At 11am the AGM took place with financials and then voting for new committee members. Resulting in a new small cats delegate “Ralf Steyer” and large cats delegate “Les Porter”. I relinquished my small cats delegate role to be “club Captain”.
After the AGM and a good burger, briefing and it was time to go out and rig our boats. By this stage it was after 1pm so there was a bit of a rush to get ready and out on the water.
Ralf was 1st to be ready and launch. Looking out over the lake the NE breeze was kicking in offering some great trapeze conditions. I asked Ross if he could see if Ralf was wearing a trapeze. “Must be one of those new slim line style harnesses you can’t easily see” Ross said. I tried yelling out to Ralf to check but without his hearing aids in he could not hear me continuing to launch and sail out towards Gooseberry Island. As Ross and myself followed Ralf out onto the water Ralf returned to guess what “put on his trapeze harness”. By this stage it was around 2:10pm and we agreed that if we missed the start we would simply start together. When we reached the start line the small cat sequence just started (be it delayed slightly) and we were ready for the start sequence count down.
Ralf on Dark Horse crossing the start 1st closely followed by Ross on Yabby then myself on Hot Pepper. Dark Horse and Yabby immediately out on wire heading off toward Gooseberry Island. Hot Pepper also out on wire but making up for being a little slower off the start line by working on pointing a little higher. Dark Horse tacked 1st followed by Hot Pepper and then Yabby, heading out towards the top mark. Hot Pepper pointing high was able to make the mark 1st, Dark Horse having to add an additional tack. After rounding the mark an excellent reach was had directly down to the wing mark having to hang back over the back corner to keep the hulls from nose diving. Spray flying and craft surging each time a wind gust came thru. Ross on Yabby had an issue with his jib and decided to head back to shore. Hot Pepper lead Dark Horse around the wind mark and again another nice reach down to the starting bouy. Dark Horse making up ground. Heading back to the windward mark we both headed out towards the shallows. However we couldn’t make the buoy on 1 tack and after heading north along the shallows had to put in 2 more tacks. When rounding the windward mark Hot Pepper was a little slow coming in off the wire when tacking around the mark, caught on the wire on the lee side. Only just able to release the main and bound over just before getting past the point of no return. Hot Pepper a little unsettled allowed Dark Horse to take the lead on the windward return back to the starting buoy.
Dark Horse making a round a 50m lead. Hot Pepper trailing Dark Horse around the starting buoy and working over towards the shallows on the second triangle. Pointing a little higher making up some ground. Dark Horse still making it around the buoy a few boat lengths in front. The final run back towards the starting line Dark Horse lead with Hot Pepper in pursuit. Getting closer to the buoy things were getting a bit tight with large TY “Rostered Off” reaching the buoy around the same time. This compressed us closer together. However I chose to give myself plenty of room and was a bit higher and able to back off. Dark Horse was pinching so couldn’t go too wide and tried to duck in between the TY and the buoy as they both rounded. Whether it was disturbed air or too close to the wind things didn’t quite work out as Dark Hose straddled the buoy. No doubt providing the Rostered Off crew a bit of entertainment. Hot Pepper couldn’t believe his luck and took off on the final work. Whilst Dark Horse did his 360 penalty.
Hot Pepper focussed on not making any mistakes taking a good lead on the final work over to the shallows and down to the windward mark. The final reach to X was a scream the wind strength having increased slightly. I was thinking of getting out on the wire but thought it a little risky and instead chose to work the mainsheet (often I cleat off when reaching). Luckily I had just taken main sheet into my hand and was able to drop some power when a 20 knot plus gust came thru causing the nose to dip and spray to fly.
With a commanding led Hot Pepper decided to go around the X across towards the shore before tacking givng plenty of room to work to the line. This almost spelt disaster as I couldn’t even get out on wire due to wind shadow affect of the shore line. Whilst agonising slowing heading towards the finish Dark Horse rounded the X and stayed out wide tacking and out on wire immediately speeding towards the finish. Hot Pepper realising his error headed back out towards the middle of the finish channel and was able to get out on the wire and hold off Dark Horses late challenge.
A great contest was had. Once onshore we were greeted by Ross lending a hand to bring our craft back on land. Commenting that it wasn’t often that he is the 1st packed up. After a shower a beer and a recount of the days sailing adventures with various club members it was time to head home.
No club sailing next week as we have the “TY Nationals”. All available cat sailors would be greatly appreciated to assist in lending a hand.
Also on Thursday at 7:30pm at the club house a special guest is available to run a rules night. All club members are invited to attend.
Regards Hugh Lewis