We proceeded to start rigging our craft and reacquainted with few of the Swan Lake locals. With a pleasant 10 knot NE breeze the PKSC catamarans went for a morning sail in the cat rigged no trapeze format of the race instructions. Ross Fyfe didn’t head out having come down a little later. The water spray was very pleasant temperature and by sailing around the lake gave the opportunity for people to check out the location of the marks. We came back in around 12:30pm and proceeded to have a little lunch and catch up with our fellow competitors. Geoff Reed advising that he had finished his home renovations and advised he planned on returning to PKSC this half of the season once he returned from A/L in 2 weeks time.
As the race start time of 2pm got closer more and more boats were rigged up. I was told we had a total of 16 boats prepared to race.
By start time the wind had picked up and was blowing an estimated solid 20 knots. Take off from the beach was quite shallow for more than 50 metres before you could lower your rudders. Care had to be taken when going thru the start that you didn’t go too close to the shore shallows. Once away from the start on starboard the 1st work was pretty challenging as the wind had kicked up plenty of waves and chop plus the wind strength mad keeping the windward hull down a challenge. The cats headed towards the island then tacked over to the 1st rounding mark on the northern shore. Once round this mark another work over to the NW rounding mark 5. Then a screaming easterly broad reach back down towards the start rounding mark. At around 20 knots the small cats screamed along and when the stronger gusts came through there was a bit of hanging on for the ride leaning back as far as possible to keep the nose of the cats from submarining.
Once around the start rounding mark a perfect around 70 degree reach was had to the SW gate. This was the pick of the runs as you could control the sail power and power up as much as you felt confident. I experienced and witnessed a number of good hull nose burials in particular on this leg. A nice work down to the southern rounding mark then a work back over to the next Northern rounding mark. This area was the choppiest on the lake making it a challenge. As the race continued it was a case of attrition. At the time Jack Kroek’s was leading the race was brought to an abrupt end when he buried the nose gybing around the NW mark when a big gust came thru causing him to cart wheel. Unfortunately Jack was unable to continue as he damaged his tiller arm.
As the race progressed the 16 finally dropped down to 7.The first 4 positions filled by the local Maricat boys and then Paul Leaudais, Tony Sanderson and myself.
Once back onshore we de-rigged and packed our gear. Swan Lake sailing club presentation was shore side on the purpose club house benches.
For those remaining proceedings continued over to swan haven where a beachside BBQ and further presentations and speeches and sledging were in order. The 2017 Cuddy Cup winner having the obligatory sip of amber fluid from the winners’ cup. An enjoyable afternoon was had by all and the remaining PKSC folks headed home around 8:30pm a bit stiff and the odd cramp from the battering from the elements received through the day. Leaving the remaining locals to continue celebrations into the evening.
Regards Hugh Lewis