Race Date 3 in the current Club Winter Series was a back-to-back cracker.
With a laid mark up towards Granger Bay, the honour of setting courses was given to Markus Progli and James Largier, who had delivered an engaging talk focused on sail trim the preceding Wednesday. Thanks guys.
The courses were loosely combinations of triangles and sausages, with mostly starboard roundings. A very pleasant and fairly steady wind moved from slightly north of west to slightly south of west through the afternoon, easing slightly as the day progressed. There was quite a bit of advantage in choosing the correct side of the biased start line, and also in choosing which side to favour on the upwind legs. 17 yachts came out sailing, which is consistent with the other 2 dates in the series so far, but frankly a bit disappointing considering the fine weather and the ample publicity of the series. A 30 yacht fleet would be more like it – fantastic, with about 10 yachts in each division.
Division 1 had a reasonable turnout of 7 yachts, again including the three J-yachts Jacana, Tenacity and Mwah (we’re looking forward to the return of the other J’s: Naledi and Pants on Fire). Also good to see Vulcan back on the water, joining Maestro, Majimoto II and Ray of Light, all of whom have already sailed in the series to date. Missing from the action this time was After You, and the anticipated appearance of Windpower failed to materialize. A longer sausage-triangle-sausage type course was followed by a shorter sausage-sausage. The top three in the results were Vulcan (1st; 1st) Jacana (3rd; 2nd) and Tenacity (2nd; 3rd). Jacana was flying some very colorful kites that would make mincing 80’s pop bands like Wham and Pet Shop Boys very proud! Nice!
Division 2 sailed two identical courses, the only difference between them being a shift in wind angle, and a slight easing of wind strength. The courses were loosely a triangle-sausage. Despite the fact that there are still only 3 yachts competing in this division, the competition is very enjoyable, especially on a boat-for-boat basis, and the new team on Scarlet Sun are really enjoying the learning curve next to the consistent performers Necessity and Nuthr Witch, which can only be good for sailing. Necessity took the first race by just 3 seconds from Nuthr Witch, but ran away with the second, even after a false start. It looks like Nuthr Witch and Lapwing are going to have a fantastically competitive L34 battle when Lapwing returns…and let’s see all the other L34’s back on the water to compete with them! Also, let’s see Celine IV, Yolo, Freedom, Touch n Go, Always Well, Mafuta, et al on the start line. Division 2 traditionally has a lot of advantages: a small ratings band, competitive corinthian sailing and a loyal fleet (highest consistent turnout rate for the last two twilight seasons). Just about everyone in the division can make the podium at some point in a series.
Division 3 again had a good turnout, with Wings and Ava, 2 of the 4 Miura’s competing in the series so far, making it to the start line. Wings, Ava, Matador and Iechyd Da are really enjoying things, even if the weather so far in the series has not really been slam-dunk-Miuraweather! Impact came out to play for the first time this series, joining series regulars Cabaray, FTI Flyer, Humdinger and First Lady. Anastasia has gone walkabout on this series.
Some peculiarities on the day: Cabaray and Ava sharing a dead heat tie in the second race; Impact featuring an all female crew, but only sailing in one race, despite it being her weather; and Wings putting in her most competitive showing to date in the first race – well done. The first race was a there and back sprint. The second race saw this division sail the same course as Division 2, just starting in slightly fresher wind, 10 minutes before the Division 2 start, so comparing this race’s results with the Division 2 results makes interesting reading. Top three in the division were FTI Flyer (2nd; 1st), First Lady (1st; 3rd) and Humdinger (3rd; 2nd).
Two bottles of Kraken were drawn by the lucky draw of numeral pennants after racing, with Captain Harry Dolos and the crew aboard FTI Flyer, and Patrick Holloway and the Jacana crew, were the recipients (drum roll and Wham song in the background).
Another lekker day on the water, with some sun induced colour in our faces at last, and a full & festive clubhouse afterwards…
The last date in the Club Winter Series will be 28 September.
Club Winter Series, Race 2
In stark contrast to the first race last week, the second race day in the Club Winter Series was held in warm, calm conditions, with a slow swell running. Hard to believe we are in the middle of winter!
A fleet of 17 yachts made it to the start area, comprising 7 yachts in Divisions 1 & 3, and 3 yachts in Division 2.
With very little wind predicted and a glassy sea, it was no surprise that the bridge signaled a postponement, but it was pleasantly surprising to see so many yachts keen to start. While there was little breeze in the start area, there was a beautiful westerly of about 10-12 knots gently filling in from the outer harbour channel. While we waited for this, the bridge announced a fun short race to #4 and back, in which everyone on the water readily participated, kites and all. Yachties are always competitive in spirit, and even this short race was a scrap. It really shows the importance of the start, mark rounding, and handling, with no room for error. If weather permits, we will look at having a shortish sprint race to count next time, as a lot of sailors commented very positively about this. You will be pleased to know that times for the fun race were taken, so we will publish an unofficial all class result for your interest. Last thought on this – it was also good practice for the bridge, who’s radio communication on the day was concise and ample: Really good!
So, onto the actual race…
Officer of the Day, Robert van Rooyen, was tasked with setting the courses, a task he undertook remotely. The three divisions had three different courses set, which were carefully weighted to anticipate a close finish of all the classes. While the wind remained light in the start area, it was very pleasant to the north and west.
