Bill’s first race report - excellent effort. Thanks.
The Vice-Commodore’s email ahead of the race suggested “Low 8 knot NE winds and 90% chance of showers ... It will be testing”. Famous last words?
Well, depending on who you asked (and which website they were looking at), the predictions in the days leading up to the race were anything from 1 knot to 12 knots at start time.
Cap’n Gemma kindly provided the start boat again for the five competitors (four of whom were series entries), with our recent arrival Lady Lucille starting as scratch boat.
Given the wind predictions, the course flag for Manly was met with a few raised eyebrows (can’t please ‘em all!) and it wasn’t surprising that some of the entrants didn’t stray too far from the line during the countdown to their start time. In the minutes before her start, Megisti Blue, in particular, stayed close to Navy Buoy 2 at the end of the start line.
As the boats headed down the harbour, Lady Lucille and Megisti, which had had slower starts, made good use of a wind that varied in direction and quality but seemed to suit their sails as they made their way past Chowder Bay and Georges Head as others looked on (some jealously).
Once the later boats started, it looked like One Mo’ Time was making strong progress in the conditions, chortling down the harbour. Ah, but everything’s relative – as demonstrated when a certain blue hull (unmistakably Martela) hove into view soon after, apparently doing even better.
As the boats headed in towards Manly, One Mo’ Time and Martela had overtaken Megisti and Megisti Blue and all five competitors were in sight of each other.
Heading back, the breeze looked like it may provide some interest, but rounding Eastern Channel was accomplished without much difficulty as all headed towards Shark Island.
Having left the others in her wake, Martela crossed the line to take first in the last race of the series, followed by One Mo’ Time, with Megisti rounding out the podium.
Lady Lucille was fourth and ultimately the last across the line, with the wind being unkind to Megisti Blue between Shark and Clark Islands. With the line in the distance (so near, yet so far!) and faced with the dilemma of finishing before the 4:30pm cut-off but being left without a tender on their return, the crew apparently decided that they didn’t have enough supplies for an overnight on board (‘Jimmy Brings’ apparently doesn’t have a nautical branch – yet).
The Autumn Series winner will be announced at the AGM, as will the Club Champion.