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Parkhaven Motor Inn Summer Series Race 3

posted Feb 4, 2014, 4:59 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 5, 2014, 1:52 PM ]
Although the weather man had promised much lighter conditions the Nor'easter that was already blowing at 20 kts at 7.00am in the morning made it pretty obvious to all in the fleet that we were in for a busy day. In an attempt for our fleet to see some of the Hobie Worlds action and so that the Hobies could see our fleet in action the Vice Commodore set a course down breeze to the Huskisson marks. Unfortunately by the time we were ready to start the wind was already too strong for the Hobies and they had cancelled for the day.
17 starters signed on for the race but only 16 made it to the start line with Brazen having some issues (electrical...?) and opting out before the start. Ron and Eileen got the fleet away in two clean starts Div 2 and 3 first off followed 5 minutes later by Div 1. At this stage winds had increased and gusts into the 30's saw every boat in the fleet with at least one reef in the main and some very small headsails. By the first mark some of the Div 1 boats joined up with the Div 2 and 3 boats and the congestion at S1 saw the coming together of Rockhopper and Motion. As Cougar avoided being part of the melee Mohawk seized the opportunity and slipped through to pick up the wine for first Div 1 boat around the mark. Although there were some questions about how sportsman like this was it didn't make the wine taste any less mellow as it was enjoyed by the Mohawk crew on the way home to Husky. Tranquillity had slipped through and scored the wine prize for Div 3 and Rockhopper extracted itself from the tangle to take the wine for Div 2. Having suffered some damage Motion retired as the rest of the fleet spread out along the course.
As all boats rounded their respective marks and headed for Husky the winds continued to increase and more than one of the mono hulls got a practical demonstration of what happens when there is insufficient water flow over the rudder... of course this didn't affect the cats who excelled in the conditions in an off the breeze run to the mark. As the fleet rounded at the Husky marks in gusts as high as 38kts the placings in Div 2 and 3 remained constant with Tranquillity leading Overture and Sea Change and Rockhopper showing the way to Leeuwin and Matana. At the front in Div 1 there was more variation with Mohawk, Cougar and Manly Too all having a turn at the front followed by the group of Alex, Friendship and Fuzzy Logic. Behind them Quintessence, Invincible and Sojourn III having their own battle.
The breeze stayed strong and the fleet settled into a rhythm. Sea Change suffered a gear failure and taking advantage of the close proximity to home, retired and headed for Husky. The remainder of the fleet worked hard upwind to the finish off Callala and into the club for a beer (or two) and Kerry's hot dogs.
After the handicapper applied his numbers to the finish times the results were;
Division 1
1st    Manly Too
2nd    Friendship
3rd     Cougar
Division 2
1st     Rockhopper
2nd    Leeuwin
3rd    Matana
Division 3
1st    Tranquillity
2nd    Overture