Ahoy to all with two hands up!
Fair weather and a fresh east-south-east greeted a wholesome and almost equal fleet of 17 – 8 Class 1 and 9 Class 2 yachts – for a doublehanded dice with the bay last Saturday.
Similar courses were set for the two doublehanded classes, to take advantage of the fine conditions and allow for long legs – something that is well enjoyed by this fleet:
Class 1: (14 miles) Start BH
(p); PE(p); DyangFamily(p); PE(s); Finish BH
(s) Class 2: (9.1 miles) Start BH
(p); PE(p); LandFall(p); PE(s); Finish BH
(s) I watched the start and first legs from my cave up on Devils Peak (I was unable to participate, but very pleased that our yacht sailed with my brother together with Adrian Spencer-Jones…) and it looked absolutely spectacular from up on the hill. It seemed like a number of yachts got off to decent starts and laid the top mark in one tack. Then came some telling and defining decisions at the beginning of the long downhill run: when to gybe and when to hoist, and a tester on who could hoist safely and correctly in the fresh breeze. Also a battle of the asym vs the symmetrical…
In Class 1, the well practiced Cape to Rio duo of Dale Kushner and Ian Coward aboard YOLO did a gybe set on the mark and were right up with the J’s and the Simonis 35, quickly disposing of the latter with better decisions after rounding the weather mark just behind. The L34 Nuthr Witch was slightly further back, but there was a long way to go yet…The Simonis, Scarlet Sun, made a massive whoops by hoisting a heavy asym and fell away after a very competitive start and first leg just behind two of the J’s. Mwah was having a good day and taking the challenge to their perennial doublehanded J comrades on both Jacana and Tenacity. The dangerous First 40 was a bit off the pace, but there would be time to make amends. With the beautiful Dehler 38 “Bonita” having a battle with their roller further, they were off pace from the start, but it is really very nice to welcome this new yacht to the doublehanded fleet in this series. They were competing in just their second race on the day. At Dyang Family, it was Jacana and Mwah locked in battle, with Yolo in very good form just behind. First 40 and Tenacity were also dueling nicely, and further back, Nuthr Witch and Scarlet Sun were having a boat for boat dice all the way back up and to the finish. Mwah were bullish, once they got the better of Jacana on the long beat home, that they might claim their first victory, but YOLO was playing the shifts cleverly and making light work of the fleet on handicap.
In the end, YOLO romped home 10 minutes ahead on handicap, followed by a happy Mwah and Jacana, with just one second separating fourth placed Nuthr Witch from First 40 in fifth, Tenacity in sixth, Scarlet Sun in seventh and Bonnita eighth. Welcome back to YOLO after your long lay off while prepping, competing and returning from Rio…and well done for flying the doublehanded flag on the open ocean.
The Class 2 yachts sailed a considerably shorter course (by just under 5 miles), and would all-bar-one finish before the entire Class 1 fleet. The battle in this fleet seems to be to tame the Humdinger; and although they managed to chalk up another victory, it was a remarkably close call this time with just 3 minutes separating the first four places, and tight boat for boat racing throughout. Although FTI Flyer again sailed a tidy race and managed to finish well ahead, it was not enough on handicap and she had to settle for second place, followed by Iechyd Da!, Warlock, Cabaray, Ava, Storm, Anastasia and some way back, Zikomo.
I know I’ve hammered on about how nice this form of sailing is, and the camaraderie that exists amongst the sailors…well it is encouraging to see another good turnout and I believe this format will grow to 30 or 40 boats on the water in the near future. The biggest turnout in this series was race 2, with 22 yachts on the water. The current series already has 35 competitors in it, with two race dates to go.
I would like to suggest that at the next race date, being the penultimate in this series on 24 May 2014, we have a fleet dock party/braai together after sailing.
Or we could have a double handed braai contest enmasse on the course while we are racing
Turn the wors.