After 3 attempts to conduct Race 5 were foiled by too much wind, the decision was made to postpone it until the New Year, to allow the remainder of the Calendar to proceed as planned.
Race 6 duly got underway on schedule with one notable absentee. After 4 wins on the trot, and having been smashed on handicap one too many times, Attila had spat the dummy and sold the boat in a fit of pique.
Full scale war was narrowly averted when Wherever diplomatically conceded defeat to the South Korean warship that was stationed on the start line, although not before Charlie had offered the Commander a night with one of the bevvy of beauties on board Wherever in exchange for starting the race of with blast of their cannon.
When the commander declined, citing potential damage to other ships on the harbour, Charlie was heard to say – “that’s all right – just fire blanks – I’ve been doing it for 30 years and it’s working out fine for me!”.
The depleted fleet were at least augmented by the long awaited arrival of Martela – after a sorry tale of engine failure and delivery skipper shenanigans, David Swain finally was able to get the boat back to Sydney, and as she lined up in the pre-start, the remaining skippers were quivering in their boots at the prospect of a proper race boat in the fleet.
They needn’t have worried, however. In a clear sign that Martela was aiming to keep up BPYC’s unrivalled reputation for competence and professionalism, they promptly lost a (wo)man overboard before the race even started.
On to the race, and for the first time this season, a boat crossed the start line exactly on time. Celete’s glory was short lived, however, as Crooz repeated the feat some 14 minutes later, and set about hunting down Alan and Crew. On board Crooz was a secret weapon – Rob’s father Ian was clearly some kind of America’s Cup veteran, bringing with him a pair of his own sailing gloves and tall tails of dinghy sailing as a child.
As usual, there was as much focus on the food on board each boat as in the actual racing, and One Mo’time’s pie-replacing BBQ chook was nicely eclipsed by some hipster-style vegan blueberry muffins baked by Crooz’s Jess.
With guilt washing over him for hammering Attila’s handicap so much, Duncan on One Mo’ Time sportingly elected to wait a full minute and half after his start gun before crossing the line. As a further act of penance, he chose to sail half way up the harbour with a wine glass in his kite, before finally deciding that he really ought to try a bit harder.
As the fleet rounded the top mark at Manly and headed for Eastern Channel, Celete was in the lead, closely followed by Crooz. Peter and Jen sailed past on Steel Sapphire, on their way out the heads to test their new rig, and having waved at the first two boats, were astonished to find Attila in third place, screaming up the course, the new owner oblivious to the fact that he was maintaining the fine tradition of leaving One Mo’ Time trailing in his wake.
As Crooz rounded Shark Island with Celete in hailing distance, the call went up for the furling spinnaker to be brought out again. After a committee meeting on the foredeck which concluded that the sheets were set up not right they noticed that they had sailed past Celete under headsail anyway & were now leading. At that point the crew convinced the skipper that hoisting may see them sailing past the finish gate & missing it ….so they sensibly returned the furler & spinnaker its bag & sailed on to victory.
Although they finished a close second, Celete were well satisfied with their race, proudly boasting that they had made it round the course with just 1 tack and 0 jibes, thus enabling the crew to enjoy their beers in peace.
One Mo’ Time rounded out the podium, with Martela starting their BPYC career with an impressive 4th place (or last, depending on how you want to look at it).