What can I say? Conditions for today race were clear and very windy. Estimates wind strengths during the race were 25 knots with gusts well above.
The strong wind caused dramas even before race start, but, it did show me a different side to our clubs strong tradition of competitive sailing and one I am proud to write about. It’s the just as strong tradition of lending a hand if you can to anyone in trouble.
The first example of this was when Bob Porter sailed out and jumping off his dads boat specifically to assist a capsized Jodi right her craft and then help her sail back to the rigging area. No doubt Jodi has already expressed her appreciation but thank you Bob and Rob for lending an expert hand in the difficult sailing conditions.
Then it was the turn of the duty crew, Les Dino and Brendon who, noticing a struggling upturned boat pulled up anchor from the starting line just before the start in order to render assistance to an upturned Hugh Lewis. They were successful in pulling the upturned cat in a direction that allowed Hugh to extract the cats mast out of the mud and right it. Haven’t we all been there before? And by the way, Hugh went on to finish the race with his new black topped mainsail. The duty boat then returned to its station to commence the starting sequence and get us all on our way.
Special thanks must go to Dino and Brendon for stepping in as duty crew at the last minute to assist Les Porter. It they knew how busy they would be maybe they would not have agreed, and who would blame them. It demonstrated to me again that sailing can be very challenging when conditions turn nasty and, what a vital and important role the duty crew play in looking out for us when we are on the water, a role we need to share between us as club members.
I suppose I should write something about the race because there were some interesting moments for the 4 TYs who lined up for the start and by the way, overcame various moments of difficulty during the race to all finish intact.
I can offer as evidence of how strong the wind was the fact that Rosstered Offs crew of Jim, Richard, Shaun and Dave put in a reef. This is the first time I have ever seen Rosstered Off with a reefed main. We estimate that there would have been gusts over 30m knots. The other TYs starting today were Serenity with Wayne Joel and Dale aboard, The Blonde with John and Ray aboard and Frou Frou with Alan, Peter, Ian and me aboard.
Serenity and The Blonde showed surprisingly good speed off the starting line in the heavy conditions while the big and little Ross’s were, at times, struggling to maintain control in the gusts. Frou Frou was looking famous approaching the top mark just behind Rosstered Off when she ran hard aground and had a lot of difficulty getting free by which time Rosstered Off and Serenity were just disappearing sails in the distance and The Blonde only a matter of boat lengths behind rounding the top mark.
At this early stage of the race the wind appeared to be increasing with the TY skippers displaying not often used discretion and putting away spinnakers for the first reach and run.
During one of the runs or perhaps it was up the second windward leg Serenity snapped her vang creating extra activity for the crew, and allowing Frou Frou to slip past about half way up the work.
The Blonde seemed to be revelling in the conditions. She easily coped with the strong wind and steep waves to take out line honours just ahead of Rosstered Off.
From my perspective the best part of today’s race was the dropping sails over the finishing line and the motor back to the launching ramp It was tough conditions and we all had to work hard to finish in one piece.
Final Places for Poinscore 16
Places Boat Name Corrected time PBH (minutes)
First The Blonde 87.49
Second Serenity 88.73
Third Rosstered Off 94.99
Forth Frou Frou 95.35
See you at next week’s race.
The end Trev