Whist setting up his craft, Paul English not letting a slight mis-adventure damaging his trampoline stopping him from sailing, borrowed some tape for temporary repair. The onshore breeze reasonably stiff at times whipping up a few white caps across the lake before race time. After a trusty burger, drink and briefing the catamaran sailors went out carrying out the final touches before setting sail. Once out on the Lake various sailors headed out checking out location of the buoys before congregating out near the start between Gooseberry Island and the club house. This week a port course was set starting between Gooseberry Island and Club house, windward mark out towards the mid shallows near Holfuy mud stick and wing mark over near the entrance to Illawarra yacht club.
A short, stiff shower washed down the craft as they waited. As the countdown got to the last minute the small cats started moving toward the line. Once the start hooter went they got away without incident on starboard tack parallel to the shore line. Most getting out on trapeze for this first leg heading toward the reef. One or two tacking off early to get clear air. The majority tacking once they got to the reef. A good work was had up to the windward mark a bit shy of the lay line, hence another tack was required to make the mark. Once around the top mark an excellent broad reach was had directly down to the wing mark, flying along parallel to the shallows. Plenty of speed seeing spray flying with small cats jockeying for positions. Once around the wing mark another great broad reach was had back along the shore to the start buoy. The majority of the small cat fleet still hadn’t spread too much and was within reasonable striking distance of each other. Once around the start buoy a short work up towards Gooseberry Island then tack and work over towards the shallows. The good wind strength allowing a nice trapeze leg then tack up towards the windward mark. The windward return leg followed a similar path with broad reach towards the reef and then gybe back along the shoreline to the starting buoy. The final triangle saw Chesha have a slight mishap going for a dip, tiller extension pole being a casualty. The final run from windward to X and finish saw a great broad reach run down towards the reef before gybing and heading along the shore to the X mark. Depending on how deep you went determining if you could make it directly to the X or had to gybe again to make it around the X. When heading around the X mark to the finish line the wind started to pick up making for a lively work to the line. As can be seen below there were some tight tussles all the way to the finish line.
Scratch times(not adjusted) across finish line were as follows:
15:37:28 Tony Zahra 526 "White Wave" Maricat S/Sloop
15:37:47 Jack Kroek 6306 "Jack Pot" Windrush S/S
15:38:38 Ralf Steyer 6286 "Dark Horse" Windrush S/S
15:39:07 Tony Sanderson 6392 "Groove Thing" Windrush S/Sloop
15:41:50 Hugh Lewis 6327 “Hot Pepper” Windrush S/Sloop
DNF: Paul Monaghan 3112 "Chesha" Windrush S/Sloop
DNF: Bill Ledger 182 "Billyo" Nacro 14 sq.
DNF Ross Fyfe 6421 "Yabby" Windrush S/Sloop
DNC Greg McPherson Windrush
As the last of the small cats were brought up onshore and were starting to derig dark clouds and a thunder storm came thru complete with lightning and a stiff 30 knot breeze and heavy rain. On seeing the nose of Ralf’s craft lift up (thinking it was being blown over) I race over pulling the nose back down. Ralf then looked up asking what are you doing as I realised that he was crouched under the front of the trampoline removing his beach wheels. Initially the lightning was a reasonable distance away however it started to get closer and closer and the rain heavier. One particularly close lightning strike Ralf could see sparks on his rigging and myself and Les Porter feel a slight tingle through our hands contacting the rigging. This prompted a retreat to the club house to let the lightning storm pass over. The heavy rain filling the drain and it flooded flowing over the rigging area . A sheet of water flowing over the rigging area several inches deep washing over the shoreline making the rigging area look like a lake.
As we looked out from the club house the visibility dropped off noticeably and then we started to hear hail slowly at first then developing into a thunderous roar bombard the club house roof. And also all the cars and craft. Hail up to around 20c in diameter thundering down. Some of us with newer vehicles wincing helplessly at the thought of hail damage. Solid streams of water was spraying out of the new Hayden down pipes.
The only folks struck out on the Lake in these horrendous conditions were the duty crew and the TY’s no doubt feeling a little vulnerable in the strong wind, rain, lightning and hail.
There was various tales to be told including Kurt Griffiths rescuing my tiller extension before it was washed into the lake. Junior sailor Caiden offering a hand which was used as a safe place to climb rescuing a lizard before it was washed into the Lake.
Regards Hugh Lewis