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A Mid Summer Fling

Ahoy Mid Summer Flinger

 

This wonderful regatta has blossomed into its fourth year of existence over the last weekend, and is still growing across all divisions, attracting a record fleet of 43 yachts. The three divisions in this regatta are IRC, Club 1 (TCF over 1.0) and Club 2 (TCF of 1.0 and Under)

 

We asked three competitors, one from each division, to give us an idea of how they experienced the regatta. So here’s what Harry Brehm (Club 2) , Michael Kavanagh (Club 1), and William Crockett (IRC) had to say:

 

Harry Brehm on Building Great Rivalries while eating Pork Sausages

(Or, Club Class Two from the perspective of the RCYC Sailing Academy entry “Escape”)

 

Sailing can be very competitive at times and when it comes to one design racing, it can even become an obsession to have the upper hand in the fleet. Seven L26 boats were entered and the most outspoken Peter Bam, the owner of “Hors d??? Oeuvres”, announced on the evening before the race that he will take no prisoners in the L26 fleet. He has owned his L26 for over 20 years and has won most races he has entered during that time. The fact that he has thrown his glove in the direction of the RCYC Sailing Academy, I took as a compliment. He obviously expected to get proper competition from one of our Academy boats. He also mentioned that “B&G” would have an unfair advantage being the only boat without any antifouling. I was glad that I chose to skipper “Escape”, or I might have been accused of match fixing!

The weather forecast probably did ring the alarm bells for all boat owners in Class 2, containing the smallest boats in our fleet. Except for the sturdy boats like the Miuras or steel boats like “Cabaray”, any wind forecast over 25kn comes as a challenge for the smaller boats. To sail an L26 in strong wind conditions becomes so physical, we had to lick our wounds after the first race on Friday already. The course for the first race became a bit of a navigational challenge for most boats but the variety of sailing angles made up for the efforts to find the next mark. This was one of the best courses I have sailed in a very long time. The L26 “Escape” was leading after day one, with “Far Med” in second and another L26, “Hors d??? Oeuvres”, in third.

Saturday morning greeted us with a flat sea and no wind in the morning. A light westerly breeze started to fill in and the race committee announced a windward leeward course. All seven L26’s in the fleet battled it out for the first places in the early stages of the race. The J27 “Hill Billy” also came into the mix and showed very good boat speed. Then the breeze died completely and the race was abandoned, to change the course to the new breeze in a rapidly building SE.

It was the same pecking order as in the first race. The fastest boat in our class, “Hill Billy”,  was leading the way to the weather mark closely followed by the two L26’s “Escape” and “Hors d??? Oeuvres”. Nothing changed in that pecking order and the two L26’s made up the first two spots with “Far Med” coming in third on corrected time. “JML3” and “JML1” came in shortly after the three leading boats and were also able to beat the J27 on corrected time.

In the ever building breeze, all boats decided to change to smaller headsails. On “Escape”, we also opted for the number 2, to avoid unnecessarily stretching the sail cloth of our number 1. The foredeck proudly announced that the number 2 could be trimmed on, about 2 minutes before our warning signal, but our upwind trimmer was wandering why on earth the sheeting angles would stay the same as with our bigger number 1. After much debating and one minute to our start we found out that the wrong sail must have been in the bag…oops, we had changed our number 1 for a slightly older number 1…well done!!! After the start, it was the same boats again in the charge to the weather mark. We were able to hold the other boats in the first two rounds, but on the last beat we were seriously overpowered with our number one. “Hill Billy” was cutting through the building wind chop most efficiently with their fine hull entry, followed by “Hors d??? Oeuvres” and “B&G”. “Cabaray” was enjoying the strong breeze and also gave us a hiding just before the finishing line.  In the end we were just glad to be able to finish the race, as we were hopelessly overpowered!

