A sparkling afternoon, cloudless. The wind built from maybe 3 knots at the start to nearly 10 knots at the finish and 15 before we unrigged and got ashore.
A well-run start from Peter Collie and crew on a Club RIB - thank you. T&T tried to start on port at the pin end and was 20 seconds too slow to clear the other three boats, who all started more conventionally, on starboard. They judged well - although the pin end was favoured, it was possible to cross on starboard and to clear Clarke Island without tacking. So Sanity, Corinna and Chenonceu all headed left into the harbour while T&T had to duck all their transoms, head right across Double Bay and find the right moment to tack out.
Long story short, Sanity was just too fast; her skipper has her going well in light winds and fresh. Speed took her to the front of the group, and she won the race untroubled, without bothering with a spinnaker on the run. Conversely, Chenonceau was slow in the light winds; she made ground late in the race as the wind built up, but too much had been lost.
That left Corinna and T&T in the middle of the small fleet, and the advantage changed and changed between us. Corinna was first to the Point Piper mark; T&T closed a little to Taylor’s Bay; then, uncharacteristically for an upwind leg, T&T sailed faster on the leg to Sow’n Pigs rounding well in front - though of course in second behind Sanity. The boat seemed to settle into her task, David’s crew work was fast and neat and, when we sailed right to the Neilsen Park area we picked up a valuable easterly that allowed us to reach the mark with a single tack.
Our small victory then faded as Corinna hoisted a spinnaker and cruised past us at a rate of knots, turning a deficit of several hundred metres into a lead of several hundred metres at the end. Our problem - we didn’t have the spinnaker skills on board, though we did pole the jib. Next time…
Across the line:
- Time & Tide
By the time we got ashore the breeze was 15-20 knots and very cool, so we sat inside the Clubhouse, skippers and crews - which included all of Chris’ family, including Krisha and Russell.
Talk ranged from the Laser dinner on the Friday night preceding, to the 150 anniversary ‘do’ at the SYS the same evening, to our own race.
Eventually other matters called us all from different directions; and Club Laser sailors - having enjoyed the fresh late breeze - were still unrigging on the grass.
We sail next on September 2 - the beginning of the long ‘real’ season; 9 races taking us to May 2019.