Closing Day at SoPYC
It really was going to be an annoying day. The breeze was out of the northeast and whatever happened, we knew we were going to run out of breeze at some point during the day. So we set out with lots of beverages and high hopes.
The start was encouraging and most of us got to Sampson, though as an early starter off 22, we had managed to get the best of the breeze to the mark. The larger, faster boats behind us were going to earn their right to be heroes and we watched as Don’t Panic zigzagged their way up the course sailing on a whisper.
The betting was that the breeze was going to be on the southern side of the river and accordingly they all sat on that side. One or two brave souls went right over into the north hoping for a change of breeze but were cruelly disappointed as the river began to glass over. By the time we’d drawn level with Applecross Spit, the flow of breeze out of the Canning was starting to diminish and as we watched, the river shut down and spinnakers became dishrags. But the river was still working and the flow was still downstream. High tide had been and gone and the boats in the middle including the early starters were looking a chance. Of the Div one boats, only Farrago and Flying Circus had managed to really push on through, but there was a strong bunch of Div two boats making their way into the middle. The lighter boats, the SS22’s and 27’s had done well and the H28’s at four tonnes and no spinnakers were remarkably well to the fore.
The radio crackled to tell us we had been awarded a shortened course and shortly afterwards Coffee Point came roaring down the track. Apparently, they had set off to put a finish line in at Dolphin West, but as they progressed up the track, decided wisely to finish us at Brick Landing A. Then they sat there and waited.
A little whiff of a breeze had the whole fleet set up for a southerly, but it was only a dream and it disappeared as fast as it came. But it got the little boats moving and even Farrago with a super light kite started to move. We had a little luck and once the four tonnes under us got moving, then momentum did the rest.
As we crossed the line we looked across toward Squadron buoy and there was a ruffle on the water and boats were setting up to take advantage of it. But we were on our way home. Well done the starters, you snatched a win out the jaws of a glass-out. Bad luck to those who withdrew and congratulations to Lachlan Hatch on Shakedown, who took the win for the Commodore’s Trophy.
~ Rick Steuart ~