Double Bay, Day 3
Forecast 2nd or 3rd rig North-easter, building slowly through the morning, with a run-out tide against the breeze for the first heat, anticipation of some bumps for race 1: almost the whole fleet opted for full 2nd-rig, with 3 boats deciding on 3rd.
First short races of the Interdominions.
Bill Allen’s giant tinny had moved on, but the complication this time was the large fleet of Flying Dutchmen for their world championship races, moving our usual start-line off Clark Island toward Point Piper.
Away, to Bradleys Head in about 17 knots of breeze, front-runners of Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant, C-tech, Little Bus, Geotherm and Lincoln Crown in a bunch toward the boat-end.
The usual melee at Bradleys Head, all tacking and trying to find a clear line out on port-tack, then working the western shore for a short dig into Taylor Bay before the tack across the tide to the windward mark in Nielsen Park. Very tight in the front, with Little Bus, Geotherm and C-Tech denying Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant their place of comfortable dominance, the lead alternating between all these on the work to the top.
Around the Nielsen Park mark, this bunch followed by Lincoln Crowne, then Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses, Maersk Lines then Skol and The Bird.
Getting the lane down around Shark Island correct was critical, wind more in the North giving avenue of low-pressure under Steele Point: conversely, after the gybe the angle back across Point Piper proved impossibly hot. Little Bus capsized here. Lincoln Crowne rounded Shark Island in loads of pressure, driving them down to the edge of the Point Piper shore, dragging their boom along the rocks trying to avoid dropping the spinnaker.
The last work from Clark Island back to Nielsen Park, Geotherm ahead of C-Tech white, with Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant in 3rd.
Around the Nielsen Park mark for the run to the finish at Point Piper, Manly Ferry and a large cruise ferry dictated the line available on the run, leaving the majority of the skiffs impossibly hot on port-gybe into the Point Piper finish line, with many boats having to drop the spinnaker to make the short line. Finish order, Geotherm, C-Tech white, Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant, As Good As It Gets, Little Bus, then Lincoln Crowne in 6th.
Breeze had strengthened, tide had eased, makings of a great race. As before, the usual suspects in the front row at the start, Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant further down the line to the pin, all heading for the drama of the first tack off Bradleys Head. Little Bus capsized in the tack, in tacking to avoid them Lincoln Crowne was thrown into irons by a wave, tacking them back, with the resultant dropping them from 5th to 10th at the first corner.
Again, short dig into Taylor Bay, before the fleet crossed the harbour for Steel Point and then the windward mark at Nielsen Park.
No mistaking it this time, Sydney Sailmakers/Dimension Polyant lead around the Nielsen Park mark, followed by Geotherm, then C-Tech white.
The run down between the islands saw boats gybing to stay in pressure lanes and find the line to bring them right onto the YA rounding mark: Lincoln Crowne gybed onto starboard at the mark, NZ boat Liquid tried to sneak inside on port, Lincoln Crowne’s spinnaker pole speared into Liquids mainsail: real danger of breaking the pole. Liquid washed off the pole without it breaking, Liquid then having to undertake penalty turn for the infringement.
Around the Clark Island mark for the last work, fresh now for the last work, all skiffs out of range with the second-rigs. Lincoln Crowne right on the tail of Maersk Lines and Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses, clawing back ground lost in the first tack. C-Tech white in this bunch went too far into Bradleys Head, and capsized in the disturbed air here, dropping them behind this front bunch.
At Nielsen Park mark Maersk Lines set in a massive gust, this towed them down the run 2-wiring, taking them from 5th to 3rd, passing Little Bus on the line.
Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses and Lincoln Crowne together on the run, gybing in unison off the channel marker at Bradleys Head, Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses soaking onto Lincoln Crowne,Lincoln Crowne out of the wind-shadow then rolled over the top of Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses. Final gybe to the finish line, Bigfoot Custom Trapeze Harnesses now had the inside gybe on Lincoln Crowne, this enabled them to roll Lincoln Crowne by 1 second on the line to finish 6th ahead of Lincoln Crowne.