Division 1: 5.5miles St-BH.#10(s); #2(s); #8(s); #1(p); #8(s); #1(p); Fin-BH.#10(p)
Division 2: 4.3milesSt-BH.#10(s); #2(s); #8(s); #4(s); #1(p); Fin-BH.#10(p)
Division 3: 3.9miles St-BH.#10(s); #2(s); #8(s); #1(p); Fin-BH.#10(p)
With the wind as it was, the courses dabbled in the harbour channel, and there were some WTF toots from an incoming general cargo vessel as the primarily Division 1 yachts crossed the shipping channel to round #1 the first time around just as the ship came in.
Even while racing, a fundamental rule is for us to keep clear of all shipping, especially in the channel. In case you are not aware of how to deal with this generally, either stay clear of the channel completely, or cross it swiftly at 90 degrees. For example, in the English Channel, you could be slapped with a massive fine/censure if you don’t cross a shipping lane at 90 degrees! Hopefully it doesn’t get to that here.
From a personal point of view, our yacht made a tactical error of crossing perpendicular early and sailing clear above the ship, and we over stood the lay line by a country mile, destroying our race! But, general cargo vessel Antonio revealed a secret to us: we did get a serendipitous glimpse of a certain Open 40 on a cradle on the aft starboard deck…an exciting new addition to our Cape racing fleet in the not too distant future?
The elapsed times show how close the weighting of the course lengths were, with the leaders in Division 2 & 3 crossing just 2 seconds apart, and all the division 1 yachts completing their course before the last of the Division 3 yachts.
Thank you to the bridge: Ron, Toni, John Connor and Sonja from Kraken. Sonja got busy hoisting flags and sounding signals. Thanks also to Robbie for the course setting, even in the channel! A warm thank you to all the yachts out there on the water. The fact that all finishing yachts mustered under the L flag at the finish, awaiting news of whether there would be another race, despite the light conditions, is a clear indication that our growing winter fleet is in a good space.
Lastly, congratulations to all participating members, who stand in line to win 1 of 2 bottles of Kraken on each Winter Series race day. As discussed in the latest newsletter, and at the after race presentation on Saturday, we are looking to move the next race date in this series to 24 August instead of 7 September. This is as a result of GBYC only confirming their Gaul Regatta date after our calendar was set, coinciding with the cancellation of a promotional race event at RCYC on 24 August- opening up this date on our calendar. We would appreciate your support of this change, which will enable sailors to compete in both the RCYC Winter Series and the Gaul Regatta. If you have a valid complaint about this, please lodge it to by Wednesday, 7 August. Pending broad consensus, which seemed forthcoming on Saturday, we will confirm the change in the next newsletter.
Race 1 Report
Intrepid sailing on Saturday; being the start of the 2013 Club Winter Series, and the first race to count towards the 2013/4 Club Championship.
A day of northwesterly squalls, big swell, and variable winds from 12 knots up to the mid twenties at times. Great weather to test resolve, and great weather to cosy up in the club after racing to regale war stories from the day, and to warm up on some rum…
15 fully crewed yachts across the three club divisions made it to the start line. Remember that (as advertised well in advance) the start time for this mid winter series is at 1pm, to allow for longer courses, or the alternative possibility of back-to-back races.
After an all class start between the Bridge Hut and #10, a 17 mile Division 1 course took this fleet to Landfall, Paarden Eiland, #10, #2, Woodbridge; Landfall; Harken; and up to the finish between the Bridge Hut and the Kling Finish Mark. There was a strong Division 1 fleet despite some of the regular pacesetters being decommissioned and/or in the throes of annual maintenance or even hibernation! After You, Jacana, Ray of Light, Mwah, Tenacity and Majimoto II completed the course, in that order on corrected time, with smiles and weary bodies.
An unusually small Division 2 fleet comprising the trio of Necessity, Nuthr Witch and Scarlet Sun, sailed the same course as the Division 3 yachts Cabaray, Humdinger, Iechyd Da, FTI Flyer, Ava and First Lady. These fleets sailed the same course as Division 1, sans the last loop to Landfall between Woodbridge and Harken, making it a 12.1 mile course.
The yachts finished in their respective classes in the order mentioned above on corrected time.
Thanks to the bridge, comprising of Toni, Ron, and our Officer of the Day, Hylton Hale, who set the courses upon which so many sailors commented on so positively later that evening.
Once back safely in the clubhouse, a numeral pennant lucky draw decided which club members from which yacht and division would lay claim to one of the two The Kraken bottles of rum on offer. Despite the fact that these were kindly shared with some sailors (to appease the Kraken beast) there was still an onslaught at the bar to claw back core body temperature and to assist in giving perspective to the afternoon’s achievements.
Another great day on the water, look forward to sharing this with a bigger fleet next time round!
Don’t forget The Kraken Wednesday Evening Talk this week, 6pm in the Main Hall. Robbie van Rooyen and William Crockett will be talking wireless electronic interfacing and navigation apps’. There will be a rum taster for participants, and then thereafter, why don’t you consider a meal from the new menu at the club restaurant?
The next date in the Winter Series is this upcoming Saturday, 3 August, 1pm first start.
Club Kraken Hunters
Div 1 Course
Div 2&3 Course