The next day we already knew that it would be a battle against “Hors d??? Oeuvre” to fight it out for the regatta win in Class 2. Right from the start, skipper Peter Bam did not miss any opportunity to drive us back in the fleet and started a tacking duel closer to the weather mark. It went so far that we almost had to drive into an anchored ship lying on the starboard side of the race course! After the next tack our Velcro holding the main sail on the boom broke, and soon after our outhaul quit with a loud bang. Game over, our mainsail was flapping in the wind. We were hoping to make a quick repair with a spare rope but were not able to get enough outhaul tension on the main. We decided to go back to the mooring, to grab a piece of spectra rope to make a proper repair. Our intention to only miss one race was not heard by the race committee and we missed the start of the next race by 5 minutes and started well back in the fleet. 12th place in that race plus the DNF the race before put an end on our hopes to win the regatta in our class. I felt very sorry for the rest of our team as they were giving it all throughout the races. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves we decided to set the record straight in the last race. We won that race in convincing style with JML3 and JML1 coming in behind us.

In the end, “Hors d??? Oeuvre” won overall in Class 2 with “Far Med” in second and “Hill Billy” in third. Well done to the winners and to all of the young teams on our academy boats. The youngsters threw Peter???s glove right back into his court, but I am not even sure if he has noticed yet!

The race committee did a great job to get 6 races completed in the 2 ?? days of racing. To put it into context, as Trygve Roberts would say, there would have been too many sausages to be swallowed by all competitors to get around the course. Nothing wrong with sausages, as long as you are not a vegetarian or happen to own a boat with a bowsprit instead of a pole!

—thanks Harry.

So, now on to Michael Kavanaugh, aboard yacht Ray of Light, on Changing Gears and Symmetry:

 

Looking through the entries in the club division 1 fleet for the 2014 Mid Summer Fling regatta, suggested a tough competition with 11 well prepared and sailed boats heading to the start line.

Leading up to the regatta there was much speculation as to what the weather would be like, with some of the early forecasts suggesting a heavy weather regatta, much like last year. However instead of howling south easters all weekend,  we were to experience a challenging mix of wind speeds over the 3 days of competition with winds ranging from the low single digits to in excess of 30 knots, providing a test of skill and ability to change gears.

The twilight race on Friday was like being thrown into the deep end, with a strong SE to test the crews. The course set by the excellent race officials had navigators drawing imaginary lines in their heads as they tried to join the dots. The unconventional long sausage, short triangle, short sausage, long beat was an excellent test of skills in the fresh breeze.

JJ Provoyeur and his crew on “After You” showed excellent boat handling skills, expertly hoisting, gybing and dousing their spinnaker as if sailing in 15 knots of breeze not 30 and deservedly took line and handicap honours.

For the rest of the fleet it was largely a damage limitation exercise as many boats were short staffed given the 17h00 start on a working Friday. The majority of the fleet electing to stick to main and jib both upwind and downwind. The VMG game was fascinating, with Dave Arnott on his beautiful new Beneteau First 40 choosing to fly his asymmetrical kite and sail the extra distance to the leeward mark while “Ray of Light” went for the DDW (dead down wind) option with main and jib on either side of the boat. Surprisingly, the DDW option seemed to pay on this occasion.

Racing on Saturday and Sunday was on more conventional windward / leeward courses with the wind progression on the two days symmetrical, very light Saturday morning building to a strong SE in the afternoon and strong SE on Sunday morning, dying to a zephyr on Sunday afternoon.

The changing conditions made for tight racing, with each boat getting its turn to shine. “After You” and “Bad Habit” were very good in the strong breeze and “Ray of Light” and “Me2Me” enjoying the lighter conditions. Luke Scott on “Scarlett Sun” was also going well, ever present and ready to pounce on any mistakes by the boats ahead. Racing was close with individual battles being fought throughout the fleet. It was a pleasure to have our own start and with 11 boats of various sizes, plenty of clear air to sail in but no shortage of competition.

