Today’s race was held in conditions that followed the weather forecast to the letter, a building nor’easter with temperatures in the high 20s. About the only thing that didn’t go to plan was the entry list. Four Etchels, John Veale in Hasta la Vista and ourselves. The entries in division 2 were even more disapointing, Phil Hare and Paul Hanly in their South Coast Magnum “Flair” and Beneteau First 27.7 “Paca” respectively. I do hope that some owners and crew get back from the Christmas New Year holiday season before the next race, John is leaving Hasta la Vista on its mooring for a few weeks while he competes in the Heron dinghy National championships on Port Stephens, so it could be a bit lonely.
Setting a course for a nor’easter in the Western Harbour area is a real challenge for the race committee, the best they could do is what we raced today, which really was bit of a soldier’s course (a lot of beam or broad reaching). Spinnakers were a rarity, only 2 or 3 of the Etchells hoisted spinnakers, and not to great effect we somehow managed to pass 2 of them under spinnaker with only our number 3 head sail (Bas), more to do with the shy angles and gusting winds than our abilities as salors.
It is was good that we were able to mix it with the Etchells and while we were able to get into 3rd position we were out sailed on the last reach to the Lane Cove River by the guys on Forte Forever, one of the Etchells who picked the shifts a lot better than us, so back to 4th on scratch and that’s where we finished. The win on handicap was a bonus, due to us regularly racing without a spinnaker, so in a race where spinnakers were not an advantage to our competitors a handicap win was more a function of arithmetic than performance.