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Light to moderate conditions for the final race in the spring series

posted Nov 28, 2016, 1:04 AM by Rick Early   [ updated Nov 28, 2016, 3:59 PM ]

The final race in the Parkhaven Motor Lodge spring series was sailed last Sunday, 27th. It started in a light “shifty” breeze that was predominately from the east and finished in a surprisingly fresh wind that had veered slightly to the south.  Some of the anticipated battles for the championship didn’t eventuate due to problems on some boats but there was still some hotly contested racing. 

Results from Sunday’s race would decide championship positions in two of the three divisions. In division 1 “Sojourn 3”, “Invincible”, “Friendship” and “Y Knot” could potentially win, as could “Laser 3” and “Relentless” in division 2. Unfortunately “Friendship” had to withdraw prior to the race due to gear failure while Invincible suffered a similar fate; having to withdraw just before the start with engine trouble.  “Relentless” was also unable to make the race. This left “Y Knot” and “Sojourn 3” to fight it out in division 1 while the absence of Relentless meant Laser 3 had an assured victory in division 2. “Tranquility” had an unassailable points advantage in Division 3 and was guaranteed the championship too.

Conditions prior to the start were not encouraging with the wind being 0 – 5 knots and frequently changing in direction. Fortunately it settled in to  5 – 10 knots from ENE.  The race got away cleanly with a relatively uncongested line. “Sojourn 3” headed division 1 and “Laser 3” headed division 2. “Tranquility” had gone back to “Invincible” (still on her mooring with engine trouble) to take on-board some of her crew, so started a minute or so behind. Positions remained the same in divisions 1 and 2 for the rounding of S1 (windward mark) while “Tranquility” was and an uncontested leader in division 3.

Conditions were still light for the first work to A2.  This allowed “Y Knot” to close the gap on “Sojourn 3” with a couple of well judged tacks. In division 2  "Laser 3" was going well and holding out "Matana".  Tranquility was clawing her way back after her delayed start.

The leg to H1 (off Honeymoon Bay) was basically a single-leg work. The strengthening wind on this leg allowed “Sojourn 3” to extended her lead. “Laser 3” was also moving further ahead of “Matana” before rounding A3 on the shorter course. “Tranquility” was almost back in touch with the division 1 fleet.

H1 to A3 was a very broad reach – too broad to follow the rhumb line without a spinnaker. “Sojourn 3” (non spinnaker boat) took off on a goosewinged square run below A3 to get a better reaching angel to the mark. This caused some confusion on “Tranquility”, whose skipper and crew thought A3 had been taken out of the course.  After being reassured by radio that it hadn’t they were able to refocus and get back to the job of racing. In near perfect spinnaker conditions Y Knot did well on this leg.

A3 to C2 (off Huskisson) was a tighter reach but still broad enough for “Y knot” to carry her spinnaker.  “Matana” (division 2), which was now back on the same leg as division 1 and 3, was also flying her kite in a bid the catch “Laser 3”. “Sojourn 3” was slowly closing in on “Matana” as was “Tranquility” on “Y Knot”.

Between C2 and the finish the fresher  breeze (12 – 18 knots) allowed “Sojourn 3” to haul in “Matana” and “Laser 3” while “Tranquility” got past “Y Knot” and “Matana”.  Across the line it was “Sojourn 3” (division 1), “Laser 3” (division 2) and “Tranquility” (division 3).  Handicap positions were the same.  Final places in the spring series were: ‘Sojourn 3’ from ‘Y Knot’ in division 1; ‘Laser 3’ from ‘Relentless’ in division 2 and ‘Tranquility’ from ‘Sas Sea’ in division 3.

Special thanks go to Parkahven Motor Lodge, who sponsored the series, and our club captain Al Leach – Al set the start line and windward mark before each race, called the start over the radio while getting his own boat across the line and then collected the buoys at the conclusion. A big thanks also goes to Kerry Leach who gave up her time to do the BBQs.  These were greatly appreciated by hungry skippers and crew.

Last Sunday newcomer Michael Gill joined us in his Hunter 216 ("Nell") for part of the race and did very well; we’re hoping he’ll be a regular competitor in the Tahmoor Rural summer series, which starts this Sunday, Dec 4th