The plot for Spring Race 3 could only be described as a pot-boiler.
With our starting boat, “Wherever”, unavailable, could the Vice-Commodore be trusted to properly start the race via radio?
Would all competing yachts actually have a VHF radio to hear the start calls?
Could the aforementioned officer choose a course fair for all yachts and suitable for a wind predicted to be South, then East, then North-East, anywhere from 3 to 10 knots?
Would the greatly increased handicap of “Breva” be enough to stop her from another win?
Or would Captain Paul’s weight reduction programme (for the boat, not Paul) be enough to keep him ahead of the fleet at the finish?
And what about that dark horse, (plastic) “Sapphire” - could Captain Richard take advantage of its still low handicap, and with the mentorship of Captain Peter B of its bigger cousin, “Steel Sapphire”, again find a place on top of the podium?
These were the questions on everyone’s lips … and then the unexpected, perhaps unprecedented, happened. A boilover!
Or, at least, there would have been. Lining up for the start, Captain Alan inquired of his crew if he’d remembered to turn off the cooktop before leaving for the race (as you do). “No” came the reply. Weighing up his options, Captain Alan immediately abandoned the race, and set “Celete” off for home faster than he’s ever sailed before, intent on saving his dinner, and house, from the impending conflagration.
And all this before the first boat had even crossed the starting line!
Compared to the above, the rest of the race was an anti-climax – just another beautiful, Spring race day for all on Sydney Harbour. Well, almost.
We were delighted to welcome back a yacht we hadn’t seen racing for a while – a very quick, modified Adams 10. Once again it showed its pace, but the “spectre” of the Eastern Channel mark will haunt Captain Peter C for some time to come.
In summary, the race was won by “Sapphire”, about five minutes ahead of “Blue Sky” which was one minute ahead of “Martela”.
And finally, answers to questions above:
3. Yes (and I'm sticking to that!)