Archive for May, 2008
Friday saw an early start to racing as only the J24s were out on course Bravo. Many of the crews were still licking their wounds after Thursday’s mayhem, so it was nice to see the breeze stiff but not unmanageable.
Principal Race Officer Jay Hooper decided to make the first race a challenge of endurance - course 3 with a windward finish. On Solaise we had a great start and managed to squeeze out in front of New Wave - forcing them to tack away. We trucked upwind - but New Wave got ahead and tacked on us several times, which did not help our speed. In the process Shogun moved ahead of us, which was the last thing we needed as they were the boat closest to us in the overall standings. The next tow legs saw Trevor Boyce consolidate his lead, with Shogun going well. Pete Backeberg on Siren sailed a great third upwind on the right to sneak ahead of us - putting us in fourth, with SpoRHADiC breathing down our necks. The final upwind was a tense affair, with New Wave crossing first, Shogun second, Siren third and Solaise just pipping SpoRHADiC on a finish line which was contracting as the Committee boat swung around in the breeze.
After the first race New Wave went home, having already sealed victory, leaving 11 boats to fight it out in the final race. Jay Hooper eased up and set a course 2, and off we went to a mark up by Grey’s bridge. On Solaise we went left, and managed to pinch out Bruce Stone before tacking back on port layline to lift up to the mark. Shogun was inside us, and Gord Fleming was on the helm and had the boat trucking again. We rounded just ahead of them, and behind them SpoRHADiC were again going strong. Siren seemed to be languishing but gybed early to get a jump on some of the other boats. The next upwind was another tense affair as we covered the fleet, and the downwind saw us just keeping ahead of a flying Shogun. Bruce Stone finished third and Siren fourth.
So Trevor Boyce and New Wave win the Gripper Trophy convincingly. Siren round out a fantastic week with second, and Bruce Stone and crew pip Sue Wallace for a podium finish.
Two words can sum up Thursday’s racing in the Great Sound - “Wind” and “Carnage“. Heavy breeze with big gusts caused havoc in the fleet, but New Wave rode out the storm to consolidate their lead with a second and two firsts.
We made our way out to the Great Sound knowing that it was going to be a windy day. There were no genoas in appearance and our anemometer was showing an average wind speed of 20 knots. That did not seem too bad, but that reading did not factor in the increase, or the gusts.
The first race went off OK. SpoRHADiC had Alan Powell on board today, and his presence immediately seemed to have an impact on Bruce Stone and crew. The first upwind saw the blue RHADC boat (one Alan is very familiar with) leading the way, with New Wave following behind. Doug Inglis and crew on Sadiiqi were also going well, but had not heard the RC call them over early, so were racing in vain. On Solaise we started out well, but all the boats were really struggling to stay flat as the breeze came down the channel. Shogun picked up some speed and were flying. The finish saw SpoRHADic take the bullet, with New Wave second and Shogun third.
Race two saw things start to get really shaken up. The breeze intensified, and the upwinds were getting very lumpy. The first downwind saw a number of boats knocked flat, and it began to become survival sailing. Jezebel and Catlin saw their twing cleats pop under pressure, on Solaise we had a jib car break, the pole line snap and the spinnaker tear, making gybing even more difficult than it was already. Crews were hanging on dear life in the white knuckle ride down to the mark - with gusts of 30 knots making the keels hum. On Catlin two crew went in the water, but were fortunately pulled back on board, albeit bruised and battered. New Wave emerged out of the melee in pole position, with Dale Robertson and Shogun in second and SpoRHADiC in third.
Race three was not quite as windy as the previous race, but crews were getting tired now. New Wave again took the bullet, with Sadiiqi grabbing second and Bruce Stone on SpoRHADiC finishing just behind Siren to round off a great day - it must be all that sailing in San Francisco Bay.
That evening we went on a little cruise around Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound. Many crew members were nursing their wounds, but a pleasant night was had by all. So Trevor Boyce now does not even have to sail on Friday and he will still win the regatta.