy hail. Later, we discovered our car had suffered visible hail damage to the boot, roof and bonnet. Sorry to say but we’re probably not the only ones to have a damaged car.
Once the hail and lightning eased after 10 minutes or so - the sailors returned to the task of dropping masts and calling it a day. What a day!!!
As for the racing, we did indeed sail heat 6 of the Club Championship and Point Score Race 17. Jody Mathews was on duty with Brad Curry and Hayden Sellers. It would have been a busy day for the duty officers and they did a great job keeping everyone safe.
Four large cats lined up for the start line situated between Gooseberry Island and the clubhouse. We had Paul English on 16sq Playtime, Bob Porter and Kurt Griffiths on Nacra 5.5 Road Apple, Les Porter on A Class Wilbur and me on A Class Symphony. It was a port course with top mark towards Primbee and wing mark towards the IYC channel.
After a clean start, Wilbur and Road Apple took off with great speed. Playtime sailed freer to gain clear air and was also going well. Symphony struggled for boat speed for some reason (old age?). Being so far behind the leaders it was hard to see what was going on – but it looked like Road Apple and Wilbur were having a battle royale. Les said afterwards he foiled faster than he’d ever gone in his life. Downwind it was lifting off without trapezing. Road Apple was first home by almost 2.5 minutes. But taking into account Les’ two capsizes it could have been a very different result. Paul English had problems when his trapeze harness let go on one side and was forced to make running repairs that cost him a heap of time. Even so, Paul came second on yardstick which was a fantastic result! I told you he’s getting faster! Congrats to Bob Porter and Kurt Griffiths for a well-deserved win on yardstick!
Well done everyone!
A couple of weeks ago, Paul English and I managed to capture some video of the small cats and monos from the duty boat. It was a tough task but Paul managed to make something of my very shaky amateur video with his pro editing skills. You can view it here: https://vimeo.com/204737832
Hope to see you all again next week!