What a nice way to kick off the summer series with a win!
Coerced by Ruth and bribed over several ales the previous day, Mort joined Ruth and Kev on Rogue Wave for his first ever yacht race. It was a clear and warm day with a light 5-10 knot breeze drifting in from the ENE, however the BOM had forecast a 30 knot northerly followed by a southerly change for later in the day. Fortunately the change came after the race was over.
Mort manned the pit and quickly picked up the role. A couple of stints on the helm and he was settling in nicely, although something did not quite look right without a beer in his hand! Light air racing is tactically challenging and makes for a very interesting day on the water, so it was a good day for Mort's first sail.....mind you, it would have been a different story if the 30 knots had eventuated!!
The start was one of our better ones and we headed off to the northern side of the course in a strong ebbing tide. The eddy east of Middle Island gave us some short term grief as the rest of the fleet, bar one Hood, tacked away and around. RW drifted through at a cracking 1.8 knots and then emerged in a nice breeze with favourable current.....and all alone. The Etchels were long gone in these conditions and Young Pretender being very light was also making good speed.
By the first mark at Wedding Cake we were in a very good position as Ruth set to work preparing for her first spinnaker launch without Decky Daz. In hindsight I should have flown the 0.75 oz Symmetrical or at least the lighter Assy in lieu of the heavy 1.5 oz Assy for that first downwind run. The result was a sail that had so much weight in its build that it collapsed below 5-7 knots of breeze. We gybed downwind at 125 degrees and were swamped at Middle Island by several boats carrying symmetrical spinnakers as we all sailed in and out of wind holes and back eddy's.....even Distant Drums who had a great downwind leg took us on the inside, which did not sit well with the RW crew!
Rounding the island and back to Wedding Cake we set our sights on Aneleise who had also managed to also creep past on the downwind leg. The gap was quickly closed as RW slipped into the groove at speed. We passed both boats and opened up a large gap by Wedding Cake and also on the white sail reach to Salamander. A gybe at the mark for the final reach to the finish was a good tussle with Aneliese as they had by now got their orange spinnaker set and pulling hard. Fortunately the race was shortened due to the light conditions otherwise a lot of boats would not have made the time limit.
The gap closed and Ruth's pleas for a spinnaker set were ignored by the skipper. It looked as though Aneliese would overtake RW until a small windshift around Soldiers Point was just enough to collapse their spinnaker and stop them dead in their tracks. Now they needed to drop the spinnaker to make the finish as RW powered up and across the line to take the win on handicap!
Summer Series Race 1 results:
1st: Rogue Wave
3rd: Young Pretender