Our stand in starters Peter and Carmel were already busy on the deck with some upgrade work to the guttering over the balcony. They set us on a #1 course that would have us run the length of our patch of the river in a run in tide. The runs back up the river should be nice and slick.
The start fleet for the PRSC was an impressive 9 boats this week, with the four usual contenders in Div 1 (SF, LOEG, AOE, RGT), and five Div 3 starters (Windfalls, XWP, FGO, Memphis, FireFly). A Fine Balance, where are you??
Time to go for Div 3 and off they go! After a bit of breeze on the start, the wind died and left half of Div 3 strewn about Abbotsford Point. Eventually it came time for Div 1 to start and off we went with a bit of wind. The wind eased for us also, calling for strategic weight placement to keep at least a bit of shape in the sails. RGT picked up a small zephyr and blew through to take an early lead to Searles. By the time we got down to Gladesville Bridge, SF had retaken the lead and were able to watch FGO struggle with the wind and tide to allow Firefly a lead in Div 3.
Around the new mark #6 (thanks to Peter and Carmel) and the NW breeze seemed to challenge the plan for the kite launch. Discretion being the better part of valour, we waited until the other side of Gladesville Bridge to see what the breeze would do. RGT had no such doubts and hoisted not long after rounding #6. Not long after RGT decided to dump their kite, we launched on SF and had a pleasant run up to Searles. The W in the breeze increased, so we got rid of big blue and went back on the wind. Some technical difficulties with the recently fixed forestay/furler assembly saw RGT sneak back through to the lead. Sailing wide of the clubhouse allowed SF to reclaim the lead by the #1 mark and the positions in Div 1 were SF, RGT, LOEG, AOE.
The breeze was softening softening and the run from #5 to #3 was uneventful. Wistfully we looked for the starters shortened course flag to finish us returning from #3, but alas, there was no S board or flag, meaning we had a very long lonely work up to #6 and run back to the clubhouse. Concentration was the tool of choice on SF and fortunately the skipper could keep his while the crew looked about at interesting stuff on the slowly passing shoreline. We held big blue all the way to the clubhouse this time, and were thankful to see the shortened course flag meaning the day was done. Final finishing order was SF, RGT, LOEG, AOX. The handicap result was SF then RGT, with LOEG and AOE missing out due to elapsed time. Div 3
Thanks everyone for your participation on a rather dirty river, and I hope to see similar numbers out for the final race this Saturday (if not even more boats)! Don't forget the Closing Day BBQ hosted by Div 3 on Saturday night. RSVP to the club email by Wednesday.