Apollo Bay Sailing Club
Sat. 22nd February 2020
Firstly, a big Get Well to one of our most loved and respected sailors, Laurie Shaw, who is recovering from back surgery.
Early in the week sailors are always checking and watching for changing conditions as they head towards start time at 2pm on Saturday. What you see on Monday on your favorite weather app will (usually) be vastly different from the reality 5 days on. The tide times are pretty reliable, but the movement and strength of tides would seem less so and they can impact our race course dramatically at times. The swell is reasonably predictable but will always be impacted by local variations in tide and wind. The sea/ surface conditions are a mixture of tides, swell, what is happening in our local area and whatever is happening off in the depths of Bass Strait and beyond.
And of course, our old friend the wind; he is a fickle and contrary fellow indeed. And really, all the app checking, guessing, cursing and gnashing of teeth will not make him show his true intentions till the very morning of the race. And often not even then!!!!
But Saturday none of that mattered as Shotty delivered a short but clinical briefing. The light ESE (6-10knts) was holding up and the conditions looked ok for a standard port race as Lisa and Shotty headed out to set the course.
The first start saw 3 keel boats get off cleanly with 10+1 first by only a few feet with Interlude and Boheme right there. Wild Rose got herself into a bit of a funk with a mis-timed start at the pin and an early tack costing them dearly.
The dinghy (or “small keel boats”) start was clean and uneventful for the 4 boats, all heading off on starboard. The mellow sea conditions (considering it was an easterly) and wind strength under ten meant that the Flying Fifteens were going to do ok.
Boheme out front of the big boats handled the light conditions best and with her older classic hull (and even older classic crew) sailed a very tidy race out front. As stated above Interlude was missing one of her usual crew (Laurie) but John and Bruce did a great job keep the little Duncanson 28 sneaking along in what must have been trying conditions at times.
The first triangle for the ff’s was tight with all on Strbd at the start. Affrodite tacked off first with April Dancer a few minutes later to try out the right side. Euffamism and SS Margaret stayed left till a fair way up the track and at the first mark the scene was set for a good tight race. The reaches were pretty shy for the spinnakers and with a few light wind patches to get through a mistake with the spinnaker was going to be costly. With such tight reaches it was possible to get a bit of purchase from the jib but offsetting that was the unsettling effect of the swell on the kites, but hey, that is sailing in the ocean.
SS Marg fell off the pace a little as the race got on but AD had a nice comeback from third place when a strengthening wind carried them right up behind 2nd placed Affro on one spinnaker run. From there they managed a superb last upwind to overtake Affro whose fill in crew, Crock, was doing a great job on an unfamiliar boat.
On the keel boats I think all the crews enjoyed the chance to sail in the lighter winds without every move being life and death for a change.
So, it was a tired but satisfied bunch back at the club for the de-briefing, all of them knowing that come Monday the weather app dance would begin all over again.
|H/C Champ||Dinghy YS||Keelboat YS|
|2nd||April Dancer||10+1||April Dancer|
Life is good. Come Sailing!
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