It was a warm sunny Saturday and all were ready for some reasonable winds predicted between 10-20 knots . We waited till 10 minutes prior to start to make a call on the right Headsail for the race ( bit earlier than last week ) and skipper said we need the No 1 headsail. The breeze was lighter than expected only around 10 knots . Anne decides a West course for the day . All boats gathering round the clubhouse for race start .......
For the 3rd race of the six in the series it was Last Tango in Paris crunch time for all boats except AOE who snared the wins in the prior two, as well as the Special Trophies 1st heat – top sailing right there to them. SF were onto it also with a stacked crew of 6 looking more than menacing before the start, whilst AOE casually loitered around with aplomb, Bush Telegraph (BT) came into the frame with obvious serious intent and RSGT despite being short crewed with 3 plotted the required change of fortune....
Having arrived home from sailing with wine in hand for the 3rd week in a row, the wife now believes I stop at the bottle shop on my way home. That was until I crawled from the lounge to get the Panadols, prior to cracking the lid of the wine AOE had won today........
We had had some extreme winds in the week before the race, but the forecast was for a moderate westerly. Looking a bit gusty, we settled on our no. 3 jib and full main. We set out with just two on board, Barry on the helm and myself on the jib. As we headed off across the line into the westerly it suddenly picked up to 25kts or more and we stated to question the wisdom of being out there......
Excitement filled the air with the first race of the Special Trophies Series. We saw Fine Balance, Snowgoose, Farrago and of course Xena running the line for the Harbour Race. With light air at the Rowers Club, we stuck to the middle for the start and to take advantage of the fresh air. High South West winds were predicted.
I read the news during the week and found headlines on various days that read, "lost dogs looking for chains". Then "oysters looking for rocks", "beaches trying to find sand", and the last head line was "what is Huey going to send us on Saturday"! Who cares! The AOE crew is prepared. We are a well oiled machine! We accept what ever is given to us. After an early arrival at PRSC I find a pie oven and warm pies!!! Jim the innovator has acquired a pie oven and has put pies on for the teams prior too and after sailing. Many thanks Jim.
The winter blues are gone, the sounds of spring are in the air along with the wattle. The PRSC sailing season is about to begin. After a winter of maintenance, the Axis of Evil has never been in finer shape to take on the competition competing on the mighty Parramatta River.