Frou Frou travelled south to represent PKSC in the Marlay Point Overnight Yacht Race last weekend. For those of you who have sailed many a Marlay Point Race, you will understand when I say that the wind and weather we received during the race was not exactly as forecasted. Instead of the 10 to 15 knots north easterly forecast for the race we received a mixed bag of conditions.
The race started off in 20 to 25 knots of easterly, dead on the nose to the Plover Point mark. It made for a very bumpy and wet ride back and forth across Lake Wellington. McLennans Strait translated into a very puffy 5 to 20 knots from the mostly east that could take a boats off guard and occasionally round them up into the banks.
Once out of the straights the wind then veered more to the North East then north and dropped to 5 knots. It stayed like that all the way down Lake Victoria till we were in site of Painesville.
Then the mist rolled in so thick we could only see the reflective glow of our navigation lights. All landmarks disappeared and the wind dropped with only the occasional waft coming in from the north to propel us forward. For me and my crew the mist was the most peculiar disorientating sensation. Frou Frou had the benefit of a good compass, a GPS and Google Earth, and someone aboard, not me, who could work the technology to guide us through the gap between Raymond Island and the mainland without hitting anything. We heard lots of stories of boats running into the shore and not knowing which bit of the shore they had run into and which way was off.
The mist stayed thick on the shore causing a navigational hazard in these parts till well after 8 in the morning. Frou Frou was lucky to carry what was left of the breeze around Raymond Island to the finish running aground only once the remainder of the fleet ended up floating around with nothing till the sea breeze kicked in around 11am.
The Marlay Point Overnight Race is always a challenge for me, and this year was no exception. Frou Frou did very well.
This Saturday, Junior Camp and Championship 6
This coming Saturday is not only a championship race but a very important one where we take as many of the junior sailors out with us to give them a taste of the big course and an experience aboard a TY. It’s a fun event.
Please make the effort to turn up this Saturday so we can give as many kids as possible the opportunity to sail with us.
The end Trev