The nor'wester was still lingering around 1.30pm when it was supposed to be pushed out by the sea breeze. The breeze seemed fine at NE for the Div3 (6 boats starting) 13:50 start albeit light, then Div1 got away very evenly again with all four boats right on the gun with SF (no2 genoa set) to leeward, then RSGT (no2 genoa after originally hoisting the big dog), with LOEG (no1 genoa) and AOE to windward. The fleet tacked onto port and it was a drag race to Abbotsford Point with SF and RSGT neck and neck but then the breeze disappeared and we drifted up to Searles on the last of the outgoing tide. The nor'easter came in again at ~5 knots and SF stretched out from RSGT and AOE (sailing very well two up with stand-in forward hand Vince) until the breeze died again and LOEG came out of stone cold last on the north shore under the bridge bringing a westerly out of Tarban Creek into the mark to round second in an amazing effort. Guess that’s what clean living and over ~500yrs collective wisdom on the boat does.
Kites were well flown down to Searles then Morrison, during which the noreaster came in for good and the Abbotsford Pt pinch point was negotiated well by SF just holding the masthead kite, with the next boats two sail reaching to get around. RSGT re-hoisted the masthead asymmetric and drove over the top of AOE and LOEG to get around Morrisons narrowly in 2nd. The work back up to Abbotsford Bay had a few lingering northerly puffs and LOEG reached through to second, then it was down to Frances with the kite and RSGT got over LOEG again who were with genoa, narrowly rounding the mark in 2nd with AOE doggedly hanging on. Kite and jib hoists and drops were starting to tax on RSGT’s short crew numbers, with no-one on halyards in Adventureland at the mast to bounce them up, only Frontierland and Fantasyland covered……..some late race kite retrieves lagged and the fish had to be shaken out before stowing. More evidence to AOE’s top efforts.
In the now ~15knot nor’easter SF stretched out further to Lukes from LOEG, AOE and RSGT, and all boats ran home to the shortened course finish with RSGT just getting in front of AOE in a good dice all day. On scratch SF had 3 ½ minutes on LOEG, then a further 4mins to RSGT and ½ min to AOE. RSGT won the hcap by 1 1/2mins from AOE, then LOEG and SF – with Geoff and Vince sailing so well on AOE halving the chocolates would have been an equitable end to a top race.
Next race 22th Oct is Special Trophies Series Race 2 up around the islands and back. Forecast this far out is 20-25knot southerly.