(Point score 2 and Club Championship 1 for small catamarans)
It is amazing what a difference 7 days makes. We had a much warmer sunny 30 degree day with a predicted 14 to 20 knot NW breeze. See below for snapshot of the days actual wind speeds and temperature from HOLFUY.
In addition Les Porter defecting to his laser, Rob Porter senior with Johnny and youngster doing duty. Bill Ledger helping out with finishes. Norm also coming down.
This week wind predictions varied around 15 – 20 knots form the notoriously variable westerly direction. There was plenty of discussion and website research regards wind trends and forecasts, would the wind strength be above our sailing limit guideline of consistently over 25 knots?
After a trusty burger and briefing the response boat went out on the lake to test the new wind meter. A final review of Holfuy and similar websites looked like whilst strong the wind should stay below 25 knots. Hence it was decided to proceed and racing was on.
Chris Malcolm taking his new crew member out early. The wind blowing quite strongly from a NW direction. Typical westerly Wind strength oscillating. The experienced Tony Zahra assessing the conditions deciding call it a day and not to go out. The rest of us optimistically rigging our boats. Nearing launch time a good gust coming thru and white caps could be seen across the lake and Ross Fyfe even though chafing at the bit for a sail also deciding he would stay ashore.
Duty crew of Rob Porter snr and Johnny (with youngster) setting a port course. Start line over near the Primbee shallows, bottom mark out front of club house and wing mark out towards middle of the lake.
Hot Pepper and Dark Horse first of the small catamarans launching after 2:00pm. A few hundred metres offshore a strong westerly gust coming through. Hot Pepper rounding up and when looked down Dark Horse had done the same (afterwards looking at HOLFUY we think it was the 34 knot gust recorded). Hot Pepper then continuing out to the lee of Gooseberry Island. Looking over to the middle of the lake Chris Malcolm and crew on Altered moving very quickly on a work, spray flying. Hot Pepper then looking over to the start line checking out the Ty’s and monos. Sitting in the lee for a while with gusts swirling around the island blowing the mainsail from different directions. During this period I suspect the 44 knot gust (recorded by Holfuy) came thru testing those in more exposed locations. It was then Hot Pepper noticed Dark Horse deciding to call it a day heading back to shore. Also one of the TY’s had taken down their sails and was motoring back to the boat harbour. It appeared that racing was called off so Hot pepper too headed back to shore getting buffeted by gusty winds and white capped waves. Jack Pot and Groove Thing seeing the conditions chose to derig rather than get their feet wet.
In the last 10 years or so I have been involved with the club you could depend on Bill Ledger coming down catamaran in tow week in week out. Always willing to share his experience and knowledge with anyone willing to listen. In particular in his favourite light airs Bill still happy to give us a sailing lesson. Now Bill, who will be 81 later this year, has decided to hang up the shackle key, retiring from sailing the catamaran. His 14 square has already been snapped up by Rob Porter snr, so will stay in the club.
Bill started sailing at Port Kembla Sailing Club in 1980 when his son was interested in sailing. Unfortunately the Navy transferred his son to Melbourne. Luckily for PKSC Bill continued to sail the Windrush by himself. Bill gradually improved until he was consistently behind the top 5 at PKSC. He developed a reputation for sailing well in light airs, not as good in heavy weather. Bill humbly mentioned that his best results were a couple of 3rds in the Windrush states, “after a number of elite sailors had moved on”. Due to a back problem Bill switched to a Nacra and continued to do well with a 3rd and 5th in the nationals. Bill has always been involved with the PKSC and has held positions such as assistant secretary, secretary, vice president and president and has also been involved with juniors. He has also held the liquor licence for around 30 years and been on the committee for a similar period. Bill is also a life member. After some issues with hired cleaners around 21 years Bill took over club house cleaning duties and has been cleaning the club ever since. Bill said he still intends to be an active club member continue coming down and helping out with finishes or fill in for a duty etc. and of course have a hamburger.
- AGM next week 11am Saturday 22nd of September 2018. Come along and be a part of the committee.
- Ross Fyfe has donated some old fibre glass batons free to a good home. Located at club house on table near front black board.
- Ralf Steyer plans to spray bindies on the grounds this week.