Race 2 Winter Handicap Series
With race day approaching, the social media pages started to light up Saturday evening, all eyes were on the forecast which was predicted to be wet and windy. Come Sunday morning, a few sailors were coming up with all sorts of excuses to avoid the day and stay dry under blankets wearing their Ugg boots and sipping green tea. Those who showed up were pleasantly surprised, a steady ESE breeze with no rain. Though the rigging lawn was extremely damp and muddy in places. One unsuspecting driver decided to go 4WDing and needed some assistance after becoming slightly bogged.
A total of seven boats were all prepped and ready to go so the decision was made to start racing early. One race of three laps on our usual Southerly course, a handicapped beach start with 31 minutes between the first and last boat. Lex and Julie led the fleet out in the still-unnamed Pacer and Peter Fell as tail-end Charlie had his work cut out to chase down the pack. By the time Pete left the harbour, Lex had already completed the first lap. On the second lap Mon in her trusty Laser “Rolling Stone”, was about to mow down Lex when she performed an unscheduled dry capsize walk over. This all looked very impressive, without getting wet but cost enough time to allow Mark in “Keenas” and Kate in “Bluey” to pass her and battle for second position. Guy sailed nice and steady in “Squitle” opting not to fly the kite today. Peter was making ground quickly at the end of the second lap running his full rig Laser when the wobbles got the better of him sending him for a swim.
The final lap was going to be the decider with the handicap coming into effect, compressing the fleet. With the majority of boats beating upwind to the top mark, the conditions started to find top gear and turn ugly as a squall came over. The wind gusts became very shifty, heading towards the 20knot mark. This appeared to cost Lex his strong lead and sent Mon for a Tweed River temperature check. Around this time, another boat was spotted upside down Miss Jane, up towards the top mark. Due to the distance, the shore crew could not make out which craft it was. Until it was righted, and they recognised the easily recognisable sail. (More on this later)
By the time most were at the bottom of the course on the last lap the wind started to behave itself allowing for an easy finish. “Bluey” in first, closely followed by “Keenas” and “Rolling Stone” third, all receiving applause from the shore. Mon enjoyed her sail so much she could be heard talking it up all the way to the ramp. The final boat crossed 9 minutes after the first, which isn’t bad for a 90-minute race, well done, Kate for crunching the numbers. Also, a big shout out to Bryan for manning the safety boat in miserable conditions at times, if you weren’t sailing that is.
Post-race and pack up, results and prizes were shared along with excuses and stories.
Now in the words of the skipper from the mystery capsize, “it would’ve been hard to believe that it was me that had gone over”. The crew of “Gidget” were blaming the skipper; the skipper was blaming the crew. This would require further investigation and has been sent to the video ref. via social media, if you haven’t seen the video, do yourself a favour and make up your own mind. Another fun day had by all. Back in 2 weeks with sunshine guaranteed.
Words by Adam Andrewartha