The evenings have all but drawn in as the final series races come to an end. John Hicks and his crew placed Lizzie in the vicinity of Governor to take advantage of the Northerly wind and good beats to North Bank buoy. John and Rampage crew were fresh back from Nieuwpoort and a very respectable 8th out of 19 Half Ton Cup competitors, (incidentally they were the highest placed all amateur crew!), well done guys!
First away were the 4 (or 5?) Firebirds who went off at a cracking pace on starboard tack toward the inner harbour entrance. Ultraviolet, Peter Stephens, had a good start and was the eventual winner with one (or two?) boat retiring
Eight Q class then went off and as we stood off to the east of the committee boat while hoisting our genoa we saw a very late Origin charging at breakneck speed on a reach to the committee boat and his start. Specsavers or a new watch battery?
Next up were 12 yachts in U class and as the masses vied for position on a very crowded committee boat end we went for a port flyer on Trifle. It worked to a degree by slotting us in by the front-runners of the fleet as we close tacked under Quicksilver1 and slightly ahead of Kaimana. Eventually a slot opened up which allowed us to tack back onto port and take advantage of a persistent lifter thus pipping Walter Amos in Poteen to the windward mark in third place. A kite run to Black Rock lateral buoy then ensued with little or no advantage to any of the fleet.
One lonely Sunbeam came out to play but retired before the start, as the competition had already been wrapped up by R4. Five yachts started in W class with Levity the winner after deciding to join the fleet in the roads instead of playing pursuits, which start next week! Three G class started with Charm beating Miss Agnes and Katy to the finish. Last to start were 6 B class-working boats who looked resplendent with their bright topsails cheering up a dim purple sky! Lovely Rita, meter maid, sailed by Jon Peters took Grace and Winnie at the finish. Having rounded the leeward mark we had a long beat back to the North bank buoy. On Trifle we seemed to have a slight edge on Poteen for most of the crossing tacks but found ourselves two boat lengths behind as we tacked onto starboard to lay the mark. Walter slightly overstood the lay line and we tucked inside on the mark just ahead. A rapid kite hoist and some defending luffs saw us just ahead at the start of the trots. The kite was doused and Poteen charged to take our windward side. I could only luff a bit as Lowena, a Rustler 36 went straight over the top of both of us and had continuous obstruction rights. We forged ahead by three boat lengths and got caught under Cousin Jinny who was on port and tacked right in our water. We tacked off and back by the moorings and secured our place ahead of a brilliant tussle with Poteen.
Thanks to the race committee and ops room staff. All at the club behind the scene and Giles the lonely white light puttering around the finishers in a very dark gloom.
Next two weeks are joint pursuits with RCYC, not to be taken too seriously?
Charm and Miss Agnes
Lottie in the foreground and Tattarat beyond, followed by Wilkie
a little Trifle followed closely by Poteen
a relaxed Tai Mo Shan
newcomer Lowena meeting Deep Purple and her superbly handled spinnaker
another close encounter (apparently)
three GK24s finish together
Rita, skilfully assisted by John Maunder (Commodore) in first place