After recent races with generally mild winds, it was encouraging to have forecast wind of
around 15 knots, and even better that the reality matched the forecast. With Celete absent
and Aquarius VII not yet ready to join the fleet, our newest entrant, Enterprise, was our
scratch boat for this race. As anticipated, the wind conditions suited this cruising 40-footer.
The handicaps determined that apart from Megisti on 14 minutes, Crooz was expected to
leave at 22 minutes, Megisti Blue at 26 minutes, One Mo’ Time at 32 minutes, G-Whizz at 34
minutes and Martela at 36 minutes, so an orderly procession to Manly West might have
been expected. Sail choices were varied, with Megisiti Blue choosing a reefed main which
meant it may have lost a little on the reach to Manly but was more controllable in the work
back up the Harbour. One Mo’ Time set its asymmetric spinnaker and wasn’t caught by G-
Whizz, its closest rival and sans spinnaker, before the Manly marks, even though OMT
covered considerably more distance across ground. Positions at the Manly marks were
more or less the same as when leaving the start.
The return journey was a different story. The SE wind and big swell coming through the
Heads pushed (maybe) all to the western side of Sow and Pigs and so at least one tack was
required to make Eastern Channel mark. Remarkably, apart from Enterprise which had
cleared out well before, almost all other boats were within about 200 metres of each other at
the EC mark which guaranteed close racing to the finish. It was made even more interesting
by a small dinghy fleet racing in with right of way between Steele Point and Shark Island.
After rounding Shark Island mark, G-Whizz, which had passed OMT before the EC mark,
then tried to catch Megisti, Megisti Blue and Crooz, but only managed to pass Megisti. One
Mo’ Time did a quick asso set after rounding Shark Island, then recovered it when it was
discovered the sheet had come adrift, then set it again. This gave OMT sufficient speed to
catch and beat Megisti by 28 seconds, but not enough to catch G-Whizz which beat her by
just over one minute.
Meanwhile, Megisti Blue tried hard to beat Crooz on the last leg, but ultimately came in 13
seconds behind her. The results showed that five boats finished within about two and a half
minutes of each other, with Martela about three minutes behind the last of this group. Looks
like good handicapping to me! Enterprise and Martela both finished in the same positions as
they had started (first and last respectively).
Congratulations to Cap’n Nick and crew on Enterprise for their first BPYC win!