The first S&S34 Association Race for 2010 was hosted by RPYC on 27th November 2010. The weekend brought somewhat unusual weather for November. The normal morning Southeasterly followed by the fresh afternoon Fremantle Doctor blowing from the Southwest was replaced by an easterly that blew all day. By the afternoon the easterly had lightened to around 8-13 knots of shifting, gusty breeze that made sailing conditions quite tricky.
The race was conducted within the RPYC Div 2 fleet and five S&S 34s took part, these being Blondie, Morning Melody, Perie Banou III, Sulphur and Swagman.
The fleet started from the RPYC club start line, on a close reach out to Foam buoy. Swagman was first over the line, followed closely by Blondie to windward and the rest of the fleet not far behind. Blondie gradually overtook Swagman and led the entire Div 2 fleet around the first mark at Foam, a position she held downwind to Smith/Lucky Bay buoys. However, the fickle easterly breeze allowed Swagman to close in behind and with some very good sailing to get ahead on the next windward leg.
From then on it was close sailing as the fleet stretched out a little then bunched up again as the wind gusted and eddied over the river. An unfortunate incident with a port tack boat from another fleet saw Blondie take evasive action and then a penalty turn as this squeezed a rival boat out at the mark (they preferred this to a protest over at SoPYC and missing out on the beers back at RPYC!). This allowed Swagman and Perie Banou III to stretch their lead, and with Sulphur close behind followed at a short distance by Morning Melody the fleet completed the last triangle on the river and headed for the shortened finish line at Knot Spit.
As they headed towards the finish line, Swagman lead the S&S 34 fleet with Perie Banou III right on her stern and Blondie a couple of hundred metres behind, very closely followed by Sulphur. Morning Melody followed only a few minutes behind.
A dying breeze and some blanketing from other boats saw Swagman and Perie Banou III stall and stop frustratingly just short of the finish line, allowing Blondie and Sulphur to sweep past with the remaining breeze still in their sails.
This brought the end of an amazingly close and exciting race, with only 34 seconds separating the first 4 boats across the line. Morning Melody with her slightly more cruising orientated layout followed a very creditable 8 minutes behind Blondie. Less than 5 minutes separated all the boats on handicap, with a well deserved win going to Dick Newnham in Sulphur.
Skippers and crews then repaired back to the bar at RPYC for some well earned beers and to contemplate what was a challenging and unpredictable race with the closest result anyone could remember for a long time. We all look forward to the next race at RFBYC on 5th February 2011.
|Boat No||Boat Name||Skipper||H’cap||Elapsed Time||Corrected Time||Over Line||On H’cap||Finish Code||Minutes Off|
|R444||Perie Banou III||C.Sanders||.7400||2:26:12||1:48:11||4||4||FIN||4:18|
“Sulphur” was in fine racing trim and heading towards a win
Concentration and perfect sail trim aboard Perie Banou III
Perie Banou III running under a shy spinnaker
Swagman (left) and Blondie (right) battle it out to windward
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