25 September 2016

Classics - Summer Season - Race 1

The Classic yachts have started their summer season. Thanks to Peter Costolloe for this great article.

Pre race action
In a 17-20 knot westerly, a fleet of 13 Classics were on hand to begin another Summer Season of Classic Yacht racing. While audible sound signals were the feature of the Race 1 start, the fleet worked the division flag drop well for a clean on time start. Our first timer with the classics, Manukarere, (This bird shall fly) the Laurient Giles Trekka with her 19’ 8” water line had Cam Smith on the helm laying claim for the best on time start, up by the committee boat. Several classics, running down the line under a tight starboard beat were in a no barging situation and kept several other Classics away from the start line. After quick throws on to port by these no prisoner classics the line cleared to allow a decent group start across the fleet.

The fleet leaders. Mercedes, Kingurra and Frances began their epic battles once again. In all this fleet leader action was Manukarere. After her brilliant start she worked her waterline to max speed and held position with the fleet leaders. Her overhaul by twice her waterline length by Marie Louise III who had a hull speed start on port at the pin end of the start line was inevitable. Cyan also had a well timed start and was in good position to chase these fleet leaders down. Waterline length on a tight reach start was not what the doctor ordered for Warringa and Martini.

At the first rounding mark. Mercedes III put in some tactical moves to be the first of the fleet to round the top mark. With Kingurra and Frances following. The Tumlarens fleet were in a tight mix after start. Sirocco, after gaining extra movable ballast in the form of Mark Chew who jumped on board from the race committee boat during pre-start action, was doing well against Avian and led the Tum fleet around the first rounding mark.
Classics Race 1 HBYC Course 5

Reaching to the R2 mark.
With a too shy for kites run to the R2 mark the fleet started to stretch out. Kingurra overtook Mercedes III. After this run, Frances under the helm of Christian Boillot, the Dragon champ of France, was well positioned to beat up to the R2 mark and squeeze out Mercedes III.

Marie Louise III gained some ground on Cyan on this tight reach leg. The Tum fleet were having a great time. Sirocco improved position while Dingo, Ettrick and Snow Goose carved up Avian into small painfull pieces.

Although long runs on a tight reach aren’t supposed to favor short water line boats the skippers and crews on Martini, Warringa and Manukarere weren’t accepting that this law of physics applied to them. Working hard on their continual sail trim to take advantage of every wind strength and direction change all Classics in this group held fleet position to stay in corrected time contention.

At the R2 rounding
Watching Frances do a fast after mark R2 rounding kite pop and clean fill was the top scene of the day. Kingurra and Mercedes III soon had kite flying but too late, Frances was gone.

To shy for poling out was the word from Marie Louise III and Cyan. This was not good as the Tumlarens said yes to kites and began the chase to pass these two. Sirocco with her red kite had the distance measurers on Marie Louise III busy as she passed Cyan. Avian re stitched herself back together for new life and worked the following seas to return the carve up favor to Snow Goose then Dingo and then Ettrick.

Fast kite action was also the word on Manukarere that bought her closer to Martini and Warringa on this run.

At the last mark rounding.
A last moment kite drop on Frances at the last turning mark saw her extend the lead over Kingurra and Mercedes III.

At the RMYS Mark D, with Mark Chew trimming and Charlie Salter working the Sirocco helm hard Marie Louise III was held to position while Cyan was passed and ground was put between Avian, Snow Goose, Ettrick and Dingo.

To the finish line and line honors
Congratulations go to Frances for taking out a hard earned line honours win over Kingurra by slightly less than one minute. Mercedes III followed these two by a time slightly less that one minute. Watching these three Classic Yachts, all with racing pedigree’s of yesterday as long as your arm, battle out for the fleet line honors placing is a feature of our Classic yacht fleet.

Snow Goose takes out 1st on corrected time.
Congratulations must go to George Low for bringing Snow Goose home in fine style . Conditions of the day showed what Snow Goose is capable of. Now the handicapper has to show what handicappers are capable of.
Tight corrected times again feature in Classic Yacht racing.

A look at the corrected times show tight these battles were the order of the day between the 13 Classic on the water for Race 1. Placing 2 to 10 were separated by a margin of 2 ½ minutes of corrected time after an average of 78 minutes elapsed time. Over the entire fleet 6 ½ minutes of corrected time separated the entire fleet over an average of 90 minutes elapsed time. Across our 5 strong Tumlaren, there was a margin of 4 ¾ minutes of corrected times after an average of 93 minutes of elapsed time.

Much after race analyzing and discussion of the results was seen when the results were eventually published. Those moments of hesitation are seen in the corrected time results.

Thanks go to David LeRoy, Race Director of RYCV, for generating the race results at short notice. No pics from this race were received. Goes to show the intensity of the on board action across the classic fleet while racing.

Next race date and venue
Race 2 October 16 with Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron as the race conducting club.

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