Winter Series 2015 Open Race 8

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Winter Series Open Race 8, 16th August, 2015 – The wind that wasn’t

By Tom Wheeler

 

Fine spring-like weather saw another good turnout of yachts, heading out along the main channel and through the harbour entrance in stately procession, ghosting along in the very gentle southwesterly breeze. The predicted building wind was anxiously awaited by skippers and crew as they anticipated the return downwind leg from A beacon and through the harbour entrance against the outgoing tide. With the promised wind not yet eventuating, the passage through the entrance and onwards into the western arm became a tactical minefield as each boat sought to chase the occasional light puffs of wind on offer. Jetstream made the most of her early start time, and led the fleet from start to finish, having never completely lost the wind at any point in the race. She was followed over the finish line by Rocky and Not Negotiable – both boats doing well despite running aground in their effort to avoid the tidal stream. The B division race proved a happy hunting ground for Force 10, who despite her late starting time made her way steadily through the fleet, benefiting from some unusual but successful tactical decisions. The stage was set for an intense close quarters duel for the lead with Nelani in the shallows leading up to Banks buoy, with Force 10 prevailing to claim first place of the shortened race ahead of Nelani, who were followed by Candidus in the dying wind. The promised 20 knot southwesterly breeze never eventuated, and the remaining yachts finished the afternoon becalmed at various points along the race course. Nevertheless, the day’s events was the subject of much animated discussion and story-swapping at the after-match prize-giving at the MOSC, attesting to the exciting nature of the racing.

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