Winter Series Open Race 5

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Winter Series Open Race 5, 5th July, 2015 – Thrills and spills in windy conditions

By Tom Wheeler

 

A total of ten intrepid skippers and their crews braved cool and blustery conditions for the fifth outing of the Winter Series.  The usual Mark Foy start had a succession of yachts beating their way up the western arm of the harbour, against the 25-30 knot westerly as well as a strong tide. The windy conditions favoured the early starters: Foxy Lady and Candidus, competing in B division, seemed to be running away with the race at the head of the field.  However, the first of the day’s incidents, a broken genoa halyard, robbed Foxy Lady of the lead and her competitiveness.  Nevertheless, she impressed with her speed under mainsail alone as well as the perseverance of her skipper and young crew in plugging on regardless.  Further down the B division fleet, Invincible and Ghia took up their close-quarters battle from the previous race, before Invincible pounced on an opportunity on the penultimate leg to secure second place behind Candidus, when Ghia fell off the wind and into the current in order to reduce sail area and regain full control.  Persuader led the A division yachts from start to finish, seemingly unperturbed and sailing well, but further back in the fleet there was drama.  Not Negotiable, despite a late start time, stormed through the field to claim second place.  However, they had more than their share of issues, with a crew member in the water and another sustaining a knock. Jetstream, always pushing to the limit, cut the sandbank to the side of the main channel a bit too fine and ran aground.  They were helped off by Wizzard, after their third-place finish, who laconically enquired about the success of their cockle dredging efforts.  Overall, it was an exciting days’ racing in character-building conditions.

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