The first leg of the MCASA State Titles took place over the weekend.
In general, it was a successful weekend punctuated by the judicious use of duct tape, and other people’s spare masts!
Saturday 1st – Sailors were greeted with a brisk breeze which had moved overnight into the SW. For the best part of the morning the wind was hovering in the high teens low twenties, but fairly regular gusts were well into the mid-upper twenties. There was some consternation on the beach from some skippers not willing to risk rigs, inexperienced crew or exacerbate hangovers. The general consensus from skippers and Race Committee was to postpone for a bit, and await the forecast change of direction into the S-SE and a bit of moderation in intensity.
We all took to the water for a 2:30pm start aiming for 2 races. By this stage the lulls were approximately 16-18kn with gusts to 24¬-25kn. Conditions were exciting but manageable for the fleet, though some crew decided to show off the underside of both hulls concurrently even before the start!
Mk 1’s got underway and the slightly heavier crew got away well. It wasn’t long before the lighter but more experienced crew capitalized on the first few reaches and took their, what became very familiar places at the pointy end of the fleet. The conditions took their toll on a few resulting in some capsizes and breakages leaving only 8 finishers.
Mk 2’s had some close racing at the front between Simon and Peter, in what spectators described as an ‘epic struggle’. This came to an abrupt end when Simon and Ben took down their mast in generally unconventional fashion on the last triangle. I won’t attempt to describe it, but readers will be entertained (and sympathetic, no-doubt) when the footage becomes available.
The heavier local boys did well in this race, but due to the wind again picking up, several retirements and breakages etc, the PRO sent us home for beer and dinner and for some, trying to find a mast to bodgy up in time for the following days racing. But mostly beer and dinner. And entertaining GoPro footage. And wine.
Sunday 2nd – Overnight the wind had abated as scheduled and sailors were greeted with a more southerly 6-8kn. We aimed for and achieved 3 races. Race 1 saw yours truly make complete hash of the start and be late by about 30-40 seconds, and from the back of the fleet I got a good but temporary view of the sterns of Phillip, Warwick and Mark who again played their ‘We’re the top 3 and your not’ game. Race 2 saw a definite shift of the breeze to the SE about 30 seconds before the start. It also saw yours truly attempt to recreate my previous start (only 20 late this time!). Warwick got the better of Phil in this one as the breeze began to build ever so slowly. There was a bit of shuffling in economy class, but as the results show, there was remarkable consistency in performances at the back of the fleet. Race 3 saw the breeze fill in slightly with the occasional 10kn gusts and a few more opportunities to get on the trapeze consistently. Phillip provided a bit of a clinic in this one, winning rather convincingly. Local mozzie-jockey Greg Illman, only about 8-10 races into his Mozzie career sailed rather well and threatened to upset the old guard, contesting strongly for 3rd position before an errant tiller extention/bouy contact cost him a place.
My apologies for not much of a mention of the Mk2’s but I wasn’t really paying attention. This gives someone else an opportunity to contribute a match report from their perspective.
It was fantastic for the SA fleet to come to PVSC for this event, and we appreciate their support of our growing fleet. Our new sailors appreciated the experience to learn from the best around as well as the growing friendships and we look forward to Leg 2 in the new year.