Race Report by Christine Veal from One Mo' Time
Action packed and thrilling! And that was just the journey to the start line. Steel Sapphire girded their leecloths, cast their lines and passed Navy Buoy 3 a full 23 hours before the start boat "Wherever" was in position. Their estimated time before start was -22 hours. Skipper Peter Bernard was heard to mutter to Jen something about Lord Howe Island being the next mark before shanghaiing Peter and Donna Kent and heading out between the heads.
For the rest of the fleet Sunday dawned sunny and fair. Winds were a gentle 10-15 knots from the east swinging round to the north during the race. Celete (or as she will be known in the future - Ceelleettee) welcomed aboard 2 new crew members. After an impressive 13 seconds time after start both Alan and Tony were heard joining in the chorus to "Hit me baby, one mo time". We have been assured there was no twerking on the foredeck.
One Mo Time had a shaky start as they scanned the horizon in vain for their arch rival Attila, they quickly recovered for a fast pursuit to the Manly marks. Flying the Spinnaker they made ground on Martela where the crew had finally worked out which of their headsails they should be flying. As usual Rowan had searched through his (sail) wardrobe and discovered he had nothing to wear.
The pace hotted up, the sprint from Clark island to the finish line had all three boats in sight of victory. Tony's coaching of Sally the new Helm's person showed dividends with Celete crossing the line 1min 32 seconds in front. Martela and One Mo Time were locked in a battle of wits and clashing booms. Alan Rintoul's ancient knowledge of the harbour winds and nerve finally prevailed with Martela crossing the line 3 seconds before One Mo Time.
Back at the Blues Point Hotel there was momentary panic when the calculations showed Martela had crossed the start line -1.40mins early! Who would tell Martela! The fearless Commodore was pushed to the fore, surely he had the courage to break the news! Would Martela really go out and sail the course again! And there was still no sign of Steel Sapphire, had they really gone to Lord Howe in search of the race mark! The tension and the rumours mounted as we waited for Rowan to finally make his entrance. Then all was saved as someone remembered Martela's handicap had been adjusted at the last meeting. A collective sigh of relief defused the moment as everyone settled down to their beers ready for the prize giving where indeed everyone was a winner - especially Steel Sapphire who are still heading for Lord Howe Island. Bon Voyage and thanks again to our hosts at Blues Point Hotel.