For the umpteenth time Carolyn and the boys on Xena won the best dressed for the festive season award – well done yet again team.
In the countdown we were a tad early and had to wash off speed and bear away a bit before starting lower down than planned, with AOE unsurprisingly to windward, followed closely by LOEG, SF and BT – see great start photo below from Brad.
With our A-team of 4 on board we were set for a tacking duel and got it in spades – for most of the way to Cockatoo it was willing including the hectic 3-boat call for ‘water’ off Abbotsford Point - from Five Dock Bay to the Gladesville Bridge, and Snapper to Cockatoo it was furious with probably over 20 tacks and several crossings less than ½ a boat length up that first work. At Spectacle a blanket could have been thrown over the four leaders, but on the kite run after rounding Cockatoo RGT and AOE eased away from LOEG and SF both with no kites today, and so – who knew – the stage was set for another match race with AOE’s gun 3 on board also. Great, nice to have a relaxing Saturday afternoon picnic sail eh.
Baz’s gratuitous communications during the pole set-up across the front of Cockatoo for the kite hoist attempted to lure us to the big one as they had hooked in but that wasn’t going to happen in 20kts thanks……we both had a nice sleigh ride to Morrisons after scraping around Drummoyne Pt with the breeze shy over the top of the peninsula, and the rest of the race followed the familiar pattern of the very slight speed differences upwind and down between the two boats in breezes up to 20kts. The breeze sagged a tad on the last work from Frances to Abbotsford to bring us closer to their upwind speed made good, and with AOE unfortunately getting into a tangle with the right of way Snowgoose at the final mark we were assured of holding them off.
Our windward kite set was more than a tad gnarly getting the thing around the front of the forestay…….thanks Helena for your adroit post-race input confirming this – there’s no respite from the prying eyes of the law J………..and with the kite set and a final tired gybe we got to the line for our first scratch win – ding dong the witch is dead.
AOE (thanks again boys for another superb race) finished strongly as expected, followed by LOEG in another steady effort by Brian and the boys, then SF and BT hanging in well. The hcap order was the same as the scratch order, and now RGT and AOE have halved their hcaps since the start of the season. Think we have a major problem on our hands when SF comes out of his hibernation for the second half of the season.
Well done to Div3 for the sublime post-race Christmas dinner thoroughly enjoyed by an overflow crowd of members and guests; dips, chook/ham and pudding which along with the Commodore’s half season summary and festive season wishes capped off a marvellous day. Even Santa put in an appearance, on the ASC starter’s boat, coming across on such a busy schedule as is his to wish us well.
Congratulations to the winner Blur, 2nd Snowgoose and third Farrago for their TwilightA series placings in a building fleet with very close racing – the 2nd and 3rd were separated in a countback – it’s great to see the Div3 fleet getting stuck into the behemoths.
Thanks as always to the starters, ace photographer Delma and all crews for what has been a cracking half season where we have seen the lot and more but handled it all as expected on the best harbour on the planet where everyone has a place in the sun – 45knots, party boats, kayaks fishing just off the start line, the ubiquitous ferries and RAN vessels, not to mention the water taxi hurtling past at close proximity doing 25knots with bridal party on the rear deck, including the groom in his spiffing kilt.
So we have the break to 13/1/18 for the final long series race 3, and then (for those entered) the 14/1/18 first heat of the combined club summer series where SF will look to defend their crown and RGT will try to build on the heat win from last year. Hopefully Farrago will also enter again, and other club boats – it is a great series, well run.
All the very best for the festive season to all, see you on the 13th and please don’t be late for the 13:00/13:10 start that day.