Race 2 of the Spring Series was shrouded in a series of mysteries from the very beginning.
What had become of the winning skipper from Race 1, and could his replacement maintain the momentum while creating a more relaxed, dare I say “feminine” vibe on board?
Would the returning owners of One Mo’ Time be able to put the unfair advantage of their recently conferred Yachtmaster status to good use?
Would having ex-Commodore Heyder on board sweep Celete to victory on the basis of decades of BPYC race officiating insider knowledge?
Would Twilight Zone be able to start the race before the first boat had finished?
And would Charlie be able to combine the roles of start-boat skipper, race starter and timekeeper all on his own without compromising his legendary commitment to entertaining his guests?
The last of these was answered in no time at all, when it became clear that the efficiency drive on board the committee boat extended to making the 5 minute gun redundant.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the fleet of just four took matters into their own hands and started the race at the appointed time anyway.
Celete roared into an early lead, if only because their start was some 14 minutes prior to Attila. When Attila did get under way, there was an unfamiliar calm about their demeanour. The usual debates on tactics and aggravated yelling was replaced with a long dissection of the remaining characters on the Bachelor, and no doubt discussion about cute puppies and knitting patterns played an even larger role than normal.
Meanwhile, excited at the unfamiliar feeling of being chased by a woman for the first time in years, Alan on Celete gave up playing hard to get and rolled over, allowing Attila to slip by near the top of the course.
One Mo’ Time elected to start under spinnaker, but their quick progress was somewhat hampered by Duncan and Christine’s new-found love of man overboard drills. After the 4th fender had been thrown overboard, a near mutiny occurred, not helped by the fact that there were only 6 pies on board for the 7 crew.
Befitting Duncan’s status as Donald Trump’s greatest supporter, the namby-pamby socialist idea of cutting one of the pies in half and sharing was quickly discarded in favour of disenfranchising the youngest and most vulnerable crew member.
Twilight Zone finally got underway some 35 minutes after Celete, and almost three minutes after their official start time. With Michelle at the helm, BPYC cemented it’s status as Sydney’s yacht club most committed to equality, and they quickly launched the spinnaker and got after the rest of the fleet. Too quickly it turned out, as they forgot the Eastern Channel mark and had to double back on themselves.
One Mo’ Time were also doing their bit to bolster BPYC’s reputation for navigational competence, just remembering in time which side of the cardinal mark to pass at Shark island under extreme duress from the crew.
On board Attila, all was serene, and discussions had turned to trying to decide whether Pete would have any role on the boat upon his return, beyond rail-meat and galley slave. Excitement mounted as they crossed the line in first place and took the gun, or they would have done, had Charlie not been below, doubtless having a close consultation with one of his guests about nautical matters.
A few hails from Attila brought him back on deck, and he gave a belated toot on his horn (not for the first time, we suspect), and gracefully remained there for the two minutes it took for One Mo’Time to follow them across the line, having finally run out of fenders to throw overboard.
In the meantime Twilight Zone were keeping it in the family. Having dispatched Baz and Max to join Celete’s crew, their loyalties were clearly confused, and after winning an epic tacking duel with Celete at Pinch Gut, they charged for the line crossing in third place before realizing they had missed out Navy Buoy 4 altogether, allowing Celete to take their spot on the podium.
All that remained was for Twilight Zone’s Matthew to chuck a wobbly at the navigational incompetence onboard, and dislocate his shoulder in a fit of pique. It’s unclear at present how this could have occurred, or how much swearing was involved when the ambo’s popped his shoulder back in, but the rest of the crew were quick to ease their own pain back at the pub as they drowned their, and his, sorrows.