Midday Saturday in the MBBC Bilge Bar the usual suspects were discussing the weather (predictions and current) and which boats would be favoured. The actual breeze at the river entrance leads (middle of the bay) at that time was reported to be 8 knots gusting to 8 knots. Tony (Sentier) and Dale (Catalina) were convinced it was Hank’s day (Seraya). Fast forward to the start and the 8 knots had a 1 in front of (apparently). Strangely it turned out to be Page III’s day so here I am carrying out the winner’s penalty – the race report.
Most would agree it turned out to be great sailing day with the wind hovering around 15 knots from the NE and the sea state not too bad at all. Better still there were (allegedly) 16 boats out. In starting order they were Jupiter, Sea Sprite, Nice Try, Oscar, Silverado, Volando, Double D, French Kiss, Trim, Grecher, Page III, Seraya, Sentier, Catalina, Endorfin and Dream. There was a virtual starter being Euphoria II due to the boat being a Sydney to Hobart competitor. E2 gets a minute for representing the MBBC. You can watch E2 achieve that concession at the MBBC on Boxing Day. Be there – last year it was a great club event. (Editor aka Kelly- Obviously Boxing Day has passed, and yes it was a great Club day, hope you were there)
But back to the SAGS. With Page III starting at 13:30 a large portion of the fleet were well away by the time Page started. The 1st of the boats starting later was 8 minutes behind. Call me the bit in the middle not having a clue about what was going on in front or behind. From the shore it would have looked quite good with a procession of 16 boats with and without extras. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for the sails out there to be noticed.
The wind strength and direction was not too bad for Page III. The boat had been cleaned the day before and I had loaded up the port moveable ballast (the fridge) for the 1st leg. During the second leg I unloaded a bit of that ballast so there was a starboard ballast bias for the long starboard tack on the way back. By the way I should mention Page III had a 50/50 gender balance on the boat (excluding the boat herself). Jupiter was probably the same.
A point of note was that the 2 single handed skippers (Ian and Craig) both wore harnesses.
Most of the boats appeared to be quite happy in the excellent sailing conditions. But probably none as happy as Endorfin on the 2nd leg where she went through half the fleet. With the variety of tacking choices taken by boats on the windward leg back to Reef Point, it was difficult to tell who were the leaders until the first boats approached Reef Point. It was then evident that Page III and French Kiss were in the money but the wild card was Endorfin. The final placings were French Kiss 3rd, Endorfin 2nd and Page III 1st.
On shore, as the Xmas barby was fired up, the boat crews and their supporters trickled in, eventually building to a significant congenial crowd. The MBBC Commodore thanked all for participating through the year and for supporting the club.
Next weeks start times here: Sags Results 23 December