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Round the bay race "a mixed bag"

posted Nov 7, 2016, 1:17 PM by Rick Early   [ updated Nov 11, 2016, 10:59 AM ]

The second round the bay race in the spring series, sponsored by Parkhaven Motor Inn, was held last Sunday (Nov 6th).  The forecast was for light to moderate winds with clear blue sunny skies. This had everyone keen to get on the water. However the wind forecast only held true for part of the race, leading to a big separation in the fleet.  Despite this there were good challenges within each division and some very enjoyable sailing in the latter stages of the race.

The start was quite congested with boats from different divisions jostling for positions on the line. “Why Knot”, “Sojourn 3”, “Relentless” and “Tranquility” all got away well and were in contention for being first to the windward mark (S1). “Sojourn 3” edged past “Why Knot” to take the honours in division 1.  “Laser 3” got past “Relentless” to get the job done in division 2, while “Tranquility” battled with “Sas Sea” to be first in division 3.  “Friendship” and “Invincible” (both division 1) were close behind and well placed to challenge on the next leg.

After rounding S1 and heading for A4 the 5 – 10 knots of wind experienced at the start began to fade, making things tough for Division 2 and 3.  In Division 1 “Sojourn 3” was holding her lead while “Why Knot” and “Friendship” were battling for second. In what was somewhat of a lottery “Why Knot” headed in close to the northern shore chasing a wind shift, while “Sojourn 3” and “Friendship” stayed further out.  Luck played into the hands of “Sojourn 3” and “Friendship” as they got away from “Why Knot”.  Further back the rest of the fleet was suffering in a breeze that had almost faded completely.

From A4 (off Long beach) to H2 (off Long Point) conditions strongly favoured “Sojourn 3” and “Friendship”. Both boats were in about 10 knots while the rest of the fleet was almost becalmed.  Despite the lack of wind these boats were still sailing hard and contending positions. “Why Knot” held off a challenge from “Invincible” in division 1, “Laser 3” stayed in front of “Relentless” in division 2 and “Tranquility” maintained her lead over “Sas Sea” in division 3. 

“Sojourn 3” had comfortable lead over “Friendship” after rounding H2 but this was about to change with the long downwind leg across the bay to D3 (off Vincentia). With the advantage of a well-set spinnaker, “Friendship” started to run down “Sojourn 3” in what was now 10 – 15 knots.  The stronger breeze further increased the lead of these two boats while the rest of the fleet were still struggling in very light wind.  By D3 “Friendship” had closed within a couple of boat lengths of “Sojourn 3”. This set up a great battle for the reach and work back to Callala Bay.

The stronger wind eventually reached the fleet on the northern side of the bay giving them a good run across to D3.  With the wind now a steady 10 – 15 knots conditions were ideal for competitive sailing to the finish.  Boats flying spinnakers were an attractive sight crossing the bay.  The smaller lighter “Why Knot” did particularly well on this section.  “Tranquility” was moving well too and starting to catch “Invincible”.  

“Sojourn 3” managed to hold off “Friendship” on the reach to C2 (off Callala Beach).  Line honours had come down to the work home - Callala Bay (finish).  “Sojourn 3” just got there. Further back the rest of the fleet were revelling in the wind they didn’t get in the first half of the race and sailing hard to hold their places.  In division 2 “Laser 3” was sailing very well and consolidating her lead.  “Tranquility” headed division 3 and took full advantage of the stronger wind to move pass “Invincible”. 

Across the line it was “Laser 3” in 3rd outright and first in division 2.  “Why Knot” was next and  3rd in division 1. “Tranquility” headed division 3 and was 5th across the line. “Invincible”, “Sas Sea” and “Relentless” were not far behind. Winners on handicap were: "Sojourn 3" (division 1), "Laser 3" (division 2) and "Sas Sea" (division 3).

The next race is scheduled for Saturday Nov 19th. Following the race the annual Commodore’s Cocktail Party will be held.  The venue for this will be advised closer to the event. It’s always a fun occasion so why not come along for the race and party.