The breeze was scheduled to drop out for the afternoon and the starters put the relatively new number three course (Light breezes) out for all three divisions. Of course as we had a sou wester, the obligatory dash up to Martin/Weaver came into play.. Every boat crossed the line under one hour and eight minutes and 4 seconds. Short course racing indeed.
All three divisions made short work of the dash up to Martin with the yachts in Div three having a great tussle along the pens up to Martin as a front came booming in, just as they started. Both the plastic boats were periodically being flattened as the pressure bore down, but the sole H28 with a long keel and 4 tons just absorbed the gusts and kept lifting above the other two. But they could lift better than the H28 and Bluegrass made Martin before the H28.
Further down the track, the Div 2 boats were well away and it was a battle between Ted Heysed with Maverick and Dean Picot driving Fair Game to get their boats around the track as quickly as possible. In fact running a kite in some of the down wind passages was going to be mandatory if you wanted to be out the front. The Division 1 race was marred when one of the fiercest competitors “Wicked” had to retire when the track on the forestay came adrift and they returned without a foresail. A great pity as they are strongly competitive. But the winner was a standout performance by David Atkinson and Crush (first and fastest) with Glen Thomas and Problem Child following on a whole 2 minutes + behind. Don’t know what happened there, but it is clear that the Jeanneau Sunfast 36 is quick. Slippery When Wet took third place over the line with Martin Softly in charge. Division two had Maverick take the first and fastest with Fair Game next over the line and Denise Bradley not very far behind with Sidewalk Café.
Division three was a race all of its own with the H28 suffering in the lighter breezes during the afternoon and Martyn Compton’s Commotion took the lead at Deepwater. The race was on again and boat length and a good reach down to Dolphin West had the H28 past Commotion as they prepared to put up the first spinnaker of the afternoon. It was a shy run and even shyer once Print had been achieved. A moment or two of stress for the foredeck on Commotion was sorted and they continued to chase the H28 all the way with Bluegrass following gamely on. But it was the luck of the draw on the run to the finish from Como. The rolling knocks coming down the Canning river as the breeze shifted into the south east pushed all the boats down to the pin and that long keel probably saved the day. Bill Richards and Swiftsure Saga took first and fastest, Commotion second over the line and third on handicap with Craig Gee’s Bluegrass a strong second on handicap and third over the line.
And does David Atkinson have a dual personality? Apparently he was skippering Tapestry to the front in Division one while helming Igawa in Division two?