Races 12 & 13
Race 12 was abandoned due to lack of wind.
Race 13 was held in a light nor-easter.
It was a handicap start, but by the time the 11 strong fleet reached the first buoy, number 3 off Mann’s Point, they were bunched together.
Tranquil, Neil Johnson and Bret Pollitt, sailing with a newly repaired boom, was the eventual winner. Neil said the conditions were flukey. “There were a lot of holes going round the top mark, and then on the other side, nothing. There was also a strong run in tide that caused a lot of prolems at the top mark.” The fleet separated on the run down to buoy 6, “we got a bit of a jump” Neil said, but Hirondelle caught Tranquil and was first around the mark. Tranquil was fourth. “We bunched up under Spectacle Island, then we got away. The breeze got lighter and lighter, and we struggled to get around the mark.”
When Neil heard the race official, Ken Nagle, ask the support boat to put the finish flag in while the fleet was on its second circuit, he thought the race would be shortened. In fact it was for the two skiffs. The fleet sailed the full course, although Aeolian and Pelican withdrew, rather than risk the late finish, while Ten was timed out.
In the last leg, between Cockatoo and Balmain, Neil thought Tranquil was not going to win, and Uncle Norm, Eric Partland and Gary Wills, was going to run them down. “The boats behind bring the breeze along with them,” he said. It is a situation he has experienced before on that leg. “We had just enough to get around the mark and the breeze died”. Neil said Tranquil “fell over the line at the end”. Uncle Norm was second and Helen Joy, Chris Giaquinto and John Whitelock, were third. Uncle Norm also had the fastest time.
Neil Bilsborough, who crewed the support boat, made a welcome appearance. He was generous in sharing his expertise, after closely observing the fleet. His latest boat in the Sinister series is nearing completion.
Annette, Ron Johnston and Ben Speed, is leading the Season Point Score, followed by Uncle Norm and Tranquil. Uncle Norm is leading the Fastest Point Score, with Tranquil second, and Aeolian, Darren and Kylie Chignell, third.