RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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Bay to Bay report
What a ripper!
We had the ride of our lives on day 2 and day 1 wasn't too dusty either.
From the list of nominations, there were 17 24 SK's, 4 DK's and 3 28's in a total fleet of about 170. That equates to something like 1 in 7 boats being RL's. One newly acquired 24 was actually on its first outing. What an initiation!
Conditions on Saturday turned out a bit lighter than expected initially and we were unable to find air that someone hadn't used first but as the race progressed there was a bit more room and a bit more breeze. The last leg from the S38 beacon to Garry's was a tightish spinnaker reach with around 15 knots of breeze, a really good run. These days there's not much activity on land so we did our usual raft up. For those who want to know about anchors, we again hung 5 RL's off our 5kg claw. Needless to say, the gathering was highly convivial.
Sunday morning we started with about 8 knots up the tail and it gradually improved. Clear air was a bit easier to find but we still found ourselves 6 boats wide rounding the buoy at the beginning of Sheridan flats. The breeze was starting to fill in a bit so we had a good spinnaker reach to Ungowa. From there on we were experiencing the odd gust and the spinnaker sheets really started to get a work-out. The run to the bottom of Big Woody Island was a bit like hard work at times but we started to get the odd burst of 10 knots plus on the GPS so we were well charged with adrenalin. The angle was very tight and the odd boat had to drop the kite and climb up to windward before resetting their spinnaker. The breeze would have been in the 15 to 20 range. As we started the run up the back of Woody we were side by side with "Chill Ouat" and "Sarnia", with "Go For It" a fair way ahead. For once they were in sight at the finish. With a bit of wave assistance and despite the tide being against us, we managed to clock 11.3 knots on the GPS. I still get a buzz just thinking about it. While we jockeyed for position with "Sarnia", "Chill Oaut" managed to sneak ahead; the usual trick, while 2 boats concentrate on trying to get an edge on each other, the third one gets away. A momentary lapse of concentration about 100m from the finish line allowed "Sarnia" to get the drop on us but it didn't take anything away from the journey. We were back in harbour before 1pm, taking about 4 1/2 hours to cover some 35 nautical miles.
Congratulations to "Got Salt" for winning the RL Challenge trophy and the efforts of "Chill Oaut", "Sarnia" and, of course "Go for It" were outstanding. "Sly Fox" wasn't too far off the mark, either. The Performance Based Handicap system seems to be working well, with any boat having a chance if it is sailed better than ever before.

We were too busy to click a camera on Sunday, really, but we will send in some pics as we gather them from several sources.


Mike5-May-2009    Edit    Delete 

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