Les Porter arrived minutes later on his beautiful, new, thoroughbred foiling A Class aptly named Wilbur, soon followed by our gentle giant Paul English with his Nacra 16Sq Playtime, and Tim Makepeace with his F18 TJM. Rob Porter also dropped by to say hello.
I believe a few Small Cats were at the Cuddy Cup regatta hence the small numbers. Next week will be better.
After meets and greets and “Happy New Years” a few decided to rig quickly and join in with the Small Cats. The wind was definitely at its best for the day at around 10 knots or so.
Club President, Richard Hipsley was on duty and kindly laid the buoys out early for the keen sailors.
Les managed a few blistering foiling runs before having a rare capsize. Sickeningly, whilst righting his boat Les accidentally damaged a hull just in front of the main beam. When I heard the news I could not believe Les’ misfortune. Tim Makepeace generously offered to take on the carbon repairs. Good on you, Tim!
Well, by 2PM the nor’easter had increased to 18.7 knots with gusts over 26. On top of that the 16 foot skiffs had their National Titles at IYC with about 50 boats (including junior skiffs) racing. Richard Hipsley set our course as close to PKSC as possible to minimise the danger of collisions. It’s very hard for the skiffies to see ahead when they are under spinnaker – so this was a wise move.
With the above in mind and the fact that the breeze was only going to get stronger - all the wise cat sailors chose not to risk it. Unwisely, I decided to roll the dice and give it a try. Usually I wouldn’t dare but it seemed manageable – and heading to shore was always an option if things worsened.
Here’s the Holfuy chart for the day.
The main course consisted of 4 sausages before one final work and a delectable reach to the X mark and finish. So, the biggest challenge of the race was the ‘bear away’ at the top mark and hanging on and hoping that the bows weren’t forced under. The 5th time around was the scariest with what looked like boiling water around the top mark. I eased everything, pulled up the centreboards before offering a small prayer and gingerly bearing away. The acceleration was sensational! I hung on (almost pooping my pants) but thankfully the T-foil rudders did their job and prevented the bows from going under.
Rather than wildly reaching directly to the X mark it seemed safer to sail straight downwind till I could sail close-hauled to the X Mark and home. If you thought I was thrilled to get off the water, you’re right!!
In other news...
Corrections have been made to all the Small and Large Cat results to handle DNF results properly as per the Sailing Instructions. Basically, when a boat has a DNF it should be given a score equal to the number of starters in the race + 1. By the way, last year’s results have been checked and all is well – no change to final placings there. Phew!
Next week is Point Score 13 for Small and Large Cats.
Large Cats are on Canteen Duty this week.
Hope to see you all there with fair weather and fairer wind!
Regards, Ross Boyd