Conditions weren’t that bad, sure it was windy and there was a bit of chop around, but it was the combination of the cold weather/water, sucking your strength as the day went on and the ridiculously long courses that caused all the carnage. The first race went for 1hr45, the second over 1.30. Both good length courses for single race days and it would have been fun, but way too big for two race days, especially when you add another 3 hours for the sail out, setup, wait around and the sail back. Crews who did both races returned looking like Zombies.
As I have said a few times, the Commonwealth Bank/Funkmobile team is here to make up the numbers and our 27th in the first race is probably a fair result. We had an average start and had to work our way through the field.
Problem is, it put me too far back to see what was going on up front. Pretty sure Mal Higgins and Nick Johnson (Camel) lead around the top mark first. Mike Holt and Carl Smit had a good start being the gate, but it was a shifty first beat and there were gains to be made early on out to the left on the early part of the ebb tide. Martin and Nelson had a similar start to us, and sailed a very similar first beat, but they were just going higher and faster and we aren’t that slow. In the end it was Tyer Moore and Geoff Ewanson who had the win from Martin and Nelson and Adamson and Bourdow. Unfortunately for the committee, it was a windward finish and the vast majority of the fleet just kept heading uphill to the beach. Carter Jackson scored the finish of the day, shooting the line at the boat end, falling into his boat, continuing to round up, up and into the committee boat. Very, very funny.
Race two, we capsized whilst sitting around waiting and eating, it took less than a second and the mast was in the mud. Snap! We were done. Unfortunately, because the course is such a long way away from the club and they can’t spare boats, we were left to drift for a few hours. We would drift, then they would pull us uphill again and we would drift until a boat could head back. A bit frustrating.
I did get half a view of the second race. By now the wind was a solid 20kn, (the air is denser here because of the cold, so when I say solid, I mean solid) and the right was paying big time Holt and Smit lead early, being chased by Martin and Nelson. Eventually Martin and Nelson got past and won by over 100m, after Holt and Smit, there was nothing for a long, long, long time. In the end Peter Chappell and Ian Davidson (Girder) broke the silence. West Ozzies, these guys are used to the pressure, probably not the cold, but it would have still felt like being at home.
At the end of the day, everyone was exhausted. Really trashed! I think the courses are set to be shortened, (I believe the sailing instructions were written up incorrectly and extra loops were put in, I think they have been amended). I doubt I will see any racing today, as I have a mast to rig, (yes, yes I know, it should be done already, but I am on a borrowed boat and I am grumpy and tired so don’t push it).
Pic by Peter Lyons/Marine Media Alliance.