SFS Race Report Sat 20th January 2018
by Bob Chapman, 22 Jan 2018.
Race 13 of the 2017-18 Season and Heat 1 of the H18 Australian Championship, with a special thank you to Coral Taylor for producing the Official Program booklet for this event. Typical warm to hot summer conditions with the expectation of a cooling sea breeze later in the afternoon as 9 skiffs prepared for the day’s racing in the boat park at the Squaddie. Most skiffs appeared to rig with full size no.2 rigs with a couple of boats deciding to carry their larger no.1 mainsail.
The race got underway from a scratch start off Double Bay on the no.1 NE Course into a moderate ENE breeze that was late arriving and just beginning to develop, along with a strong run-out tide starting to take effect. Yendys, Myra Too and Alruth got off the start line well with Aberdare forced to foot-off below and behind Yendys.
Yendys under big mainsail was in its element and soon sailed into the lead with Aberdare under no.2 mainsail sailing well once into clear air. The wind direction and pressure was variable on this leg as Yendys and Aberdare crossed tacks a couple of times in working their way down to the Beashel Buoy with Yendys first to round for the run back to Shark Island, followed by Aberdare, then Myra Too, The Mistake, Alruth, Tanagalooma, Britannia, Scot and Australia IV.
Yendys led the way down the run to Shark Island, setting a ringtail in the process – running fast with plenty of sail up to establish a good lead. As the skiffs approached the gybe mark, the breeze filled-in a little and moved to the east, making for a tight approach to the mark, where Aberdare was able to close the gap. Britannia also set a ringtail for the first run.
Yendys gybed first for the run down to Clark Island followed by Aberdare, then Myra Too, The Mistake, Alruth, Britannia, Australia IV, Scot and Tangalooma.
As the skiffs approached the bottom mark the wind angle became very square with Yendys all set to turn first, but some issues during the spinnaker take-down prevented them holding course to the mark, wherein Yendys had to tack and gybe to round the mark while Aberdare slipped around them to take over the lead. No doubt plenty of excitement for those onboard the Rosman spectator ferry at this point in time. Positions remained un-changed for the skiffs that followed, but unfortunately Scot was also caught out by the change of wind angle at the bottom mark and suffered a terminal fill-up during a late / unscheduled maneuver.
The breeze began to fill-in at this stage and Aberdare established a comfortable lead as they worked upwind to Chowder Bay, where they turned first for the tight run across to Shark Island with Yendys chasing and still pushing hard, followed by The Mistake, Alruth, Myra Too, Britannia, Australia IV and Tangalooma.
Aberdare gybed first for the final run and after setting a ringtail enjoyed a fast run to the finish to take the gun, followed by Yendys, The Mistake, Myra Too, Alruth, Britannia and Tangalooma, while Australia IV had a terminal fill-up in sight of the finish line.
With thanks to our on-water support team of Russell, Roy, Peter, Adrienne, Mike, Barley, Tamsin, Chuck, Stu, Bill, Janis and Bill, post-race support from Ross, Coral, Margot, Angove Wines and the rest of our tireless volunteers, along with the dedicated team at Rosman Ferries. We look forward to seeing you down at the Squaddie next week