Last man standing takes turbulent day on the water
SAILING: A turbulent day was had by the three competitors who were brave enough to take a chance on the weather for the seventh – and second last – race of the Ao Chalong Yacht Club “Irish Times” series.
Friday 15 June 2012, 10:25AM
Battling 30-40 knot winds, rain, and sizable in-bay waves, there was plenty of broken gear, retirements, and the need to dive below to free ropes tangled in propellers.
From a rather easy going start controlled by starter David Rucker from the longtail, everyone was late. Grenville Fordham’s Niña led the way, followed by Jack Christensen’s Linda,with Bill Sax’s Astraeus leading up the rear after their failure to clear the start mark required them to restart.
Niña enjoyed the building conditions with the monohulls struggling to stay in touch. Gaps widened with only Niña flying a spinnaker in the boisterous conditions.
Due to the extreme conditions the course was shortened. The only one in the group to finish was Niña, battling to the finish under headsail only to windward and into a sometimes 40 knot wind.
Linda suffered main traveller track damage due to an accidental gybe whilst attempting to reef sails.
Astraeus suffered much the same fate with a broken lower mainsheet block. That problem was further exasperated when a headsail sheet managed to fall overboard fouling the propeller. Swimmers had to go overboard to free it otherwise they would have been in Phi Phi compliments of the wind direction.
Back at the club the presentation was delayed so the Astraeus (the Greek god of dusk) crew could participate – they got back just before dusk. Astraeus’ skipper, along with the skipper of Linda, were presented a bottle of wine each for braving the conditions.
Niña’s skipper was awarded a bottle of Australia Brut for his efforts and their win and being the only participant to finish the course. The club was busy with those that decided to stay safe ashore – fine weather sailors the lot of them, holding up the bar.