In Hartley TS16

Race 15

Handicap race 15, was held on the easterly course with winds of less than 10 knots.

Ten was skippered in this race by Peter Barnes who usually skippers Hirondelle, and crewed by owner Ken Caldwell. It had a handicap of 20, but because the next boat racing was off a handicap of 9, it was decided to send Ten over the start line at 16, and adjust its time at the end. Ten established a clear lead from the start and never looked like losing it. Ken usually sails with his son, Ian, who only started sailing two seasons ago. The two have been improving their performance – they won on handicap last week – but usually lag behind the fleet. Ken said it was good to sail with such an experienced skipper, “I learned a great deal”.

It was a last minute team: Peter only got the call Saturday morning that Geoff Smith, his usually sailing partner, was unwell and unable to sail. Ian had more notice: it was his tenth wedding anniversary. Ken said “I was fortunate that Peter wasn’t required for Hirondelle. We’ve been aware all along that the boat could do much better than we’ve been doing. Today we got much closer to the wind than we have been doing.” Peter said he enjoyed the race, and had a number of suggestions to improve Ten’s performance, including altering the position of the side stays and tightening the forestay.

Ten crossed the finish line at 4.27.45, more than 4 minutes before the second boat, Annette, Ron Johnston and Ben Speed. When adjusted for the fact Ten started 4 minutes after its allotted handicap, that gave it an on-paper lead of more than 7 minutes. The next five boats, Annette, Uncle Norm, Tranquil, Murphy’s Law and Helen Joy, had a tight race, and all five crossed the finish line within 39 seconds. Uncle Norm, skippered this week by Gary Wills with Ross Pollitt, had the fastest time.

Annette is leading the season point score, followed by Uncle Norm and then Tranquil, Neil Johnson and Bret Pollitt. Uncle Norm is leading the Fastest Point Score, with Tranquil second and Aeolian, Darren and Kylie Chignell, third.

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