Abbotsford Inter-Club Race

Abbotsford, Forecast light Big rig, day showed stifling hot and completely airless – looked like a bad day. Then the wind readings at the airport showed a 20 knot aberration. The wind blew into Abbotsford, still under 10 knots on the harbour, leaving the fleet with a conundrum: all chose to go 2nd rig as a compromise. The fleet launched into the building breeze, about to be given a masterclass in skiff-racing by the 2 front-runners.

Start in puffy South-easter in Bedlam Bay for a short work up under the Abbotsford scarp, with Sydney Sailmakers, Garde and Gemmell Sails just ahead of Lincoln Crowne & Company and then Skol. Tight-bunched for the run through the twist in the river, back past the club to the bottom mark at Putney Punt. Breeze clearly much fresher than anticipated, all the skiffs well over-powered with their 2nd rigs on.

Garde lead around the bottom mark, then Sydney Sailmakers, with Lincoln Crowne & Company 50m further back.  Gemmell Sails having capsized toward the bottom of the run. Garde and Sydney Sailmakers tussling all the way up the puffy, shifty work and extending on the following boats.

Top mark the second time, for  a by-now very fresh 2nd sail run to the bottom mark, still Garde in the lead, Sydney Sailmakers ahead of Lincoln Crowne & Company, then Skol. At the bottom mark, the lead 2 really cleared out on the fleet now, Lincoln Crowne & Company capsized in the approach to the mark, allowing Skol through: Skol then capsized allowing Lincoln Crowne & Company the opportunity to catch, but Skol got going quicker.

Last run down, to the last bottom mark in Glades Bay, still tight between Garde ahead and Sydney Sailmakers with daylight to the fleet, to finish in this order. Skol capsized in the approach to the bottom mark, followed into the tide by Lincoln Crowne & Company: following their recovery, this was the order for 3rd and 4th places respectively.

The 2 front-runners capsize free and racing every millimetre of the track, gave a great display of over-powered sailing in a tight waterway. It was very impressive!

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