Although the Port Phillip wind forecast indicated 30 knots the HBYC Race Director decided to conduct the race as indications were the wind strength had peaked. With 20 knots of wind and a first time use of a course set up for wind conditions close to the high end limit the fleet staged a processional start. No doubt it pays to stay down wind of the committee boat to hear and observe the race start signals in windy conditions. It wouldn’t hurt to also arrange for the HBYC race Vessel ‘Privateer’ to fly our large pennant as the division signal.
How do you manage to make a reaching course have some action? Include mark gybes wherever possible to make the crew earn their keep. The race committee also came to the party and set the start line away from the normal start location to provide some beating conditions. Fortunately our good friends on the bunker barge ‘Zamir’ waited for the fleet to start before leaving Station Pier to steam through the start area. Your CYAA Race director also managed to make the day for navigators interesting. No doubt there will be a slight tweak to the course description, particularly about how to start the twice rounding of the course.
‘Mercedes III’ was on the money at the start and led the fleet of 14 starters to the first turning mark where much gybing and rounding up action took place. ‘Fairwinds II’ pulling out a reef and ‘Zephyr’ managing to avoid a pressing engagement were a couple of features at this gybe rounding.
Observing several classic yachts doing a dog leg course from the RMYS D mark to channel lateral 79 makes you think that sometimes the fleet leader knows where they are going.
Still with the sun finally shining through some great lee gunnel down classic yacht racing made the day for the fleet. As always the cream comes to the top. For us it was in the shape of Andy Indrans ‘Corio Vertue’. But only by 8 seconds on corrected time from Cameron Dorrough’s ‘Bungoona’ and his well set headsail. There was a welcome return to the Classics podium with David McNeice and his team on ‘Akala’ taking out the third placing.
‘Mercedes III’, with Martin Ryan doing his usual on the spot start with his team of heavy hitters, fended off Ian Macfarlane on ‘Kingurra’ by 54 seconds to take out line honours while ‘Pastime II’ with a well reefed main came in not far behind. The army on Mark Chew’s ‘Fairwinds II’ with Damian Purcell on the helm thundered through to take out 4th on elapsed over the George Fisscher/Michael Rhodes team on ‘Boambille’ with their many lee gunnel down moments. Andy Doolan with his team on ‘Tina of Melbourne’ helmed her hard to bring her back to the fleet.
As usual, the mid fleet had battles all day.’ Bungoona’ took on the rolling sea conditions to sail over the leading Tum of the day ‘Avian’ helmed by Roger Dundas with tactical assistance from Pip Todd They in turn managed to out sail the old master Doug Jenkin and his apprentice, Kath Solly on the Tumlare ‘Ettrick’. A tight finish for elapsed time placing saw the team on that great 2013 Geelong Festival of Sails Survivor, Ross Clarks and Michael Rhodes ‘Martini’ come out ahead of the recent rejoiner of the Classic Fleet, David McNeice’s ‘Akala’ and the well sailed Tumlare ’Zephyr’ who was being pushed hard with Anne Batson helming under the tactical direction of Karen Batson. Stirring Charlie Salter singlehanded tactics and moments were seen aboard the Tumlare ‘Ellida’ as she picked up the fleet to come in not far from Zephyr. Finishing off the fleet was our ‘Corio Vertue’. With sea and wind conditions that finally allowed her to show what she is made off, Andy Indrans put her through a tough race to show what she is made of. In return ‘Corio Vertue’ returned to Andy a fleet leading corrected time. Congratulations to Andy and ‘Corio Vertue’. Sadly the handicapper is already licking his pencil tip.
The sail of the day had to go to Martin Ryan’s ‘Mercedes III’, with her on the button start and allowing the fleet to see how and where the course was to be sailed.
A stirring stuff race to all the skippers and crew that turned their Classic Yachts out. Commiserations to those unable to participate in a day where conditions allowed all our Classic Yachts show why they have dedicated custodians.
The corrected time results were a bit loose at the top and bottom but they show were tight battles throughout the race. As previously said any on course mistakes will be paid for when the corrected time calculations are done . Overall a good day with no breakages. Many were under canvassed as the race continued wind to abate. One feature of the race was the Fleets average time of 90 minutes over a 10 mile course. 90 minutes is the race duration used for calculating the group times for pursuit races. The handicapper is already sharpening his pencil.
A large part of Race 3 action was captured on HD video. Allow a short while for editing before posting but we have some great shots of all our Classic Yachts who started in race 3. Due to the bumpy conditions on the HBYC rescue boat and a non-image stabilising camera, some editing will be necessary. However, none images will be left on the cutting room floor. Uncut versions or high resolution still shots can be made available to dedicated custodians if requested.
No more except for on future calendar item and a thank you.
The Association has been invited by the be part of the official Tall Ship manoeuvres and evolutions during their visit to Melbourne in September. More details will be provided to us by Doug Shields, a member of the Tall ships co-ordinator committee. For people who wish to volunteer, our member Peter Harris who heads up the Alma Doepel restoration project will take you on. Here’s the link to the Tall Ships visit web site. http://www.
Thanks to Leigh Norgate of ‘Avalon’ who invited your handicapper to the RYCV 21 club dinner last Friday. Great time sitting around a table with Bob Munro of ‘Tandanya’ talking, no listening, to the ‘Vanessa’ Crew of 1968 to 1992. These were Bill Kitner and John Pitman on the bow, headsail sheet trimmers in Peter Jonson and Peter Plumb and main trimmer Campbell Johnson. All talk revolved around what Geoff Church did next and how he knocked of Jock Sturrock with cotton sails down at Geelong.
We must get her and ‘Frances’, the most notable International 8 metre yachts in Australia, racing again.
Next race, a pursuit from RYCV Marina June 23.
CYAA (Vic) Handicapper
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