Sat 28 Apr saw a fleet of around 18 starters for the final and long 17M race of the PSYC Summer Pointscore Series. Only one point seperated the first three yachts on the ladder, so any one of these could take out the series win.
Nelson J (J24) was hot favourite and headed up the leader board. We ran neck and neck with Nelson J for a while and then broke away by quite a stretch, only to lose out as the much lighter boat sped past under spinnaker. I crewed a J24 on steroids back in the 80's called Fat Albert.....it was a J24 with wings so the crew weight could get even further out to windward and the owner even pulled the engine out to reduce weight! We had the log bottoming out and the boat humming at 16 knots off the Gold Coast one weekend...awesome fun!
RW had regular crew Daz onboard and newcomer Bear, an ex-Etchell sailor moving into a slightly more comfortable and drier yacht complete with cocktail cabinet. RW loitered around the gaggle of start line with a little more intimidation than the previous weeks race.The extra hands certainly reduce the stress around the crowds. The breeze was flukey at 5-10knots making the going a little slow. Luckily the ebb tide was in our favour. We managed to get away mid line and had some good air. We soon accelerated through the fleet and at one stage held 4th on the way to the Wedding Cake mark. We lost some ground and a few places downwind under our dodgy Asymmetrical so we ditched it and returned to whites. By this time we had been passed by a couple of yachts so the crew had their work cut out extracting all the speed we could from our sleek 7500kg missile in very light air!
RW slowly clawed back a lot of ground to windward only to have the race shortened in a fading breeze. We ended the day with a very credible 7th across the line, 5th on handicap and an honourable mention at the presentations at the club after the race. Light air sailing is far more difficult than med air as you really do need to concentrate to get as much boat speed as possible, so a fantastic effort by Daz and Bear. Some good tips from my sailmaker John were also put to good use.
My crew will be taking a break from me and from grinding this weekend, so I will be out getting in some practice flying RW solo again. Now.....how do I hoist that main..........?
On Sun 20 May I will be taking RW offshore to Newcastle for the week for her IRC/ORCi weigh-in, stability test and hull/sail measure. This is needed to produce my IRC Certificate and ORCi Certificate so I have the same race handicap anywhere in the world.
Sailing home again on either 26/27 May 12.