Although the weather forecast was for possible light showers and moderate east south easterly winds, the black clouds encroaching from the north threatened to put a damper on today’s race. We found out later that the clouds were dumping heavy rain on Sydney and our MJ kids sailing this weekend’s round of the State Titles at Manly. No doubt they handled it OK.
As for us old blokes (mostly blokes today) the conditions, although a little overcast, accurately reflected the forecasted predictions of winds below 10 knots and shifting from south east to north east and back during the afternoon. Today we had one of our biggest fleet numbers for the season to date, with a sizable roll up of cats and dinghies, plus 4 TYs entering the race. Today we also welcomed back Nirvana 7 for the first time this season with Keith, Rudy and a new crew member, Andrew, a parent of one of our junior sailors sailing in the afternoon’s race. On the starting line we also had The Blonde with John and Ray aboard, Grey Fox with Digger and Leo aboard and Frou Frou with Peter, Alan and me aboard.
The wind shifted more to the south at the beginning of the race favouring the leeward end start and port tack. Frou Frou and The Blonde took advantage of the shift and made some important gains up the first work. Frou Frou rounded the top mark first ahead of Nirvana 7, Grey Fox and The Blonde.
Conditions remained shifty and light for the rest of the race providing lots of opportunities to make big gains on the works, reaches and runs if you happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Seeing the dark clouds closing in and becoming more menacing and the wind fading, our experienced duty crew for today, Rob and Dave, made a good call to shorten the course so we all had an opportunity to finish and get home before inclement conditions made it unpleasant and possibly dangerous. It’s always a difficult call for a duty crew, who must keep an eye on competitors in a mixed fleet with significant speed crew competency differences, to make decisions about shortening a course or to let a race continue. Where there are concerns about changing weather conditions we should always expect that the duty crew make a decision that puts the safety of the fleet as their priority. Those aboard Frou Frou were pleased to get ashore and packed away in case the bad weather hit.
Final results, Pointscore 10
Places Boat Name Corrected time PBH (minutes)
First Frou Frou 71.66
Second Nirvana 75.54
Third The Blond 75.99
Fourth Grey Fox 81.91