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RCYC Autumn Club Race - 14th April, 2012

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Course: Start – No.2 (P) – Paarden (S) – No.2 (P) - Woodbridge (S) - No.8 (P) - Finish (S)
Wind: Mod SW (8 to 10 knots). Temp: 22C
Sails: Full Main (Quantum); No1 Genoa (Quantum); A-2 Spinnaker (North); A0 Spinnaker (Quantum)
Crew: Joshua Banks (Bow); Daniel Spratley(Mast); Craig Preston (Pit); Charles Crosby (Spin); Phill Rentschler (Main); Trygve Roberts (Helm)
Total Mass: 485 kg
Max Speed: 12.3 knots
Distance: 10 nm
Position: 6th

The Doctor is on holiday
The typically pleasant autumn weather Cape Town enjoys during April decided to leave town and left the 10 boats entered with a sloppy ocean, some drizzle, gray skies, kelp and about 8 knots of breeze. I suppose it makes a change from the usual strong south easterlies. It was good to be back on the water again after a two week break.

As the course was announced (three windward/leeward figure of eight loops) we visibly groaned at the prospect of trying to place well in light breeze, a sloppy sea and upwind/downwind courses. It's a sports boat killer. Period!

We had a reasonably good port tack start and headed for the No.2 mark with the Beneteau 34.7 Necessity to leeward and slightly ahead. With their pointing ability, we were soon relegated to sailing in their dirties. That didn't do us any favours and we rounded the top mark in 7th place, with most of the boats that had taken the more landward side of the course having gained on us.

Catch-up time
We had a long run back to Paarden Island, which allowed us to play catch-up. In short order we worked our way into third place behind Ray of Light and Majimoto by sailing a deep groove. We managed to open up a good lead over the rest of the fleet and rounded the leeward mark looking quite good and even a possible first place on corrected time at that stage, but we had a two and a half mile beat waiting for us - and in slop, we just cannot point anywhere near as high as the lead-mines.

A long, sloppy beat
We lost much of our lead on the way back to the No.2 mark and then tried the same trick on the next run down to Woodbridge mark, once again regaining our 3rd place, but the rest of the fleet were far more compressed than on the previous run. We had a lot of hard work to do on the final beat as we give time to most of the boats in the fleet, except the two big boats ahead of us. We sailed a fairly impeccable race with no mistakes and were disappointed to see that a Muira and an L-34 had beaten us on corrected time, albeit by only a few seconds, relegating us down to 6th place.. To be fair, we always knew we were going to be in for a hiding in those conditions with our rating.

A very tight fetch
We went for broke for the last leg from No.8 to the finish by trying to carry the Code Zero, but it was all in vain, as we could not hold our height and were forced to strike it and beat up to the finish line.

The new Sunkiss 3200 belonging to Dale Kushner, Yolo, which rates at 1.070 also beat us and we did note that it points as high as most of the other Beneteaus. All in all, a pleasant afternoon on the water, despite the odd rain shower.

Place - Boat - Type - Club Rating - Actual Time - Corrected Time - Skipper
1st Necessity - Beneteau 34.7 - 1.040 - 1.44.49 - 1.49.01 - David Booth
2nd Yolo - Beneteau Sunkiss 3200 - 1.070 - 1.42.05 - 1.42.14 - Dale Kushner
3rd Ray of Light - Beneteau 44.7 - 1.165 - 1.35.53 - 1.51.42 - Michael Kavanagh
4th Ava - Muira 30 - 0.910 - 2.04.08 - 1.52.58 - Ken Bottwood
5th Nurther Witch - L34 - 1.015 - 1.51.45 - 1.53.26 - Dave Garrard
6th Regent Express - Pacer 27 Sport - 1.080 - 1.45.28 - 1.53.54 - Trygve Roberts
7th Majimoto ll - Farr 40 - 1.140 - 1.40.31 - 1.54.35 - Paul Mare
8th FTi Flyer - Charger 33 - 0.985 - 1.58.17 - 1.56.31 - Keith Mattison
9th Celine lV - Comfortina 39 - 1.040 - 1.53.05 - 1.57.37 - Volker Vierhaus
10th Tenacity - Fast 42 - 1.170 - 1.45.52 - 2.03.52 - Errol Sterm