Saturday 7th April 2012
The briefing was without ceremony but it was apparent the 7 yachts participating would be challenged by the day’s fresh winds, large swell, chilly temperature and longer than usual course set by the duty officers.
As the keel boats, ‘Boheme’, ‘10 + 1’ and ‘Interlude’ were winding-up and strutting their stuff around the start line ready for the start of the race, in the distance ‘Tumbleweed’ seemed to be in ‘Easter Saturday holiday mode’ with the haunting words of a particular life member ringing in the duty officers ears, “The race starts at 2PM, it always has and always will”. The die was cast, the flags were arranged and the race start sequence was set in motion. History was now in the making! As the “blue peter” came down for the first time and the keel boats, heeling over, powered windward, ‘10 + 1’ hit the line right on the money and wasn’t challenged all day.
The dinghy start was equally impressive with ‘Windswept’ taking a lick of paint off the rescue boat as it crossed the start line, and as hard as ‘Miss Molly’ tried to gain on them, the skill of Lids and Leo expertly setting their sails was the major difference. It was great to see ‘Sista Mermaid’ (with a somewhat reluctant Finlay onboard) just off the pace as well. The strong wind conditions saw the boats belting along.
Giving the fleet possibly 10 minutes start, ‘Tumbleweed’ rounded the start line and to their credit, tightened up, took the bull by the horns and chased down the fleet to finish in a very credible third place. Well done! ‘Apollo Bay & Community Bank’ started well late, and as the course and conditions were not for the faint hearted or those carrying injuries or recovering from surgery !! sensibly retired early. Credit to the crew for giving it a go anyway.
As the day progressed, the course and conditions started to take it’s toll by the second triangle, and the emotional cracks started to appear. Kelly and Finlay had to retire due to the cold. Hats off to Finlay though for going out in the first place, he knew well before the race it was going to be a tough gig and the potential for tears was pretty certain. But the remaining crew on ‘Sista’ re-grouped, continued on, and did a fine job tackling the remainder of the course.
Watching ‘10 + 1’ bearing down towards the finish line then tacking 50 metres away and heeling heavily to cross first across the line with the crew cheering, punching the air, and back slapping all round, was really a great spectacle. Another highlight included a fabulously “Quick’s the word”, “Sharps the action” U-Turn tack at the windward mark by ‘Tumbleweed’. It was a very impressive maneuver indeed, and nailing that definitely got a cheer from the rescue boat’s crew.
A day of tough sailing of course would not be complete with out some controversy. ‘Boheme’s’ tactics seemed at times to be unlike all the other yachts on the course. Firstly choosing to sail to wrong mark mid race, and secondly to cross the finish line on the opposite side of the rescue boat to every body else. The look on the crew’s face as they thought about tacking before continuing on their confident course was priceless, and well worth the jeers jibes we knew would follow!
A special “well done” to the fearless crew on ‘Interlude’ who, although out paced all day, sailed for longer than the other yachts and crossed the finish line last, actually won honors on the day after all!
Some great photographs taken of the race by the crew on the rescue boat can be viewed on the sailing club’s website: www.greatoceanroad.com.au/sailing
Heat 5: Commodore’s Cup
Heat 21: ‘Beach Front Motel’ and ‘Four Winds Marine’ Club Championships.
1st Interlude 1st Windswept
2nd 10 + 1 2nd Miss Molly
DNF: Sista Mermaid
Apollo Bay & Community Bank
Support your local radio. Listen to “SALTY DOG RADIO”, 10.45am or thereabouts, on Saturday morning for all things sailing on OCRFM 88.7. Proudly sponsored by “CAFE 153”.
New members are always welcome. Come along around 12pm on Saturday if you’d like to sail in Apollo Bay. Briefing at 12:30pm, race starts 2pm.
Thanks to our sponsors: Café 153, Apollo Bay & District Community Bank, 4 Winds Marine, Beachfront Motel and greatoceanroadtrip.com
Life is good. Come Sailing! ☺