With a number of yachts in contention, Spring Race 8, naturally held by BPYC in mid-summer, was the race to determine the winner and runners-up for the Spring Series. It turned out that few of the finishing scenarios, predicted by this writer before the race, actually happened. No surprise there.
The weather was superb: warm to hot with a good nor-easter blowing at 15-20 knots, so the Manly course was odds-on. Our starting yacht, Wherever, lived up to its name – wherever Cap’n Charlie tried to anchor it, it dragged, and it looked like a radio start may have been necessary. Fortunately, on about the third attempt, good ground was found and a normal start got underway.
As usual, yachts took different paths to the first mark, some more extreme than others. Cap’n Duncan on One Mo’ Time decided that a deep dig into Watsons Bay was his best course, so deep in fact that Alt Cap’n Christine inquired whether Cap’n Duncan was intending picking up a mooring. Meanwhile, First Mate Conrad provided a new meaning to Bottom of the Harbour as he displayed his undies throughout the race after ripping the seat out of his pants.
Having seen the pilot boat heading out, it was no surprise that a tanker appeared steaming down the Harbour some time later, as our fleet headed to Manly. What was surprising was that it dropped its pick in the Harbour off Steele Point, thus providing an interesting obstruction.
Cap’n Alan and crew on Celete were not distracted however, and made excellent time to the Manly marks. Indeed, they were on the return leg before other yachts made it to Manly West, so were the yacht to find and pass in order to win.
Remarkably, Martela, Megisti Blue, One Mo’ Time, Breva, Sapphire and Blue Sky all arrived at Manly West within about a minute, resulting in a tight contest around Manly East, before the downhill leg. Some chose to set symmetric spinnakers, some asymmetric, and some set no spinnakers. Cap’n Carl on Blue Sky may have thought that the last alternative might have been preferable after a spectacular broach with spinnaker due to a sheet getting caught under a deck fitting.
And then another surprise: not only had a second tanker rafted up to the first, thus taking up even more of the Harbour, but there appeared to be liquid transfer occurring between ships – very mysterious.
Meanwhile, Celete had continued its good pace and was well ahead, crossing the line first, about three minutes ahead of second place. But the race for minor placings was a tight contest. One Mo’ Time had worked its way up to be third around the Shark Island mark, but after a copybook spinnaker gybe, pulled ahead of Martela and took second place by 27 seconds.
And now the news you’ve all been waiting for: the 2017/18 Spring Series results:
1st: Breva (22 points)
2nd: Celete (25 points)
3rd: Megisti Blue (26 points)
Equal 4th: Blue Sky and Martela (28 points)
6th: Sapphire (31 points)
7th: One Mo’ Time (37 points)
8th: Crooz (41 points)
Congratulations to all, and especially to Breva and the other podium place makers.