Blue skies and a consistent 15 knot southerly wind provided perfect sailing conditions for Saturday’s club racing. The ‘Black Pearl’ team of Pat and Lisa were looking forward to being on rescue duty and running their first race. Pat had packed a lovely picnic that they eagerly anticipated once the race was under way. With the help of Russell Smith an extended course was set to take advantage of the great sailing conditions. Fourteen vessels arrived at the start line which was located off Pirates Cove. The Keel boat start was uninspiring; reminiscent of “Brown’s Cows” as they wandered up the first beat! In contrast, the dingy start saw ‘Sam I Am’, helmed by Paul Johnson, showing a clean pair of heels, closely followed by young Morgan helming ‘Ice Breaker’ and Peter and Mat in ‘Miss Molly’.
With the start sequence completed the lid on the picnic basket was about to be lifted when it was noticed that ‘Moody Blues’, the Hobie 16, had had a major malfunction. The boat was upside down with one hull submerged, obviously full of water, and the rocks of Pirates Cove were looming ominously. With the rigging and sails trailing below the hull, the Hobie was impossible to tow. This wasn’t in the brochure! With the two shivering crew rescued they were nourished on Pat’s picnic. A call for back up saw two boats from the Surf Club come to assist. Later, Ken Goodison in ‘Ten Plus One’ and Kite Surfer Shayne Lindsay (who was flying by) both contributed to removing the rigging from the foundering catamaran. All this was done just in the nick of time as the Cat was dangerously close to the surf and rocks. Even the Westpac Helicopter circled a couple of times to check on the progress. It was all action out there!
The call went out that a finish line was required as the lead boat was on the last leg of the race. Where did the time go? Pat and Lisa left the rescue and raced up to the last mark to set up a buoy moments before the line honours boat, ‘Boheme’, crossed the finish line.
While all this was going on Mick Heland broke the rudder on ‘Exodus’ and had to rescue himself – he used his outboard to steer his boat back into the harbour! Tim and Caroline on their new Flying Fifteen, ‘Affrodite’ got around the course in a very respectable time considering it was their first race and Bill Gross on ‘Tumbleweed’ made a dramatic improvement to ‘something’ taking 10 minutes off his handicap! Croc in his lovely “Blue Boat” seemed to be just enjoying the perfect day. So much so that he didn’t bother going around any marks or through the finish line.
Thank you to Russell Smith for his calm advice over the radio during the rescue and a special thanks to the boys from the Apollo Bay Surf Life Saving Club. To the super hero Shayne Lindsay (Kite Surfer) who ditched his kite on the beach to go and help and Ken Goodison for rescuing ‘Moody Blues’ from the inevitable ship wreck.
So the day ended back at the club house, as it usually does; lots of stories, opinions and conjecture. Everyone was safe and well and we had had another great day out on the water.
Life’s great, come sailing!
Results: Heat 4: ‘J&C Marriner Earthworks’ Post-Xmas Series Heat 13: ‘Beach Front Motel’ & ‘Four Winds Marine’ Club Championships. Handicap Yardstick
1st Tumbleweed 1st Miss Molly
2nd Boheme 2nd Icebreaker
3rd Icebreaker 3rd Affrodite
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”.
Thanks to our sponsors: Apollo Bay & District Community Bank, Café 153, 4 Winds Marine, Beachfront Motel and greatoceanroadtrip.com
Life is good. Come Sailing!