by Bob Chapman, 9 Oct 2017.

Race 1 of the 2017-18 Season and Heat One of the Spring Point Score.   Warm spring conditions with a moderate southerly breeze to get things underway, with seven H18s and five 12ft skiffs on hand to contest the Squaddie’s first event of the season to celebrate Mark Foy Day.  Three skiffs are absent, Aberdare, Alruth and Australia IV, and will be for the first 6 weeks as they make the return trip from the Sand Baggers event in Annapolis, USA, and as such there were surplus crew available to ensure the remaining skiffs would race.

The race got underway from Athol Bight on the no.4 Southerly course, into a moderate S/SE breeze with most skiffs carrying a no.1 mainsail or full size no.2 rig.   Britannia made it to the start area but in the process of waiting for their start signal decided to return to shore due to a serious water ingress issue – it would appear that over the recent long dry spell the hull planking had dried out somewhat with the seams opening up just a bit too much.   A vivid reminder of the issues encountered by the pioneers of our sport.

Scot was first boat away off 13 mins, followed by Tangalooma, then The Mistake, Australia, Myra Too (after missing their start by 2-3 mins), and finally Yendys who missed their start by a considerable time due to a rudder pintle issue back at the boat ramp (apparently a metric/imperial replacement mismatch during the winter re-fit).  Despite the set-back Yendys started the race and headed off to complete the course after giving away a huge start to the other skiffs.

Scot was first to round Clark Island for the run to Chowder Bay, followed by Tangalooma, The Mistake, Myra Too, Australia and Yendys well back.    Scot’s race ended suddenly and tragically when they rolled the gunwale under off Bradley’s Head.  Tangalooma was first to round Chowder with The Mistake in close proximity, with Myra Too having made up time on the run, then Australia and Yendys.    The beat up to Shark Island provided a good tussle between Tangalooma and The Mistake, with Tangalooma rounding first for the long run back to Kirribilli.

The Mistake sailed into the lead on the run to Kirribilli to round just ahead of Tangalooma, with Myra Too close behind after a fast finish to the run (having sorted out some spinnaker issues along the way).   The Mistake made a long leg on starboard tack towards Bradley’s Head, while Tangalooma and Myra Too held on to port tack towards Fort Denison before tacking on to starboard, with Myra Too then making additional tacks back to Garden Island.  When the skiffs approached Clark Island, Myra Too was first to round for the run back to the finish, followed by The Mistake, then Tangalooma, with the lead skiffs finishing in that order, followed by Australia and Yendys.

With thanks to our on-water support team of Barley, Anna, Russell, Owen, Dave, Louise, Rob, Chuck, Bill, Janis and Bill 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.