Hearts of Oak!
Thirteen classic yachts revel in winter racing on Port Phillip.
With 15 -20 knot conditions forecast for race two the fleet was full of great day for a race optimism. Make no mistake, with actual conditions of a sustained 23 knots southerly in 2.5 metre sea conditions, it was a close call on stopping the race. While 30+ knot gusts did come through, the cloud cover breaks indicated the hail laced front would soon pass. During these conditions, backing off from racing calls from some of our fleet were received and supported.
The basis of the course selection for the race was to minimise the length of courses legs where beating into the weather was required. Once the top mark was made it would be all down hill.
Division based pursuit racing was tops for race two.
Battles between boats of each division and between divisions in Sunday’s blustery conditions were a feature of race two. Eighteen corrected time seconds separated the first three placing spread over division one and three boats. The corrected time results across the remaining fleet were almost as close.
At one stage the race tower though Akala was going to pass Kingurra when the narrow shouldered kite started to work. Not so, Kingurra went up higher to avoid the potential Akala wind shadow.
Sail of the day goes to Seabird.
While it could be said the surprise of the day was to see Martini so close to Akala at the finish line. It was the watching of Seabird leaving a track of foam in her wake as though she was in a straight line ploughing competition when she approached the finish line left the race tower based judges in no doubt. This scene was definitely the sail of the day.
Another candidate for sail of the day was Zephyr. Once she saw that finish line. Zephyr leaned over just that little bit more to give an impressive showing of Tumlaren power.
The around the course duel between the Tumlarens Dingo and Yvonne was a closely watched scene from the race tower.
Around the fleet another performance closely watched was that of both Marama’s and Pastime II.
It was all go on Marama. From her call to the race tower to inform Marama is go to hanging on to that clean hull Martini she consistently kept to her lay line to minimise her tacking work on the beat to weather legs.
Scene of the Port Phillip showdown
For Pastime II it was time to meet Port Phillip head on. Port Phillip, in all it’s strong wind and lumpy seas, and 30 square metres are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Race two was the scene of the showdown. With the crew who bring the champion yacht of Port Phillip, Ikon of Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, to her many race wins, Pastime II held off all that Port Phillip could throw at her.
Sadness of the day
What could have been is the word. Use of an unknown out of date course description had Mercedes III scratching her head as she watched the fleet presumably cutting corners. What could have been is the word. Mercedes III has accepted her lumps with a vow to show the fleet what she can really do.
Martini’s Race two story
Martini went back in the water on Friday after nearly three weeks of work on the hardstand. Doug did a fantastic job antifouling her after she had spent two years in the water as well as repainting her hull which was looking very tired as it was last painted 9 years ago.
We used Ferdi’s prize from the 2022 Cup Regatta to repair worrying stern leaks, replace a rotten plank and other works. He did a brilliant job. Both Doug and Ferdi are very professional and great to work with.
To the race, and course eight was the optimal course for Martini. We also picked the perfect sail combination and settings. The early lack of wind was tempting us to put up the large No1 headsail but as we were sailing two handed, we were played it safe and raised the No2.
The sail to B mark was where Martini excels, upwind sailing. Despite some very lumpy seas we sailed straight to B Mark and then tacked straight across to R3, again revelling in more upwind sailing. On rounding R3 we were right beside Akala who was just upwind of us. The wind increased and gusts caused us to round up several times. I warned Akala of our issue and she obliged by moving away from us. Thank you, Akala!
On the run to G mark Akala got just ahead and on the final leg to the finish she put up her spinnaker, which was very impressive.
Kingurra also passed us on this leg and powered off to get line honours.
A very enjoyable day although we would have liked it a few degrees warmer, less heavy rain showers and we really didn’t enjoy that hail at B mark.
Her clean bum allows us to sail up to 5-10 degrees closer to the wind, so it certainly helps. Given the high winds a clean bum would have minimal affect on speed as we were running our usual maximum speed for these conditions. We peaked at 9.3 kts around R3 and hence began to round up as this is way past her max theoretical hull speed of 6.5 knots (1.4 * sqr root of her waterline length).
I would have loved to have had her race in Race 1 as its in light wind conditions that a clean bum has a big impact.
You might have observed that our sail settings were perfect for the conditions.
How about all that from Ross Clark.
Now to the Kingurra Race two story.
We saw gusts up to 34kn apparent heading to R3. We also managed to break the leach line on the No 3, which is why one of the crew members was up by the shrouds trying to tie in (as best we could) some tension on the leach line after the cleat (on the sail leech) broke.
Kingurra crewman sorting out the No 3 headsail leech line problem…
Next Race 28 May
A three week gap as we moved the May 15 race forward a week to cover the no racing on Mother’s Day.
RMYS Presentation night 13th May
The CYAA will be there in force to collect the Tumlaren and 2022/2023 Summer Series trophies.
That’s all for race two now for race three!
Regards to all…
CYAA (Vic) Handicapper
Banner: Marama and Seabird as seen from Kingurra on the run to mark G.