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Club Race - Winter A Series PHRF Race 4.

Last updated on 14 Oct 2009

Race in a nutshell

Line: 1st 
Position PHRF: 1st 
Total Entries: 15 
Distance: 12.0 nm. 
Max Speed: 11.1 knots 
Ave speed: 6.7 knots 
Weather Forecast: Clear, sunny. Wind NW 7 knots. Temp 19C 
Weather Actual: Accurate 
Baro: 1009 hPa. 
Course: #10 (S) – Dyang Family (P) - Container mark (S) – #10 (P) 
Seas: Flattish 
Sails: Full Main, No. 1 Penyex Genoa, R1 Asymmetric Spinnaker.
 

We have been waiting for this course for eight months.....the one that favours the sports boats, and finally it happened. It is quite a task winning races with such a big handicap rating on windward/leeward courses, but when on the odd occassion, we get a long reaching leg in light conditions, a big win is a likely scenario - and so it was. 

With Lipton Cup winding down there was a lack-lustre vibe at the club with many L26's being craned out onto their trailers - many will be mothballed till next years Lipton. Quite sad really.... 

And whilst we are talking Lipton Cup. From an outsiders point of view it seemed like an enormous amount of effort, money and time by competitors and organisers alike to sail a 7 day event (supposedly South Africa's premier one design keelboat event) to get only three races done. Speaking to some disgruntled and dissillusioned competitors afterwards, it would appear that one of main problems, besides unco-operative weather, was the Deed of Gift which stipulates that certain shaped and length courses must be sailed. In essence that equated to the race officer being fairly hamstrung in terms of getting more than one race per day in. Our spinnaker trimmer crewed on Elsumo who finished 14th in the 29 boat fleet. One of my ex crew members from dinghy sailing days, Andrea Giovaninni skippered Intasure into 3rd place - missing 2nd place by a single point. Our ex bowman, Nic Baigrie did bow on that boat as well. It's great to see the youngsters showing their skills. It was also Nic's 21st party last night, which has left me with a fuzzy head this morning!!

Onto the club racing..... Fifteen yachts entered the final Winter Series A club race, but first we had the pleasure of watching the Boks on the club TV, beating the Wallabies in Perth. Out at the start area, a 6 knot north westerly indicated we would have a steady, light wind race. The race officer set a long weather leg all the way to Dyang Family Bouy - which is close to the southern shore of Robben Island. We chose a port tack start close to the pin, (not really high risk as the line is very long and with only 15 boats we were bound to find a nice gap) which worked out very nicely as we hit the line going fast exactly on time and went immediately into the lead. Our target boats for this race were Pacer 3, The L26 "Hors d 'Ouvers" and the Comfortina 39 "Celine IV". 

Pacer 3 were a hundred meters upwind of us and Celine IV were close to leeward. The 39 footer was matching our speed but not pointing as high as us. We had our brand new Quantum Pentex Genoa up and once again, the sail was setting really nicely and giving us excellent height. After 20 minutes we had climbed well up on Celine IV and pulled slightly ahead of them. Pacer 3 was having a rough time of things, being unable to point as high as us. In short order we held a commanding lead and we were able to stay on the rhumb line to the weather mark. Peter Bam on the L26 "Hors d Ouvers" is always a threat to us for a handicap win, so we needed to stay focused and keep the speed up. Halfway up the beat, the breeze started dropping as did our boat speed, which went as low as 2 knots at one stage. During this phase, we killed the 39 footer, which slowed right down. We nailed the weather mark in one long 6 n.m.tack and went straight for the new R1 Spinnaker hoist. Crikey! What a nice sail! It was the first time we have used it. This sail (61 sq.m) gives us the ability to reach at 70 degrees apparent in light wind and is a full luff/ full foot kite, which is cut a bit flatter higher up for faster VMG reaching. We were quickly up to the wind speed. 6 knots of boat speed in 6 knots of wind. We had rounded the weather mark first by a very long margin ahead of the second boat - the L34 'Tally-Ho'. The L26 was fairly close to the L34 and doing surprisingly well in the light conditions. 

Further down the leg, the breeze picked up a little as did our boat speed which peaked at 11.1 knots. The rhumb line to the next mark suited the Pacer perfectly and we were fairly confident we would get a corrected time win. We had two large ships to contend with, but fortune favoured us with neither ship giving us any disturbed air. Being so far ahead of the fleet is not terribly exciting racing, but it is nice to do a full "horizon job" on the fleet once in a while. It is not often that we get a course that gives us such a nice VMG angle to sail on, so we appreciated the privelege. No conventional boat will beat a sports boat at those angles and in such light breeze. 

A 400m beat followed the spinnaker strike up to the finish line. The rest of the fleet was indistinguishable far upwind, so we sailed back to our mooring to derig. Our actual time over the second boat over the line (L34) was 25 minutes! Not bad for a two hour race. 
However, once the time correction factors had been applied, it was Peter Bam's L26 that took second place some 11 minutes behind us. Finally we are starting to understand the sports boat concept better and posting some decent results and sailing the boat to it's rating. 

Our sprit pole is giving us headaches, so we dismantled the whole thing and will have a good look at it during the week to see how we can sort things out. 

There are two more Saturday races to practice and then we are off to the muddy puddle in the Free State to compete in the Nationals.

1st 017 Pacer 27 S Regent Express Trygve Roberts PHRF:1.08 Elapsed time: 1.49.25 Corrected: 1.58.10 
2nd 044 L26 Hors d'Oeuvre Peter Bam PHRF:0.955 Elapsed: 2.15.25 Corrected: 2.9.19 
3rd 011 L34 Tally Ho John Waller PHRF: 1.015 Elapsed: 2.12.46 Corrected: 2.14.46 
4th 013 RCOD Arial Sheriff Saville PHRF: 0.925 Elapsed: 2.26.57 Corrected: 2.15.56 
5th: SA 597 Lav mini ton Mighty Lemon Drop Jannie de Goede PHRF: 0.88 Elapsed: 2.37.43 Corrected: 2.18.47 
6th: SA 223 Impact Impact Jackie Brand PHRF: 0.92 Elapsed: 2.31.25 Corrected: 2.19.18 
7th: SA 3470 Comfortina 39 Celine IV Volker Viehuis PHRF:1.05 Elapsed: 2.13.11 Corrected: 2.19.50 
8th: SA 2676 Bucanneer Let's Go Duncan Johnson PHRF: 0.8 Elapsed: 2.54.59 Corrected: 2.19.59 
9th SA2018 Stadt 34 steel hull Cabaray Ray Matthews PHRF: 0.94 Elapsed: 2.29.32 Corrected: 2.20.34  
10th SA 1527 Carribbea 288 Gallivant W Sterling PHRF: 0.9 Elapsed: 2.38.4 Corrected: 2.22.16 
11th: SA 2360 Atlantis 36 Saoirse Tony Blackwell PHRF: 0.95 Elapsed: 2.39.15 Corrected: 2.31.17 
12th: 003 Pacer 27 S Pacer Three James Harvie PHRF: 1.08 Elapsed: 2.20.45 Corrected: 2.32.1 
13th: SA 702 Charger 33 FTI Flyer Keith Mattison PHRF: 0.985 Elapsed: 2.40.54 Corrected: 2.38.29 
14th: 018 L34 Aquavit Phil Flockton PHRF: 1.015 Elapsed: 2.41.20 Corrected: 2.43.45 
15th SA 130 Muira Apricot Bat Tromp PHRF 0.935 dnf