Saturday 21 November 2020
We had breeze from the North West, ambling around nicely to the South before wandering to the East for awhile and back to the North again.
The Bosuns did a mighty job, setting and resetting the course to the new ‘breeze’ continuously, while on the boats the sailors were happy to be out on the water. Everyone could see the Race Committee was trying everything to squeeze a race out of the fickle conditions.
It was a passage race course so we weren’t looking for a stable direction, just enough to do a safe beat to windward and proceed around the course.
We got a start in with the Easterly breeze and the flood tide threatening to cause boats be too early, but a few observations on the VHF from the Start Vessel: “lots of boats too early” and “we have the sail numbers of all the boats that will be OCS” helped the fleet sort themselves out for a clean start in Div 1, while Div 2 had what must be a record of 3 OCS (On Course Side) boats.
Harriet and Jessamine went right early and it paid off really well with Harriet first around.
Sorrento had an excruciating finale, sailing shallow to the gate and coming within meters of the re-laid shortened course finish line before the breeze completely shut down and she drifted back powerless against the tide.
Ending the frustration and misery, the race was abandoned and we headed back to the western lawn for some snags and re-hydration in good spirits. We’d tried everything possible but it was just one of those sailing days when there wasn’t the weather for a race.
Photo: Bow down to stop the tide forcing OCS in the up the course flood tide.