The 31st Annual Commodores’ race was sailed on Sunday 10th April 2011 in a north easterly breeze that threatened to be punishing, but by start time had moderated to a perfect 14-18 knots. Once again the Association tried hard to provide a full fleet of S&S 34s, and did so with a boat to spare (many thanks to Peter Tait with Grey Goose for being our reserve boat).
Fremantle Sailing Club did not have an official NE course, and with only one start boat and no Day Buoy provision elected to use the SW course, with a downwind start. This caused some interest on the start line, and the fleet charged off down wind with jibs poled out. Most decided it was a #3 genoa day, but Swagman decided on a #1 genoa and Le Jag used their heavy "1+1/2", which proved ultimately to be a good choice.
It was a magnificent sight to see seven S&S 34s roaring down wind in a brisk breeze with only a few metres separating them. Constellation and Huckleberry led the way, but Blondie crept up to be in front of Constellation, only to lose a little ground again by taking the pole down too early in readiness for the gybe mark.
The results were then decided by navigational as much as boat handling skills. Not only was there doubt about which was the correct gybe mark, but Constellation decided the next mark was high to windward. Blondie and Swagman followed. There was much happiness on Blondie as she forced her way above Constellation and in front of Swagman, which turned out to be short lived as all three boats discovered that they had been sailing some 30 degrees above the correct mark and allowed the rest of the fleet to slip past below them. It was then a short beat to the finish line, with a well deserved first and fastest to Le Jag, and Swagman, Blondie and Constellation unable to make up enough ground to catch the rest of the fleet. We believe that the navigational culprit on Constellation has been presented with their "2 knot" trophy!
In the end the boats which sailed the correct course were deservedly at the top of the fleet, and Le Jag which sailed the correct course better than everyone else took out the prize. Everyone agreed that it was a wonderful day to be out on the water and happily partook of a beautiful afternoon tea laid on by Fremantle Sailing Club. See you all again next year!
For full results see below.
Roger Raymond, Le Jag, was presented with the David & Kathleen Walters Memorial Trophy. The trophy consists a scale model of half a S&S34 hull beautifully mounted and inscribed with the names of the winning yachts in future Commodores Races.
|1h 01m 35s
|1h 03m 18s
|Perie Banou lll
|1h 03m 28s
|1h 04m 11s
|1h 03m 29s
|1h 04m 11s
|1h 04m 26s
Fastest: Le Jag