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Twilight Summer Series - Race 1

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Race in a nutshell: 

Position IRC Class 1: 4th from 9 

Position PHRF Class 1: 5th from 14

Total Entries: 50
Distance: 5.0nm.
Max Speed: 9.6 knots 

Ave speed: 6.8 knots 

Weather Forecast: Clear. Wind South East 5 knots becoming NW 14 knots. Temp 29C 

Weather Actual: Wind was ESE 8knots with flat seas
Course: 10 (P) – Paarden (P) - Milnerton (S) - Paarden island (S) - #10 (S) 

Seas: Flat

Sails: Full Main (Quantum), No. 1 Genoa (Quantum), R1 Asymmetric Spinnaker. (Quantum)
Crew: Trygve Roberts (Helm), Charles Crosby (Genoa/Spinnaker), Phillip Rentschler (Main), Simon Penso (Pit), Connor Leech (Mast) Joshua Banks (Bow), Total: 500 kg

No-one could have asked for a better, kinder start to the summer season. Conditions were just about perfect considering how many boats turned out which have not seen the open sea for a long time, and with it some fairly rusty skills. Despite the benign weather, there were still several collisions.

This season the club has changed the format a bit and brought the IRC fleet back into the mix (which I think is a very sound move). They have also changed the start times with the slower Class 2 boats leaving 10 minutes ahead of the Class 1 boats, thereby allowing the slower boats to finish before total darkness descends on the bay.

Last night's course was well chosen with a beat, tight reach, one leg beat and a run to the finish. It was exactly the right length for the amount of twilight available at this time of year. Just before the gun there was a loud thud - the sort that is created by two big boats colliding. I don't have the details but it would appear that 'Aurora' and 'Puma Unleashed' were the source of the noise. Despite the 10 minute head start the Class 2 boats got, the Class 1 boats quickly overhauled the back markers. We had a very good start fairly close to the bridge hut with 'A-L' and 'Southern Storm' close astern, but we had good speed on the gun and were able to point high enough to put 'Southern Storm' into our dirties, forcing them to tack away. It almost worked on 'A-L' as well until they went into high point mode and climbed above us. The flat water suited the Pacer 27 and we were right up there in the top six Class 1 boats at the weather mark. Of course we had a whole bunch of Class 2 boats to work our way around as well.

The Quantum R1 Assymetric setting to perfection and giving our sponsors good exposure.

We only just squeeked around the weather mark, having to luff head to wind to get around, but at least we didn't have to put in any tacks which kept us very much in the hunt. Behind us there was an almighty bunfight when a couple of port tackers trying to muscle their way in at the weather mark. A quick glance astern showed the A35 "Docksafe" being sandwiched inbetween two boats and a whole lot of shouting going on followed immediately by a flurry of red flags from backstays.


We had the R1 spinnaker up in no time, but were forced to sail low to get through the lee of about 5 bigger boats to windward, most of whom were not carrying kites and protecting their weather side ferociously just waiting for any spinnaker carrying boat to dare to attempt a windward overtake move. We did that successfully and then found that we were low on our rhumbline to the Milnerton mark. That meant sailing at around 75 degrees apparent and right on the very edge of control with the foot of the R1 just kissing the water. Speed was around 8.5 knots - not anything to write home about, but we were faster than most of the other boats. We took the kite down well short of the mark and two sail reached to close the gap on the mark. We had the 42ft Benba coming down on the rhumb line and calling for water, which was a bit of a long shot as we ended up rounding the Milnerton mark about 15 seconds ahead of them.

The leg back to Paarden Island was just shy of a one leg beat and too tight for us to carry our Code Zero. We got rolled - first by Benba and then by Tenacity (both 42 footers) but managed to hold the 40 ft Farr 'Majimoto' behind us. We did a very good weather hoist and made good speed to the finish, notwithstanding having to throw in two gybes.

By the time we docked, it was quite dark - typical of the first few twilight races of the season. There was a great vibe at the club and the new format seemed to have found favour with the majority.A very pleasant evening on the bay. Gimme more!

Results IRC:

1st Corum (Briand 43) Jan Reuvers
2nd Southern Storm (Pacer 376) Harry Brehm
3rd Gumption (ILC40) Nicolas Mace
4th Regent Express (Pacer 27S) Trygve Roberts
5th Docksafe (A35) Alexander Monet
6th Tenacity (Fast 42) Errol Stern
7th Cape Storm (Pacer 376) Seam Cumming