After almost 5 weeks away in Europe, each time when viewing sailing craft on Lochs in Scotland, Mediterranean and United Emirates drew my thoughts to the sailing activities on Lake Illawarra. Hence I finally had my opportunity to get back out on the water at Lake Illawarra. I had been keeping in touch reading the weekly reports when WiFi allowed. So I was aware of windy conditions and the excellent Paul English Ballad report, and Ralf’s great finish the previous week. It was great to be back. After some discussion and a famous PKSC burger and briefing we ventured out on the lake.
Thanks to Rob Porter and crew who were on duty and set the course. With the NE breeze they set the start line out near the middle of the lake out front of the club house, windward mark over near the entrance to IYC and wing mark out front of the club house. The course encompassing an IYC course to test sailors' ability to identify correct rounding buoys. Rob Porter senior sporting a boot since chipping a bone in his foot, Ralf Steyer on Dark Horse sporting a new flat top sail. Once setting sail from shore the wind strength picked up a little once away from the shore wind shadow. Many choosing to check out the course and confirm which buoys were PKSC marks.
On the way out Yabby after a long break decided not to race but re-familiarise closer to shore. Greg McPherson with young crew was seen cruising around out on the lake have a blast. My wrist watch having met its end at Rhodes left me watching my fellow sailors and counting down out aloud for the small cats start. Majority of small cats got away cleanly on starboard tack down towards Gooseberry Island. Wind strength allowing use of the trapeze. Already at this stage Grey Fox, Groove Thing, Dark Horse and White Wave shaping up for a good tussle. Hot Pepper noticing that trapeze wires wrapped around side stays so lost a little time rectifying (rather than risk a trapeze wire failing).
The small cat hulls cutting thru the waves spray flying as the craft made their way to the top mark. The moderate winds giving plenty of wind strength. Billyo taking the foot off the peddle a little being a little over powered in the wind conditions. When rounding the top mark Billy catching a clip behind the ear when his mainsail swung over and decided to head back in. At around the wing mark on the first triangle Symphony 2 started to catch the small cat field. A great angle on the run down from the top mark made for some excellent screaming reaches, particularly when a little stronger gust came thru. Causing a few moments for some with occasional bow nose dipping below the water line. Spray flying as their craft skated across the lake surface.
Chesha having a gear failure in the traveller resulting in a frustrating slow motion almost ballet like nose dive. Paul hanging off his upper hull trying to recover the situation. The first 4 small cats finished just over a minute apart, this is an indication of how tight the racing was. Ralf Steyer on Dark Horse stamping his authority for second week running being first across the line. Next across the line was Tony Sanderson on Groove Thing and a few seconds later Paul Leaudais on Grey Fox. Closely followed by Tony Zahra still getting used to sailing one-up with different setup. Next small cats across the line were Hugh Lewis on Hot Pepper and Jody Mathews on Blue Tongue. See results page for further details.
Reminder next week no club sailing. F11 regatta. Anyone able to give a hand greatly appreciated.
Kembla Klassic coming up 26th and 27th November 2016
Regards Hugh Lewis