Small Cat Report 22nd September 2018
Five small cats turned up for point score #3, Jody, Hugh, Ross, Ralf and a new face Jacob Abeleven sailing an older Windrush Pedro, plus Tony Sanderson and Jack Kroek on rescue duty.
The weather was good and the wind looked like it was going to be kind to us, once we all rigged we headed out, Jacob went out a bit earlier to get a feel for the lake.
Once we got out to the middle of the lake the wind was a LOT stronger than forecast, no one felt too comfortable before the start, I personally had trouble tacking and had to gybe a number of times to get around including just before the start when I ended up too far down the start line. The start line became very port biased because the start boat was dragging an anchor, but I was already committed to starting starboard. As the “gun” went Dark Horse was powered up and at speed slightly late and heading towards Gooseberry Island, Jody and Hugh stared a bit later, I’ll have to lend them my watch, Hugh was too far down the line to start on starboard so gybed and headed towards the eastern shore. I didn’t actually see Jody start but Hugh told me afterwards that he had to stay clear of her on starboard, not sure where Jacob and Ross were at this stage. Just realised I don’t have a watch so I’ll have to teach them to count down the last minute, 60 +59 +58 etc.
Tacking at the island was very hard, 3rd attempt making it, then across in the direction of the top mark near Dixie’s, tacking was better up this end of the lake, Hot Pepper sailed all the way to the shallows at Primbee and tacked, this looked like the better direction given that he was able to tack first go, he made up some ground from his late start, unfortunately he wasn’t high enough to lay the mark and had to tack two more times.
The reach to the mark half way between the island and the shore was very fast, both Hugh and Ralf took the “safe” option and didn’t go out on wire, the gybe at the wing mark was “hang on tight and hope for the best”,
The next leg was back to the base mark and more comfortable, I was contemplating calling it a day when I reached the wing mark but the wind had eased a bit so I kept going, I’m not sure if it was this leg or the next time around the wing mark I spotted Jacob had capsized, he was safe trying the right his cat so I left him to it.
The next work was a typical NE one, round the mark work to the shallows tack, pass the “Hulfuy” marker and try to lay the top mark, bad luck, two more tacks them windward return, at this stage I spotted Jody on Blue Tongue sailing towards the top mark, a leg behind but still out there, she indicated afterwards that the first part of the race she was only a passenger hanging on.
The rest of the race was uneventful, final placings Dark Horse followed by Hot Pepper, +3 m30s, then Jacob on Pedro followed by Jody on Blue Tongue. Well done Jody continuing to sail a leg and finishing in fairly extreme conditions. Ross dropped out at some stage during the race or before the start. Not sure if Jacob started or sailed the course but good to see he survived the day and had a “chock top main” to show he has been on “The Lake”
Ralf the Dark Horse skipper.
1. It was good to see a new young and keen cat sailor come down to test his skills and looking at learning more about the art of sailing. Paul English initially making contact in the northern suburbs and inviting him to come along. Although new to sailing Jacob said he had been launching in the ocean and had sailed up to Stanwell Park. Even managed to surf a few waves. This week being his 1st ever race and even in the stiff breeze he wasn't afraid to test out the trapeze. He said he appreciated the advice and was keen to come back again the next race, looking to improve.
2. Kurt Griffiths dropping by with his lovely wife and new born (I think only a couple of weeks old). Already started familiarizing the youngster to the sailing environment.