With 4 on board we were set for a real slug fest with AOE today after Baz’s less than subtle (albeit totally justified…) sledge in the race report last week and an intense flurry of emails through the week to work out what was wrong with our upwind speed – it was diagnosed to the jib sheeting and a modification to the barber hauler system was done which worked a treat.
SF did not have Pat on board and were short crewed. LOEG was in a similar situation also with 4 on board.
So in effect it was a match race between us RGT (hcap 9mins) and AOE (hcap 8mins) – and that’s exactly how it turned out.
Once again we couldn’t out-muscle AOE to get the pin end at the start but got away well just under them and right on the gun. AOE stretched out to lead around Lukes (which was a right pain in the rear both times to get around and out of it, with the wind veering and disappearing maddeningly……..) then we were off to Morrisons on the long starboard run.
Cabarita was just weathered with our small flat kite and we ran right down on AOE also sailing well with their fractional kite – as above off Pile St and Glades Bay (thankfully we were around Cabarita) a murderous 25knot gust approached and with just two boat lengths between us we both bore away, dumped mains and eased kites to lift the hull out of the water and plane down to Morrisons for what must have been a few hundred metres at 11.7knots – as Baz yelled out as the gust passed wish someone had got that on video - it topped our previous best of 10.3knots off Bradleys last week.
So we rounded there 2 boats lengths apart and that pattern continued for the whole race – AOE stretching out a tad upwind and RGT coming back downwind including hitting 10.8knots broad reaching off Searles coming back from Lukes the second time (see picture below).
Of course downwind it wasn’t all beer and skittles……all race we were mindful of keeping the hull under the rig and not losing it either broaching or Chinese gybing which would have been chaotic to recover from. We lost a snap shackle off the kite tack out of Lukes the 2nd time and had a bad gybe back to port on the way to Frances the last time which was 100% the foredeck’s fault. That breeze down there comes out of 3 directions at will – curving around Abbotsford Pt from ENE or out of Bedlam at NE or out of Looking Glass at NNE – there’s no rest.
Around Frances the last time with just the short work to the finish we were close enough to be able to hang on to the hcap win by around 30 seconds. Congrats to AOE for the scratch win in a close race all day which was thoroughly enjoyed by both match racing crews as well as SF and LOEG obviously. Michelle on SF did a great job all day to snare 3rd while BAM helmed LOEG well again for a very steady 4th.
Many thanks to Delma for the great photos of the whole fleet – we will get them on the website pronto.
Next week is Summer Series Race 2. This far out the forecast is 12kts noreast which is what it is for most days before as well, from about Wednesday, so hopefully it is correct.