Our Buoy has Gone Missing.
Like the buoy, the usual race reporter was missing from Race 3, and thanks the substitute authors who have asked to remain anonymous. (I’m sworn to secrecy, so there’s no point asking me one more time).
A sense of foreboding spread amongst the fleet prior to the start of Race 3. With hot conditions and less than 5 knots forecast, the fear was a slow roast served with bobbing on the harbour. Despite the forecast, a record fleet for the year of nine boats showed up, including a new entrant, Cap’n Gary’s Intro 2 – a lovely Intro 22. Welcome Gary! The skippers’ fears proved unfounded and all enjoyed a 5-8 knot NE wind that was just lovely.
Cap’n Charlie on the start boat, Wherever, selected Course 5 and all boats got off with times-after-start below 2 mins – with dark horse Cap’n Richard on Sapphire getting away to a perfect start. The gentle and peaceful work up the Harbour was only disturbed by the angry horn resulting from Blue Sky and Celete calling starboard on a Manly ferry. At the Sow and Pigs mark (Beashel Buoy) there was a coalition of boats (better behaved than the Federal Coalition) as Martela, Blue Sky, Breva, Crooz and One Mo’ Time rounded in quick succession. The spinnaker-virgin crew on Breva elected to fly a kite for the first time and duly showed the bigger bully boats how it’s done, as Martela struggled with finding the correct spinnaker halyard, and One Mo’ Time managed a gybe inside the forestay.
Blue Sky and Martela were then off well ahead of Breva, Crooz and One Mo’ Time which were within centimetres rounding Fort Denison. After Denison, the coalition fell into complete disarray, lost the plot, and had no idea where to go as some mad monk had removed the final mark. All was not lost however as this creative bunch invented a new mark to round. Breva, Crooz and One Mo’ Time elected to round a large, cruising catamaran in Athol Bay and were serenaded at close quarters by passengers and crew with calypsos and some booty dancing.
Martela prevailed, crossing the line in front of Blue Sky, followed by One Mo’ Time which was involved in a battle royal with Crooz which came in fourth by a mere 19 seconds. Then followed Breva, Intro 2 and Megisti Blue. Unfortunately Celete did not finish, and had engine overheating problems on the way back to its mooring