by Bob Chapman, 13 Mar 2017.
Race 22 of the 2016-17 Season and Fifth Heat of the Autumn Point Score. Warm humid conditions and no rain for a change, with 8 skiffs in the boat park setting up with big rigs for a light south east breeze. The race got underway from a handicap start off Robertsons Point on the no.3 SE course with the breeze showing early signs of going left towards the east.
Limit boats Tangalooma and Britannia were first away, starting on a port tack with Britannia forced to tack away early from Tangalooma sailing high to windward and on the lay-line to Clark Island. Scot and Alruth were next away, and then The Mistake, Australia IV and a gap back to Aberdare then Yendys off scratch.
Tangalooma was first to round Clark Island for the tight reach to Taylor Bay followed by Britannia then Scot, The Mistake, Alruth, Australia IV, Aberdare and Yendys. Most skiffs elected to go main and jib down this leg. Scot attempted to set a spinnaker but lost time in doing so, allowing The Mistake and Alruth to sail through their lee. Yendys carried a specialised short-footed reaching spinnaker to good effect while Aberdare hoisted a peak-head spinnaker for the last section after rounding the reef off Bradley’s Head.
Tangalooma continued to lead for the beat from Taylor Bay up to Shark Island in testing conditions with the breeze changing in strength and direction. Tangalooma was first to round Shark Island for the long square run to Kirribilli, followed by Britannia, The Mistake, Scot, Alruth, Australia IV, Aberdare and Yendys. Britannia, Aberdare and Yendys all set ringtails down this run. Tangalooma maintained their lead at Kirribilli for the beat up to Clark Island, with Britannia in 2nd place, while The Mistake, Scot and Alruth turned in close company, then Australia IV, with Aberdare now closer at hand and Yendys.
The final beat up to Clark Island was testing in the variable conditions, but not a problem for Tangalooma who rounded with a clear lead for the final run to the finish, with The Mistake, Scot and Britannia rounding in close company while Alruth, Aberdare and Australia IV rounded side by side, with Yendys still chasing hard.
Tangalooma went on to score a well-deserved win from The Mistake, Scot scraped across in 3rd just ahead of Britannia, then Aberdare, Australia IV, Alruth and Yendys. Six skiffs carried ringtails down the last run; some were set while others took a while to get set. Scot had a swim after the finish.
Only 2 more races to go for this season. With thanks to our on-water support team of Barley, Russell, Peter, Adrienne, David, Louise, Chuck, 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.