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Some tough conditions in Round the Bay race

posted Oct 17, 2016, 12:09 PM by Rick Early   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 7:11 PM ]

Sponsored by Tahmoor Rural, the first round the bay (RTB) race in the Spring series was held on Sunday 9th October. The wind forecast was for 10 – 15knots (NNE) at the start, increasing to 30knots towards the finish.

Across the start line “Friendship”, “Tranquillity” and “Relentless” got away well. “Invincible” and “Sojourn 3” were further back but a favourable wind shift saw them pick up ground in the approach to the first mark (S1).  However,  “Friendship” held on to take the honours around the mark for (Div.1) while “Relentless” and “Tranquility” took Div. 2 and 3 respectively.

The long downwind section towards the southern headland of the bay was slow and frustrating initially, with the wind being variable in strength and direction. However, it wasn’t long before there was a reasonably steady 15 – 20knots. This made for some fun rides and position jostling. On the first spinnaker leg “Friendship” established a good lead and “Tranquility” got past “Sojourn 3” to move into second outright. “Invincible” and “Relentless” weren’t far behind and still in touch. 

The next leg was tighter, making a spinnaker, less favourable. This allowed “Sojourn 3” to move back into second and start closing in on “Friendship”.  “Invincible” and “Relentless” had settled into 4th and 5th position.  “Sojourn 3” eventually got past “Friendship” on the final reach before the upwind section across to the northern side of the bay.

By the start of the windward section the wind was gusting up to 25knots. This resulted in sail reefing and furling by most boats. Not far into the first leg “Sojourn 3” experienced gear failure, with the attachment point of the headsail halyard giving way. This put “Friendship” back in front with “Tranquility” in second and “Invincible” third. “Relentless” was making her way across the bay on the division 2 course by this stage.  “Sojourn 3” had to retire.

Positions remained unchanged for the rest of the race. By the time the fleet was on the long beat home along the northern side of the bay wind gusts up to 35knots were being recorded by some boats. This made it heavy going for all, particularly “Relentless”, in Div. 2. It was a commendable effort by all skippers and crew, getting the boats home in the tough conditions of the second half of the race.

Across the line it was Friendship followed by “Tranquilty”, “Invincible” and “Relentless”.   On handicap “Friendship” and “Invincible” were first and second in Div. 1, “Relentless” took out Div. 2 and “Tranquility” took out Div. 3.

Next race will be held on Sunday 23rd Oct. Look forward to seeing everyone there.

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