Forty-eight people took to the water in twenty-four boats at Fingal head on Sunday for the second of the pursuit (handicap) start winter series races on Sunday the 27th of June. Clear skies and 10 knots of southerly breeze made for great racing and some new names to the club and on the winner’s list.
Kate Ausburn and her children Charlie and Flynn after completing a sailing course up at Southport took on one of the Tweed Valley Sailing Clubs Pacers and impressed all by completing the three-lap racecourse on the Tweed River. Mellisa Le Roux and Amber Benoit raced an NS14 together for the first time and also made their way around the course with some style.
After a little confusion around the starting time, the early starters were away. Epic (Jason Hogan), One Too Many (Michael Grace), Impulsive Matt (Mellisa Le Roux) and the two Pacers all came to the top mark within a stone’s throw of each other. It became clear on the first downwind leg back towards Fingal head that the two corsairs, One Too Many and Epic were in for a battle that would last the whole race with the lead changing constantly. There could be no doubt that they would both need to sail well to fend off the fast-moving Lasers of Wayne Culph in Flight V, Peter Fell in Dread Nought and Lex Branch in Splatter, not to mention the ever-present Andy Lamont and his crew in Monoply (Corsair).
Not all went as planned for some of the chasing boats as they pushed hard to make up some distance. Craig Foley on the corsair Gidget had some spinnaker problems at the gybe mark and John Hayward and his crew felt the cold of the river when they capsized their Corsair Capers towards the end of the race giving the armchair admirals something to shake their heads about from the shore. Club regular Dave Chester in his Hobie 16 was the fastest boat on course, Igor Prado and Anthony Butler in their Hobie 14’s also provided some colour and spectacle in the way that catamarans can.
The low tide just after start time provided another obstacle for the sailors which often came into play when approaching the western shore with the ever-moving sands of the Tweed River coming into play on more than one occasion.
Within sight of the finish line Michael Grace was passed by Wayne Culph to win by just a few seconds with Peter Fell crossing for third less than a minute later. Epic, Monopoly and Kate Yeomans in Bluey (laser) rounded out the top six.
Another fun and active day was had by all and we will do it all again in two weeks time. Anyone is welcome to join and perhaps get a spot to crew.
Our Juniors program will begin again during the September school holidays. If you’re interested in joining us for that, then please join the mailing list on our website, to be notified of updates.
by Matt Andrews