A great turnout of thirteen (13) catamarans (11 racing) came down to compete in the final Point score round 23 and Club Championship round 8. A distinctively red sailed Hobie 18 was in early rigging up and could easily be seen when approaching the club. A southern highlands sailor having come down to try out our facility with two crew members. They were rigged by around 10am and went out whilst the wind conditions were almost calm and as a result didn’t get too far in the ensuing 1 ½ hours. They came back in and sampled our club burgers before heading back out around 12:30pm when a light SE breeze kicked back in. This resulted in a much better experience.
After lunch briefing, Barry Grant and Ray Stanley manned the response boat. They set a port course with the start just out east of Gooseberry Island, Wind ward mark over towards middle of the shallows and the wing mark beside western side of the reef. A couple of the keener and more organised crews such as Whitewave and Pilot Error getting out a bit earlier than the rest to check out the course and conditions. Initially the breeze quite nice at around 6 to 8 knots from SE. Starts got away pretty much spot on time. With a port bias on the line the small cats all headed down the pin end and started on port tack. With anticipation the cats crowding the line the hooter went off and they were away. An uncharacteristic error saw White Wave cross the line early and have to come back and go around the start pin and through the start line again. This resulting in them having to chase the pack on the 1st work to the windward pin. Due to shifting breeze White Wave chose to pinch and were able to get very close to the windward mark on the 1st work. Due to pointing higher than majority of their rivals they kept in touch with the pack. Billyo liking the lighter conditions and set a good pace early. It was at this point that the faster big cats started to catch the small cats.
On the reach down to the wing mark the catamarans started to spread out a little. Once round the wing mark most (except some of the cat rigged) heading back over towards the middle of the lake and jibing back to the bottom mark. As the race progressed the wind dropped off. Hot Pepper was pretty much able to pinch and almost make the windward mark directly on the last 2 works. Rounding the windward mark for the last time Hot Pepper caught right up with Groove Thing. However Groove Thing was able to maintain a lead on the final leg home in the testing conditions.
At certain times particularly on the last leg of the last triangle and on the way to the line the old cassette tapes hung straight down and the boats were becalmed. This week wasn’t Dark Horse’s and he found it was pretty frustrating and slow going. A bit of playful banter was heard late towards the end of the race from way across the mirror surface of the lake. Something along the lines of, “Haven’t you heard of a course shortening flag”?
Whitewave capping off another dominant performance even after giving the rest of the fleet a head start. Leading all the other small catamarans across the line. Closely followed by Billyo, The Jack Pot, Groove Thing chased by Hot Pepper the Dark Horse. Blue Tongue deciding to call it a day early with the at times frustratingly light conditions. With the last of the boats getting in at around 5pm with light fading fast the street lights were turning on during de-rigging. Afterwards a number of sailors talked about the days sailing and had an end of year fish and chips and socialise.
Finish times were as follows:
1. The Season has ended, however a few of the catamaran folks are planning to sail an informal winter series. Last Saturday of each month start at 1pm. No response boat or club facilities. Anyone wanting to come along more than welcome.
2. If a nice day a couple of people were talking about maybe Anzac day 25/04/2016 for a sail. Again if interested feel free to come down
3. Presentation night Saturday 7th May 2016. Buy your tickets online on the PKSC website. Movie star character theme.
4. As the small catamaran delegate I would like to thank all the club members and volunteers that make club racing possible. Everything from the canteen, regattas, maintenance, duties, newsletter, website and alike. Also thanks to fellow catamaran sailors creating a friendly helpful atmosphere making sailing at PKSC a pleasurable experience.
5. In recent weeks three (3) new potential catamaran sailors have come down and talked to a few of the members. Hopefully they have been convinced to come along next season and boost our race day fleet.
Regards Hugh Lewis