The predicted hot and gusty westerlies were there in force up the harbour for day two.....
Sunday 29th November Upper Sydney Harbour – HHSC
The start at 1130hrs was just under Balls Head in Balls Head Bay and with only a light breeze, most of the fleet struggled to get to the line accentuated with a runout tide and a critical wind shift left down the line making it almost impossible to get over on starboard. This caused an enormous amount of confusion and it frustrated the young sailors having to adopt Plan B, just trying anything to get out of there to begin the race. The majority of the fleet did not cross until twenty seconds after the flags had dropped. The boat end seemed to have the best conditions and clear air was definitely king for those lucky few that managed to wriggle out of the malaise further along.
1337 Shake Your Booties II Toby Dind and Finnian Alexander HHSC entered at the boat end, with 1366 Protagonist Declan Reilly and Ira Dubery M16’SSC breaking away in the centre with pace on port. Down at the pin, many still attempted to cross on starboard with 1374 Fired Up Natalie Greentree and Harry Price M16’SSC, 1361 Do Geese See God Rob Wojcik and Gracie Trigalone M16’SSC and 1373 Hammer Time Sam Ellis and Kurt Hansen B16’SC port ducking under 1305 Lethal Blonde Chris Fay and Emma Knighton B16’SC .
The fleet leaders came together four minutes into the race at Manns Point with the westerly gusts now in play, 1340 XLR8 Murray Jones and Harry Morton B16’SC, 1337 Shake Your Booties II and 1358 Decoy Declan and Flynn Rohr HHSC just to windward of 1366 Protagonist on starboard tack and 1383 Swift & Shift Joshua Tasker and Ben Piggott CSC astern on port.
Once around Longnose Point, the fleet once again split left and right avoiding the last of the runout tide with 1383 Swift & Shift, 1366 Protagonist and 1305 Lethal Blonde hugging the Birchgrove shore. 1340 XLR8, 1337 Shake Your Booties II and 1359 Frantic Keats Thompson and Tim Narborough CSC took a more direct route towards the middle of the river hooking into some good pressure now two-thirds of the way up the first work.
By the top mark, the westerly had done its’ thing and dropped to a light breeze again making the rounding very tricky with the tide running out against the buoy. 1383 Swift & Shift managed to almost wipe the dust off their gunnels as they rounded ahead of 1340 XLR8, 1337 Shake Your Booties II, 1359 Frantic and 1305 Lethal Blonde. The young guns 1392 Ryan Wilmot and Mat Dubery M16’SSC and 1277 Adrenalin James Brewer and Xavier Winston-Smith HHSC had had a blinder of a first work, so too 1348 SS Squill Wil Coxon and Oliver Bell ASC falling in behind the front runners and off to the wing mark at Robinsons Point.
1340 XLR8 had overtaken by the wing mark and had established a good fifteen boat lengths of a lead at the leeward mark ahead of 1383 Swift & Shift, 1305 Lethal Blonde and 1392 (Wilmot/Dubery) rounding together followed by 1277 Adrenalin and 1366 Protagonist who had had an exceptional couple of reaches to be back amongst the front pack.
Again, many positions changed on the way up the second work, with 1366 Protagonist making the most of the shifty bullets shooting down the river to round the top mark for the leeward run, 1261 Just Do It Paul Miller and Thomas Smith HHSC now around in second followed by 1383 Swift & Shift and 1392 (Wilmot/Dubery).
These four rounded the leeward mark in a group distinct of the remaining fleet with 1261 Just Do It overtaking 1392 (Wilmot/Dubery), this being the only change to this group. However, by the commencement of the last approach to the wing mark, 1366 Protagonist had forged a one minute lead over 1277 Adrenalin with 1261 Just Do It ten seconds astern and 1276 Hurricane Paddy Gilbert and Nicola Elliott HHSC making their appearance in the leaders club.
Plenty more westerly magic and tide played upon the fleet during the last triangle, but 1366 Protagonist had skilfully maintained a cover over the fleet to cross the finish line 41secs ahead of 1276 Hurricane second, 1340 XLR8 third and 1391 Bolt Tim Forbes-Smith and Jim Colley ASC appearing from out of nowhere on the left crossing in forth place ahead of 1261 Just Do It in fifth place.
F11 debutantes 1288 Onya Mark Nick and Shaun Connor M16’SSC, 1277 Adrenalin and 1392 (Wilmot/Dubery) had a great finish in 6th 7th and 8th places respectively.
Conditions did not improve for race 4 with the start at 1340hrs again under Balls Head, this time a little more breeze than the earlier start in the morning. The pin end was packed tight with a number having to reapproach the line astern on port after the tide had turned, forcing many unsuspecting crews to the leeward end ahead of schedule.
The fleet had to choose between more pressure to the right against more tide helping to the left, and by Manns Point, the fleet had rejoined with little evidence of a favoured side this time around. 1373 Hammer Time did well with the tide to lead initially past Longnose Point out into the wide section of the river north of Cockatoo Island, with 1366 Protagonist snapping at their heels, along with 1340 XLR8 and 1358 Decoy showing their local knowledge nearby astern.
At the top mark for the first time, 1340 XLR8 had fared the best rounding ahead of 1366 Protagonist and 1373 Hammer Time, one minute ahead of the next crew 1305 Lethal Blonde and 1358 Decoy. The same positions held through the gybe mark down to the bottom of the course and then back up for the second work.
The crews were getting accustomed to the westerly and the river conditions by now, with 1366 Protagonist again picking the shifts well to claim the top mark for the leeward leg, 1358 Decoy and 1261 Just Do It 20secs astern.
The cloudy haze began to disappear and the breeze strengthened a little where the more experienced crews began to establish their priority on the proceedings with 1366 rounding the top mark for the final time 30secs in the lead. 1373 Hammer Time looked famous for a moment on approach from port but got shut out by the starboard tackers 1358 Decoy, 1261 Just Do It and 1305 Lethal Blonde now inside the zone giving nothing away.
Along the reaching legs, the breeze varied from 15kts to 25kts giving a number of the crews always on the ready a chance to better themselves when possible, some lucky enough to be in the spot for good gains on their competitors. 1366 Protagonist commenced the final leg comfortably ahead of 1261 Just Do It, 1358 Decoy, 1373 Hammer Time and 1374 Fired Up.
The leaders had now lapped a number of the fleet and together with the Greenwich SC F11 fleet now racing up the river alongside the regatta fleet, it required a concentrated effort by the crews to get clear air up the last work to the finish.
With the finish line placed just off Clarkes Point, the spectators adorning the grassed viewpoint all cheered the winner of race 4, Manly’s 1366 Protagonist over the line for their second win of the day at 0230hrs. In second place came 1305 Lethal Blonde, third 1391 Bolt, 1388 Zephyr Angus Buick and Daniel Nugent M16’SSC appearing from the left over in fourth, and 1358 Decoy take the fifth place over the line.
Overall top three places for Round 1 (after 4 races - no drops) were: 1391 Bolt 1/4/4/3-12pts, 1366 Protagonist 2/12/1/1-16pts, and 1340 XLR8 6/7/3/6-22pts.
Last Modified on 30/11/2009 08:22