The fourth round of the sailing season was a corker. South Easterly breeze at around 10 -15 knots with up to 19 knot gusts and 21 degrees Celsius.
This week there were 6 cat catamarans rigged up. Tony Sanderson, Paul English, Bill Ledger, Ralf Steyer, Ross Fyfe and myself. Catching up with Bob Porter Jnr (sailing a TY with Bob snr this week), he advised that he and Johnny should be back with the 5.8 Nacra next week. Also that Les was returning from overseas next weekend and should be back out on the water around the following weekend. Building back up the large cat numbers. Tony Sanderson rigged up his refurbished Windrush (alias Groove Thing) to test it out. And Ross Fyfe doing some setup adjustments on jib positioning had his craft on its side in the rigging area.
This week a big thanks to Leo Mavromatis and Richard Lech doing duty (filling in for Kurt caught up with work commitments). Setting a port course starting out front of the club house, windward mark half way along the shallows and the wing mark back near the reef.
This week the cats were out on the water in good time for the start. The onshore SE breeze making the lake pretty bumpy with plenty of white caps. With only the one large cat this week we told Paul he could start with small cats and he promised to start slightly behind so as not to interfere with the small cats club championship. However once started all bets were off.
The predicted abating wind strength did not eventuate and a fresh SE breeze kept blowing. Bill and Ross with their many years of experience deciding the wind conditions just a touch too strong leaving it to their younger peers and watch from shore. When milling around before the start Tony Sanderson hopped off in the shallows on the leeward side of Gooseberry island to carry out some adjustments, back in time for the start. Start sequence starting promptly and the small cats were away. This week Ralf on Dark Horse hitting the start line 1st followed by Tony on Groove Thing, followed by Hot Pepper and then Paul on Playtime. The cats started on starboard heading east toward the reef. With good wind strength all the cats getting out on trapeze wire. Dark horse pointing high with Groove Thing pointing a little lower going for speed and Hot pepper splitting the difference not quite as high as Dark Horse. Playtime on a similar line to Dark Horse. Once nearing the reef the cats tacked heading up towards the middle of the lake. Plenty of spray as the cats punched through the waves. Another tack rounding the top mark. Dark Horse leading Playtime followed by Hot Pepper then Groove Thing. At this point Dark Horse already opening a lead over Hot Pepper and Groove Thing. Play Time staying in touch. A great reach was had down to the wing mark. You had to take care running down the backs of waves so as not to dig the nose in. Once around the wind mark it was a broad reach to the start just a touch tight so having to point up a little to maximise speed and drop in a jibe to get down to the mark. On the work back up the lake Hot Pepper stayed on port tack up the lake skimming past the east side of Gooseberry Island. Dark Horse and Playtime tacking at Gooseberry. We crossed paths again at the top mark. Dark Horse and then Playtime still holding a good lead. I think it was at this point that Tony on Groove Thing was caught on the wrong side when tacking and capsized, getting up without too much trouble however loosing touch with the pack. A great tussle was had between Playtime and Dark Horse. This week Ralf on Dark Horse back to his best leading the way. On the last triangle and then windward to finish dark horse and playtime continued to lead trailed by Hot Pepper. Groove Thing capsizing again when tacking to head up for the final run to the windward mark. With the duty boat at hand the other cats headed to the finish.
Ralf on Dark Horse sailing particularly well leading the Nacra 16 squared of Paul English home. Once back on shore it was noted that Groove thing was still capsized and having difficulty in righting. Bill Ledger grabbed some binoculars to monitor things more closely and he advised that a flying 11(Andrew Mavromatis and Jesse Panozo) was capsized nearby and that the crew from it were giving Tony a hand in combination with the duty boat to right his craft, eventually succeeding. When giving Tony a hand getting his boat out of the water to derig we found out that the mast had filled with water making it near impossible to right. Tony sporting a nice choc top spending time to remove the lake mud from his sail.
Scratch times across the finish line.
Ralf Steyer - Dark Horse- 6286 - Windrush super sloop – 15:31:07
Paul English - Playtime – 70 – Nacra 16 square – 15:32:22
Hugh Lewis - Hot Pepper – 6327 – Windrush super sloop – 15:38:00
Tony Sanderson - Groove Thing – 6346 - Windrush super sloop – DNF
Bill Ledger - Billyo - 182 – Nacra 14 square – DNS
Ross Fyfe – Yabby – 6421 - Windrush super sloop – DNS
Regards Hugh Lewis