CLUB MARINE SERIES – HEAT 2
Anticipating great conditions for the second heat of the Club Marine Series,
114 boats took to the waters of Port Phillip Bay on Saturday.
But conditions didn’t quite reach expectations and according to at least
one competitor, there were a lot of frustrated sailors out on the bay.
Mike Kuesgen (Intrusion) runs us through the day.
The first race saw Cougar and Living Doll show their light air skills,
Michael Hiatt taking the gun and Alan Whiteley the handicap results. Chris
Dare continued the gradual improvement on Flirt to take third in both IRC
In the second race, none of the boats completed the course under the time
limit. Living Doll reached the finish line first, but crossed the line
approximately one and a half minutes after the time limit had expired.
Probably a great relief to Rob on Scarlett Runner after he parked at the
leeward mark and had the indignity of having the division 1 fleet have to
treat him as a stationary obstacle.
Goldfinger’s Kate Mitchell said of the Division 0 race: ``The first Division 0 race started
at 1130 in beautiful conditions.``There was a 10-15 kt breeze from the North – the sun was
shining and the crews on Living Doll (Michael Hiatt) and Cougar 11 (Alan Whitley) must
have been thinking that it doesn’t get any better than this as they tussled for line honours
throughout the race.
``The second race was very disappointing. The race started with between 5 – 10 kts but by
the end of the first leg had faded.
``Audi and Calm found some pockets of wind that had taken them well ahead of the fleet
by the end of the second leg. The wind became more light and shifty as the afternoon wore
on - and positions changed as zephyrs of wind found one boat – moved it along for a few minutes
and then left it. An opportunity for the race to be shortened passed.
`` Living Doll, Audi and Goldfinger were minutes from the finish line when time ran out and the
race had to be abandoned. Veloce (Phil Simpfendorfer) must have been disappointed as they put
in a stellar performance and would have done well on handicap.’’
Another light air lottery, with Alan Woodward and Reverie showed the
advantage of just gaining a break on the fleet when, with Lou Abrahams on
Challenge and Don Cameron’s Smooth Criminal they held onto the last of the
light air on the run to gain a clean break on the rest of the fleet - Alan scoring a
box quadrella of IRC, AMS, Performance and line honors, Lou taking the
trifecta of second in all handicap divisions and third over the line and
Don second over the line and third in AMS and Performance. Bruce McCraken and
Ikon taking third in IRC.
Absolut’s Terry Hall said of the Division 1 race: ``With a sunny 29 degrees, flat water and
light breezes, Saturday’s race should have been ideal conditions.
``The wind at the start was around 10 knots from the north and those boats that started at
the pin end did well, with the wind filling in from the left.
``The second leg was where the fun started. Challenge gybed early going to the left while
Smooth Criminal went to the right, with both boats finding consistent breezes early on.
``Boats going down the middle sailed into no breeze and were left becalmed. The wind then
died across the entire course with little pockets of breeze developing, that would see a boat
with a kite fully powered while 10 meters away, another boat just sat becalmed.
``The third leg started as a beat in light air, but quickly developed into a shy run as the breeze
went east and finished south-east. Those boats that hoisted spinnakers early benefited from the
building seabreeze and, at one stage, boats heading north on this leg carried kites, while
slower boats finishing the second leg were also carrying kites while heading in the opposite direction.
``The fourth leg was a reach in a consistent 12 knots of breeze before a short leg to the finish. From
a race management viewpoint, this is about as hard as it gets and the crew on the start boat did a
good job to set course that all boats could complete on the day.’’
A Clean start saw the fleet away in about 5-7 knots. With slightly better
breeze inshore, Godzilla, Young Lion, Frequent Flyer, LeBrock, Can Can
and Hush made up the leaders at the top mark. On the second work, the
right looked good initially, with Michael Manson and Young Lion looking
initially to be in control. A 180 degreen wind change left him with the
other inshore boats cursing the fickle winds gods as the southerly fed in
from the left.
Although Tom Fowler’s Godzilla took the gun, he was unable to make a big
enough break from the team of Morgan and Frew on Can Can who scored
another of the days trifectas winning IRC, AMS and Performance. Chalkley
and McManus on Hush took second in IRC and AMS ahead of Godzilla with
third in each of the measurement divisions. Stuart Mellington was pressing
all of the captains’ magic buttons on the green ship Feathersword to take
second in Performance ahead of Hush in third.
A tight start with a bit of bunching at the boat end saw Rhiannon and
Spellbound get good starts with clean air and speed. The first leg saw the
fleet split early, most going either hard left of right looking for
breeze. It didn’t work, nobody found any. A long struggle saw the fleet
round the top mark, set kites and proceed to park halfway down the first
kite run. With most of the fleet bunched up at the bottom mark for what
was effectively a restart, Jurgen Pfeiffer’s Take 5, Chris Waters’ Bali
Dancer and Phil Martyns’ Imagineer made the most of rounding first and
broke from the rest of the fleet. The resultant death of the Northerly saw
the fleet watch the tail enders catch the under kite while they struggled
to make headway into the last remnants of the breeze until inevitably the
Southerly caught them. Some very tight finishes resulted with groups of 6
and seven boats finishing together under kite gave the committee boat some
fun at the end. Congratulations to John Robb and Footloose for winning
both IRC and AMS ahead of Hot Shot and Take One in IRC and Rhiannon and
Quantum Leap in AMS. Rob Murraylee took out Performance in Take One
ahead of Salt Shaker and Hot Shot.
The next heat will be hosted by RMYS on December 5.
Thankyou to Mike Kuesgen (Intrusion), Kate Mitchell (Goldfinger)and Terry Hall (Absolut) for contributing this week.