Post date: Nov 24, 2017 7:5:0 PM
After having to call off last Sunday’s racing due to an excess of wind, the challenge today was to get a race in in a dearth of wind. Though the forecast was for 10 knot southerlies, the water inside the harbour was mirror-like though that too proved deceptive as, on launching, there was enough wind to get out to the race area unassisted. Direction-wise it was also out of synch as a southerly was predicted but it was in the eastern quarter for the entirety of the afternoon. A fleet of just over thirty boats took to the water with the Lasers and slow PY the largest fleets. A reduced fast PY fleet was made up of a Finn, three Fireballs, a 470 and a RS 400. Race Officer for the day was Ben Mulligan of the Flying Fifteen Class who set a course of 4 laps of a triangular configuration, with a weather mark in the vicinity of the HSS docking station and a gybe mark just inside the end of the East Pier. The first two starts suggested that the place to start was at the committee boat end which is where the three Fireballs located themselves. Unusually, Noel Butler, crewed by sailing globetrotter Shane Diviney, was late to the start but it turns out this was due to the later finish of the keelboats who were also adversely impacted time-wise by the light winds.
His late arrival only served to delay his assumption of the lead, halfway up the second beat. He trailed behind Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (14713) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706). Initially, Miller & Bradley pulled away from the other two and Butler & Diviney were the first to break ranks, going right for a short distance. Shortly afterwards Court & Syme did the same while Miller & Bradley persevered with a starboard tack approach to the weather mark.
Court was able to close the gap and then take advantage of the proximity of the Finn to Miller’s weather, blocking a tack by Miller, to round the weather mark first. Going down the two spinnaker legs Miller was able to eke out a short lead and surprisingly Butler wasn’t able to close the gap too Miller.
On the second beat Butler went hard left, whereas the other two went right. Court broke first but Miller went that bit further. When he crossed tacks he was still ahead of Court, but Butler was gone!
Court managed to recover to round the weather mark marginally ahead of Miller but just behind the Finn. A luffing match then ensued between Court and the Finn which took them on a course almost at ninety degrees to the straight line to the gybe mark. This allowed Miller to assume second place which he held to the leeward mark. Up the third beat and Miller managed to hold off Court to the weather mark, but only just. Court “powered” over Miller and was never passed again.
The finishing order over the line was Fireball, Fireball, RS 400, Fireball, and Finn. However, on corrected time the win went to the Finn and the first two Fireballs filled the podium positions. The 470 beat Miller to fourth and the RS 400 closed it out.
In Fireball terms this leaves Butler with two first places followed by Miller with a 2nd and a 3rd.
In the slow PY fleet, the handicap win was taken by the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy ahead of the Solo of Shane McCarthy and the Kona (windsurfer) of Robbie Walker. What makes McCarthy’s performance all the more commendable is that he sailed the second lap as a sausage but sailed all the way back to the gybe mark to correct his mistake.
In the Laser Class, six full rigs led the charge before the first Radial and first lady featured – Shirley Gilmore. The Class win went to Jeff Brouder, followed by Alan Hodgins and Luke Dillon.
The Fireball Class have their end of season dinner and prize-giving this Friday coming in the National Yacht Club. Due to a coinciding event a number of Fireball regulars will be attending another Class dinner at the same venue so they will play a part-time role in the Fireball occasion. If you want to come along to the Fireball dinner, please let us know so that we can add you to the numbers. In terms of the regatta planning for next season, a number of options have been developed and we are hopeful of getting the calendar closed out in the reasonably near future.