MG14 Report – 7th April
We started Saturday arvo with a nice steady breeze from the nor-east that had us all hoping for an afternoon of a relatively smooth sailing race. Shannon and I went out early, since I was a fill in crew, to practice a bit before the race. Soon, we were joined by the rest of the fleet and itching to start the race. Mainsails tight, jibs fully on and crews flying out on trapeze, the race began. I couldn’t help but notice from my position on the wire Jet Stream flying through the water, desperate to reach the start line that they hadn’t crossed. The first upwind leg flew by, and by the first rounding of the top mark, Pegasus and Ella had made their way to the head of the pack, zebra and turquoise kites billowing.
Zooming down the channel, Shannon’s head was focused on the boat and to her immediate line of sight, so the thirty-foot yacht cruising in front of us didn’t quite catch her attention. My head was focused on the kite and the growing ache in my knuckles, so it didn’t cross my mind that maybe I should warn Shannon of our impending doom. As we grew ever closer to the yacht, I got my wits together and yelled at Shannon, ‘What’s your plan for this yacht?’. Still blissfully unaware of the massive boat ahead of us, she replied, ‘What yacht?’. She must have seen the ship then, because we swerved, narrowly avoiding a very ugly crash that no one wanted to witness.
Rounding the bottom mark, we pulled ahead of Three Kings and began our second lap. The tide at this point had begun to turn, but hadn’t quite figured out that is was going out and instead was stuffing about like a headless chicken. Unfortunately we went up the wrong side of the River and Three Kings cleared out from us.
About to round the top mark for the second time, we tacked onto port and dived into the mosh pit of boats heading for the buoy. First lap complete, we hauled up our spinnaker, hoping for another fast leg, minus the boat incident. Wish granted. The leg flew by faster than you could say ‘Gary’s already rounded the bottom mark’. Now, if we thought the tide was having issues before, it was full scale emotional breakdown now. The water was swirling around the boat in eddies and currents, and the wind had dropped off to a wind speed when its strong enough to plough the boat through water, but light enough that even a butterfly of a crew like myself couldn’t stay out on the wire. I’m sure Hoppo wouldn’t have had any issues.
Without the stimulation of trapeze, a period of boredom ensued, and I observed a rare site. A race between Jetstream and High Calibre. Let me just remind you that John started the race a bit behind the rest of the fleet. Excitement dwindling, we started our third downwind. By this time, my hands and arms were protesting, and they didn’t stop their march for justice when I went out on to the wire, or when we gybed about 12 times to get to the bottom mark. Last lap. The tide had finally decided to get its stuff together and all the boats were staying well away from the channel and the outgoing tide. The wind, on the other hand, had kept its annoying level of hike only much to mine and Shannon’s chagrin. On our last downwind, I was ready for the race to end so I could out get of the trap belt that was causing me much grief. We crossed to finish line shortly after Three Kings, who had been dodging us for the whole race. Finally, we could relax and watch the last of the fleet filter into the beach. All in all, it was a great afternoon of racing, and our result didn’t hurt.
Scratch results were Ella, Pegasus and Three Kings and Handicap went to Blues Bros, Pegasus and Ella
That was the final of our Club Championship and congratulations to ‘Ella’ – Greg and Ari for winning with 6 x 1st places, Runner up to Pegasus and equal third to Blues Brothers and Three Kings.