Kurt Griffiths took full notice of last week’s blog and answered the call, to bring his 16Sq Wreckless as instructed. Likewise Paul English, arrived fashionably early with his 16sq Playtime in tow. Les Porter was an early morning apology, and unfortunately could not make it. So there were three large cats this week including my A Class Symphony 2.
The Small Cats were in full force – I counted about 10 boats – with Andy Blakeley taking a break from TY crewing to day sail his Windrush with family.
Hugh Lewis is quickly becoming our club paparazzi and he took a lot of photos on the day. Some gorgeous sunset shots too. You can see them on his blog. Note that he didn’t get any of Lois and she’s quite happy about that. Ha ha!
After getting the boats rigged we caught some lunch and a chat here and there. At the briefing Richard Hipsley acknowledged Barbara and the canteen Team Leaders for their efforts over the season. Thank you to all the ladies.
On duty was Trevor Dunn and crew who set a course that would have been perfect if not for the wind changing its mind and shifting from North round to the NE. After a short delay while the marks were rearranged we were all set to go. The start was in the middle of the Lake with top mark towards the IYC and wing mark close to Gooseberry Island. The wind was from the NE and variable with 10 to 15 knots but gusting up to 20 at times.
The Large Cats hit the start line bang on the gun at the favoured end. Paul on Playtime showed excellent height and speed in the moderate conditions – and managed to keep up with the A Class which was feeling a bit overpowered in the gusts. Kurt sailed lower and faster but Paul seemed to be going better.
After tacking onto port to lay the windward mark, Symphony seemed to going a lot better and not choking in the gusts. The Small Cat fleet was in good form and Ralf and Tony Zhara held the Big Cats at bay for the 1st triangle. The reaching was excellent - punctuated by some solid gusts around 20 knots. A couple of the small cats came unstuck approaching the bottom mark. I think one was George Lemann who lost his footing whilst trapezing and ended up having a swim.
Meanwhile Kurt Griffiths was suffering with pain from his Magic Marine trapeze harness. The webbing was cutting into his kidney area so much it gave him a headache. Feeling unwell he decided to retire which is a shame. It would have been a great final battle between Kurt and Paul.
Paul had some adventures when he was trapezing upwind – he eased the sheet for a big gust – and it slipped from his hand. Before he knew it he was dumped unceremoniously in the drink – still on the trapeze but a long way from his boat – with a windward capsize imminent if he didn’t react quickly. Paul cleverly grabbed the shock cord connecting the trapeze to the boat – and used it to pull himself back alongside – and eventually back on board before continuing. Phew!
On Symphony I found the wind a bit of a struggle – especially on the last reach to the X Mark. The reflection of the low sun on the water hid the gusts that were coming off the shore. Sorry to say but I sailed that leg pretty conservatively to avoid having a swim.
Paul and I finished with about 12 minutes between us. Again, that’s another fine performance from Paul and he won the final race handily on progressive handicap.
Whilst we were out racing, Lois went to the assistance of a poor seagull that had become badly tangled in a fisherman’s line. The more it struggled and squawked the tighter the lines around it became. She took the bird to the canteen hoping to cut it free with scissors – but the lines were quite embedded. In the end they rang Bird Rescue who came to the aid of the luckless gull.
Now a strange thing happened whilst bringing Symphony 2 in to shore. Perhaps this was a perverse form of universal karma – but I managed to catch a fisherman fishing at the end of the pier. His line wrapped around the T-rudders and wouldn’t come off. He yelled out that the line was not going to break – must have been 50 kg line or something. Anyway, I jumped off the boat in the shallows and released him. I’m not sure if it was the same fellow who snagged the seagull but I’m secretly hoping it was. Ha ha!
Here are the finishing results for the day followed by the final series standings:
Paul and I have shown up almost every week and this meant the result was very close, going down to the wire. The lighter winds that prevailed for the previous two races made all the difference. Paul is sailing Playtime really well now especially when the wind is moderate to fresh.
Back on shore we de-rigged and swapped stories. Sailing has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s certainly right up there with drinking fine wine and canoodling. It’s invigorating and relaxing all at the same time. May we all be strong and fit enough to sail for many seasons to come.
The final act of the season is the Presentation Night on Saturday May 13th. I hope to see everyone there. The theme is ‘under the sea’. It’s easy to book tickets via the PKSC website front page.
See you all at the Presentation night!
Regards, Ross Boyd
Large Cat Delegate
PS. Les Porter is planning to head up to Humpybong Yacht Club for the Qld A Class State Titles in about 3 weeks. It’s situated near Redcliffe on the sea and is protected by Moreton Island. I might go if work permits. There are a few non-foiling boats that sail out of there. Wish him luck!