New Year’s Day race report.
A chilly morning greeted sailors with a fresh northerly wind and a few seriously sore heads after the previous evenings New Year’s Eve celebrations!
After a little confusion on the published start time a few boats were out earlier than required. I for one could have used an extra half hour in bed but we all had to man up as a full SYC combined class of 19 boats were all starting together. Even our lifeboat LOM made a guest appearance on his pride and joy Sanderling.
A good X course was set by our vice commodore rounding the no 3 to stbd no5 to port and then punching the northerly swell north to Scalby.
Swift off the mark Black Sheep crossed the line first and made a clean get away closely followed by Bee Sharp ,A grand day out, Vision & Ruffian.
We (A grand day out) rounded the no 5 after an adventurous 30 second very shy kite run, rounding the no 5 we were sandwiched between Vision and Ruffian with inches to spare which certainly woke me up on the helm. Ruffian was hard on our tail and when your sat on the back of a 707 that pretty Sigma bow looked more like the bulbous bow of a super tanker!
First round the no 5 Black sheep tacked inshore early closely followed by the rest of the fleet. Exciting sailing very close to the rock armour ensued with boats jostling for position trying to keep out of the tide. The spectators on marine drive were treated to a great show and were able to spot the colour of the crews eyes as they passed.
I can still see the look of our crews faces as we must have put in upwards of 10 – 30 second tacks dodging other boats. When the air temp is close to freezing and your crew are sweating you know its physical!
Vision put the pedal down and quickly broke away from the fleet. Boats ducked each other in pursuit with some very close sailing. Incredibly brave passes of Coffee Pot Rock made us all gasp and realise everyone was out for the win!
The fleet then pressed on into north bay hard on the wind with boats getting as close as they dare to the sea wall. Bee sharp could have hi Five’d a surfer at one point. The boats skippers were keeping a very keen eye on the depth sounders.
The excitement continued rounding the Scalby buoy. Vision were first round with a good lead & looking very slick popped the kite and took off downwind. We somehow made a good call and rounded second pursued closely by the mighty Ruffian.
Next, a down wind sleigh ride surfing back towards SYC. With reported boat speeds of 14knts + everyone was pushing hard. I personally didn’t dare look at our log as rolling seas meant one brief laps in concentration would surly end up in an epic wipeout.
With an amazing sight of spinnakers bearing down towards the finish thoughts on our boat quickly turned to spotting the no3 buoy and debating which side we should pass it.
Rounding the headland the outside boats were forced to drop kites quickly as the wind caused some interesting spinnaker drops. BOB with two rookies on board gave an excellent display of how to fly a kite 30ft off their beam.
Vision extended their lead and rounded the no 8 with amazing pace to finish and take the line honours a full 7 minutes ahead of the next boat
A few minutes later we finished very closely followed by Ruffian, Black Sheep, Midnight Express & Vado. Skippers wanting to breath a sigh of relief after finishing had to keep their wits about them as some of the fleet came straight at them under spinnaker.
The Positions after corrected time were down to seconds in some cases. Very close racing had everyone in the club grinning as we all shared tails from the race.
Fantastic sailing and a great turn out made us all realise what a great club we have! Winter sailing at its best!
I’d like to add a “Man of the Match” type salute to the back of the fleet. In this case Annie’s “Wolf Whistle” new to the fleet warranted a mention as they apparently sailed well.