The forecast stated 20 knots....yeah right! We were greeted by a gusty 25-28 knot westerly and the wind on tide popped a few waves over the bow...as well as afew dolphins! It was strangely quiet on the water and it looked as if it would be a three horse race at one point. Finally Goodlife2, Annelise and Distant Drums (Pacific 39) made their way to the start with reefed mains. Rogue Wave carried the first reef and a #3 furled genoa and we were making good speed. With only 10 mins to go several other yachts joined the fleet.......maybe they stayed at the club too long on Friday night!!
We setup for the start and jockeyed for a windward position on the flood tide. All was looking good until I made my run at the line a tad early and the tide swept us over the line 10 secs before the gun. Nothing like hearing the recall sound and knowing it was you. Luckily there were only a handful of yachts racing which made it very easy to quickly tack back to the start line. Won't be so fortunate in the NCYC Regatta if I blow the start! We were soon back hard on the wind and in about 4th position, but still to windward of the majority of the fleet.
On the beat to Garden Is mark we hunted down Goodlife2 and passed Anneliese to be second to the position where the mark should have been. With all the recent wild weather it was gone. Goodlife2 headed for another Special Mark (Sanctuary Zone) closeer inshore near the rocks and oyster racks. I wasn't too keen on conducting 4wd activities so we tacked Rogue Wave off into deeper water until Goodlife2 slowly crept around the shallow sanctuary marker. Anneliese quickly dropped in to follow her around and she was back to second. With Ross calling a metre under his keel we tacked back to round the mark and then tight reached averaging 7.2-7.6 knots across to the Mallabulla mark. Here is a nice pic as we passed Anneliese again before the gybe mark, only to be overtaken on the run downwind as their spinnaker out canvassed our poled out headsail. That third decky makes all the difference.
Meanwhile Goodlife2 sailed away for a comfortable win with Anneliese second. Once again I opted only to pole the headsail in the gusty conditions, but of course the wind dropped, reefs were shaken out and I should have set the spinnaker. Next race the spinnaker will be setup ready for any change in conditions. The rest of the fleet were left in our wake, so on handicap it could have been either of the first two boats that won.
The missing mark caused the Race Starter to follow protocols and shorten the race. By this time the breeze had faded away and it was only 1430h so we sailed off down the bay with a beer in hand. By 1700 h Ruth had us safely back on the mooring and packed ready for next week. Will have to wait until Sat to find out the official results.
Results for Race 11 were:
1st: Goodlife2 (Beneteau 39)
2nd: Anneleise (Northshore 33)
3rd: Rogue Wave (Sigma 36)