In the end JJ and his excellent crew on “After You” won the division with superb downwind speed and boat handling giving them the edge. “Ray of Light” was a point back followed by “Bad Habit”, “Me2Me” and “Scarlet Sun”. Unfortunately a fitting failure at the head of the new First 40 mainsail on Saturday afternoon, put pay to their chances of a podium finish.

The regatta was a resounding success on and off the water. We are grateful to the sponsor, organisers and officials for an excellent Mid Summer Fling!

—thanks Michael

 

Now let’s see what William Kurriboomba Crockett’s views are from the IRC perspective (awaiting comment): watch this space???Also hoping to get comment from Race Director, Rick Nankin.

 

Finally, a quick word of thanks to the sailing office, mark layers, bridge team, press boat and race organizers.

Thanks to Lord Laidlaw for supporting our sailing programme with this offering, and also for hosting the yacht owners at a pre-regatta dinner, which is an excellent scene setter and opportunity to connect across the fleet and club.

 

This was a superb regatta…Let’s all remember to keep it clean on and off the water!

 

Out of interest, I have redone the results of the IRC and Club Division 1 as if all were sailing in one club division, since they sailed the same courses, just 5 minutes apart. I have discarded the last race, being the only race where both fleets did not sail the same course.

 

RankBoat NameDesignSail NoSkipper

Rating

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Total

Nett

1stAL Mount Gay RumFarr 38SA 630Robbie van Rooyen

1.09

-1

1

1

1

1

5

4

2ndWindpowerLandmark 43SA 3737Phil Gutsche/ Rick Nankin

1.25

-15

2

2

3

3

25

10

3rdVulcanGP 42SA 4327Hylton Hale/ John Cullum

1.345

-9

5

4

2

2

22

13

4thMorning GloryFarr 40 ODGER 40126Tina Plattner

1.265

2

-7

6

7

5

27

20

5thAfter YouL 41 modSA 1234JJ Provoyeur

1.21

4

-9

7

4

6

30

21

6thRay of LightBeneteau First 44.784Michael Kavanagh

1.18

5

6

-10

6

4

31

21

7thPants on FireJ 105SA 3786Dwayne Assis/ Paul Thompson

1.08

7

4

3

-16

12

42

26

8thCape FlingCorby 49888Irvine Laidlaw

1.4

3

13

(26.0 DNC)

8

8

58

32

9thBad Habit/ AE ElectricalMount Gay 30SA 4387Rodney Tanner

1.11

-13

12

9

5

7

46

33

10thJacanaJ 133GBR 5733 RPatrick Holloway

1.185

6

3

5

(26.0 DNC)

26.0 DNC

66

40

11thMwahJ 111SA 4382Gordon Kling/ Steve Meek

1.18

-16

10

11

9

10

56

40

12thCardiac ArrestWindsong 37 mk 2SA 4337Nigel Clack

1.25

10

-14

8

14

13

59

45

13thMe2MeFarr 38SA 898Derek Shuttleworth

1.08

14

8

-15

13

15

65

50

14thGumptionSimonis 40SA 4444William Crockett

1.27

(26.0 RET)

16

14

12

9

77

51

15thFirst 40First 40SA 4425David Arnott/ Peter Howarth

1.165

8

11

(26.0 RET)

15

20

80

54

16thTenacityJ111SA 4242Errol Stern/ Tony Cassar

1.18

11

18

17

10

-19

75

56

17thScarlet SunSimonis 35SA 1500Luke Scott

1.09

12

15

13

-20

17

77

57

18thYachtport SAFast 42SA 1994David Herman

1.175

(26.0 RET)

20

12

19

11

88

62

19thRegardlessSimonis 35SA 505William Brooks

1.09

17

-22

19

11

16

85

63

20thMajimoto IIFarr 38 modSA 765Paul Mare

1.125

(26.0 DNF)

17

18

17

18

96

70

21stSilkyWindsong 37 mk 2SA 4339Joe van der Westhuizen

1.25

(26.0 DNC)

21

26.0 DNC

18

14

105

79

22ndOne Eighty
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