Race 11 of the 2016-17 Season and third Heat of the Summer Point Score. Warm and dry conditions prevailed in the boat park as 7 skiffs prepared for the final race of 2016, with the wind from the west and a high tide almost lapping over the edge of the sea wall, making for an impressive sight when looking out onto the bay but also an ominous sign for later in the day when the tide would be at full ebb. It has been quite a while since we last held a race in a westerly, and as the day progressed conditions became hotter and dryer, while out on the harbour the breeze appeared to be anything but stable, with some skiffs delaying their choice of rig, and as it turned out all skiffs deciding on no.2 rigs.
The race got underway from a handicap start in Athol Bay on the no.5 westerly course (and, if the no.5 board is missing, then the no.2 board set upside down will substitute; no worries). Conditions were quite challenging as the limit boats got away into light and fickle headwind, with the occasional sporadic gust emerging from the west or north-west, and a strong run-out tide impeding their progress to the first mark off Kurraba Point. Britannia and Scot were first away followed closely by Tangalooma, The Mistake and Australia IV, and then a 10 minute gap before Aberdare started, albeit in a bit more wind pressure than was available for the limit boats.
Alruth emerged as the leader at the first mark for the long square run down to Point Piper, followed by Tangalooma, The Mistake, Scot and Australia IV, and some way back to Aberdare. Unfortunately for Britannia they were caught-out by a sudden gust and change of wind direction half way up the first beat, and suffered a terminal fill-up. The run down to Point Piper was long and slow, but on approach to the bottom mark the breeze filled in a bit from the south-west and the pace picked-up.