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Twilight Race 7 Report

Twilight Race 7 Report

Ahoy Twilight Punters

 

We are on a roll! The lucky number seven in the Lufhansa Twilight series brought with it some poker faces and roulette-wheel wind, from the south-west and south-east. In fact, in some divisions, there were yachts starting on the extremes of the start line, sailing on opposite tacks and in exactly the same direction. Now there’s a trick!

With Zephyrus and Eurus fighting it out for the soul of the south winds, picture Lady Luck, Great Aeolus, Mighty Neptune and Poseidon, convened in a dark basement room, around a table of Texas Holdem, and dishing out a 6/7 hit rate for the season to date, with just Rollover Robby calling the only blow-out back in Race 3 of the twilight corral…

For most divisions it seemed like a bridge hut side start paid off. After working through the light stuff, there was some good breeze up at Hooligan’s Corner, and then gambling up and down the beach in a high rolling swell…

Thanks to Mike Kavanagh, who set the courses. (Thanks also to a couple of other club members who have indicated their interest in giving course setting a shot. Look out for some new names in the near future.) The courses worked out well, even if some were again a little on the long side…but who wouldn’t rather be out there sailing for just a bit longer!?

To reiterate what was mentioned in last week’s twilight race report, setting a balanced variety of courses for the seven divisions is a challenge, especially with a weather lottery and some quite big handicap spreads in some divisions. Also, add to that, the spinnaker divisions generally want more windward-leeward type legs, and the non-spinnaker divisions generally enjoy a stronger reaching element. Finally, add that with flukey wind conditions cancelling out some of the harbour channel marks as course options, the marks available for course-setting are quite limited.

There were at least sixty yachts out on the water for this race, a quite magnificent sight, and a stirring reminder that keelboat sailing on a Wednesday evening in Cape Town is very much the place to be for all!
Here are some other staggering numbers to boot:

  • – 80 yachts in the Lufthansa Twilight series to date,
  • – the birth of two new divisions, with the Division 4 Cool Cats (after just 5 races), and the Division 3 Spinnaker (after a 3 year gestation period). It is a real tribute to the success of the RCYC Sailing Academy and its two new entrants (one being a team from Wynberg Boys High School) that Division 3 Spinnaker can finally launch as a stand-alone entity. Well done! Also, credit to the likes of Hors d’Oevres, FTI Flyer, Sirocco, Carousel, and more recently, Reaction and Warlock, for sticking it out on long courses against higher handicaps for the last three years. May this division now flourish!
  • – the biggest class on the water in the series consists of 11 Miura’s in Division 3 non spinnaker…and there are quite a few more of these yachts that have not left moorings yet…so 15 bulls on the water before year end is still feasible!
  • – the second biggest class is the IRC Fleet, all in Division 1 Spinnaker, which sports 8 yachts to date.

We have a super impressive fleet turnout each week, and no doubt there are numerous yachts competing with new crew and possibly a degree of unfamiliarity with the format, course layouts, etc. Welcome to twilight sailing!

However, as a potential result of this, there have been some yachts that have not sailed the correct courses set, yet crossed the finish line to be scored. There is no problem with not sailing the correct course, especially if you’re out there more for the fun of it, but then rather don’t cross the finish line – if you know you haven’t completed the course set – please sail around, outside the finish line. Also, please let the sailing office know if you have not sailed the correct course by retiring, as this then avoids having to redo results and also avoids calling up the incorrect yachts at prize giving. You will still be acknowledged in the results for being out on the water, and for starting the race! A reminder that all courses are described on VHF channel 06 at or around 17h30 and 17h45, in accordance with the club’s sailing instructions (refer to club Sailing Instruction 7.1), and course cards showing all the marks in the bay are available through the club. A good suggestion here is to get your course card laminated and keep it aboard, together with an eradicable marker, to draw the relevant course for your division each week. Also, listen out on VHF 06 from 17h25.

It is really encouraging to see so many youngsters about, either sailing or enjoying the new Wednesday Twilight Kids Club, with professional child care provided by the club. To ensure the viability of this initiative into the future, please make use of this service now. It is free to members and runs from 5-8pm. This obviously means that for parents who want to sail, there are no excuses not to come down and enjoy a flip around the bay!

So, here’s one for the youngest sailor in our fleet to ponder: the measure of the success of this twilight series comes not from the water, but from the Inside House Galley, who now sell out of 200 burgers each Wednesday evening. In the past, they looked to sell 100. Armed and dangerous with a twilight burger in hand, it’s becoming a bun fight to get one before they are all gone…

Finally, there are just two more dates with Lady Luck in the current Lufthansa Twilight Series, on 27 November and 4 December, with the series prize-giving set for the latter date.

Then, we have one more twilight date this year with a different type of Lady, the Bona Drag Ladies Key Position Twilight Race on 11 December, where you are encouraged to enter your yacht, either with three or more ladies in key positions (like helm, upwind trim, downwind trim, foredeck, etc), or have your crew dress up in drag and chase the ladies on the water, while celebrating the end of a great year together…and there will be a little soir’e at the club afterwards…

Aces High, Come Sailing!

Luke

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