The R Word
A great day for sailing. Weather forecast predicted today, 10 to 15 knot winds, seas below a metre – no rain. With only three crew, out we venture to do our best.
Winds were quite light for how Emma Ward likes to sail but we started well near the front and made good ground. After turning at the first mark in second spot, we headed downwind. We didn’t put the spinnaker up today, as with only two on hand it can be difficult to manage so we made do with having the head and main sail out as far as possible.
At the next marker the field had caught up and we turned in fifth spot.
However, the next leg was into the wind as Emma Ward heeled over to catch the wind she powered up and overtook most of the other boats by the time we rounded for home.
Another short run downwind with Michael doing his impersonation of a spinnaker pole and Emma sailing sort of wing to wing.
The ground we lost by not having the spinnaker up, we made up for on the last leg. Emma ward flew home to a winning of third place on handicap.
We crossed the line in second spot and came third on handicap. This keeps Emma at the top of cruising division with two races to go.
We also one the prize draw for the night. You beauty. Captain’s head will be in Garmin heaven tonight with $1,000 worth of Garmin dollars to spend.
We were quite sort on crew this week. Captain Pete on the helm, Micheal and Chief Mate Louise, the only three on board, so apologies for the lack of photos as there was no time to take any.
Emma Ward is on a roll. This week she won the trifecta. First over the start line, first to finish and first on handicap.
At the start line we approached a little bit ahead of time. Some good tactical de-powering allowed us to slow Emma Ward but still retain headway. We then tightened up the sheets and shot across the start line in first place.
Rounding the first buoy we maintained our lead however by the second buoy Qcumber had opened up a sizable lead and Lollipop was just ahead. We rounded this buoy and set the sails for downwind and despite giving Qcumber a few minutes start, we had caught her by the next buoy. From that point on, Emma Ward remained clear of the field and the longer the race went on, the bigger the gap between her and the rest.
We crossed the line in first position a good five or so minutes ahead of the rest. Back at the clubhouse, we also found out that she had won on handicap. She is now sitting clear at the top of the table and with just three races to go. However both Qcumber and Lollipop are very close behind,. And so we will have to sail at our best to maintain top position and secure the title.
After having a diver scrape the bottom, hopes were high that Emma would be bask to her best performance.
Sure enough, she sliced through the water like a hot knife through butter.
A good start saw us in first place at the first buoy and she was never headed past from that point on. At times the wind was gusting up to 22 knots. She was making between five and six knots through the water. The problems with the traveller clam cleats persisted, so new ones have been bought and installed ready for next race day. The tilt o meter was showing between 30 and 35 degrees at times. Emma Ward crossed the finish line with a distance of six minutes between her and the next yacht,.She was first across the line and first on handicap.
This result has taken her to the top of the cruising division after five races. The $100 prize money was well spent on two new clam cleats for the traveller and a bottle of wash and wax. As a reward, for her great performance, the Captain spent all of the following weekend washing and polishing Emma .
Congrats to the crew for a great team effort. Will be good to get the chief mate back for the next race.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there for the first race due to interstate work commitments. Captain Pete, Greg, Neil and Jenna were there to ensure Emma Ward looked her best for the first race.
There were some tactical errors, a problem with the traveller and the main sheet block broke. “A bit of a disaster” was the Captain’s words. All in a days’ sail.
Next weekend we get to do it all again.
Check out the race results.
It was a great vibe at Dinah Beach for presentation night. All participants show tremendous support for each other and there is a sense of camaraderie among sailors and would be sailors. The event organisers and volunteers are to be commended for their commitment in organising the route for each race and presentation events.
Emma Ward has been involved for the second time in the wet season race series. We enter each race with the intention of refining and bettering our own skills. Whether that be trimming the sails, co coordinating putting up and taking down of the spinnaker and of course gaining experience in helming through a variety of weather conditions. Whatever the outcome, every day on the water is a good day where we learn something.
Our crew have been fantastic. Greg has sailed with us every year and continues to pass on his skills and knowledge. We have had many friends join us for race day. Hopefully we will inspire enough of them to become regulars for race day.
We were very surprised that Emma Ward won the most improved trophy. Well done everyone.
Crew numbers were down for this race. The weather was good with a forecast of northwesterly at 10 to 15 kts and seas about 1 meter. Approaching the start line we were about 20 seconds too early and so had to do a 360 turn. We crossed the start about 2 minutes behind the rest of the field.
However, Emma quickly made up this ground and we hit the front after the first mark.
After the second mark there was a long spinnaker run, so out came the purple monster. due to the limited crew we had some issues getting the kite flying but eventually got it up.
We lost a bit of time, but again made this up pretty quickly. No other boats in sight as we turned for home,
Safely across the finish line but with a massive storm fast approaching, the order was given to drop the sails as quickly as possible. It was not a moment too soon. the storm hit us like a sledgehammer. Visibility was down to about 20 meters and the wind was gusting between 35 to 40 kts. We had the motor going but the force of the wind meant we stayed in the same spot.
Whilst some of the crew kept safe below. Captain Peter remained at the helm, with Greg keeping a good lookout to make sure that all other boats were clear.
The storm lasted about 45 minutes and the it eased off enough to allow us to head back to Bayview.
At presentation we got second place on handicap. However, considering that only three boats finished it was a bit of a hollow result. watching video after showed some of the boats getting hit by the storm and so we were just happy to have made it across the line and got our sails down just in time,
Next race in two weeks and hopefully the weather will be kind.
Amidst the storm, there was time for birthday cake. Happy birthday Kathy.
The first race for the new year and we are feeling refreshed, happy and ready to be back on the water. Skies are clear, slight breeze, five crew on board, should be a fab day. Our numbers were bolstered by the addition of Scott, an experienced sailor who had made Emma’s new head sail, main sail and her beautiful purple spinnaker. It was great to have him on-board so we could learn new skills and he could check out how the sails performed.
The wind was from the north west at about 9 kts. All is well and going fine, we are approaching the start line head on and looking likely to be first boat across and to head for the first buoy. We are getting kinda too close to the start line with a minute to go for the start and so bare away to head in a more horizontal direction. We then tack to cross the start line, the start signal blows, all good…..until race control calls on the radio..’Emma Ward, you have crossed the start too early’. We reckon we crossed about 5 seconds too early. This means we have to turn around and re cross over the start line. As we do, all of the other boats pass us going towards the first buoy, the wind is behind us and drops to about 5 kts relative so it seems to take a long time to re cross that line. As we finally cross the start line for the second time all the other yachts are just shy of the first buoy and we all felt a bit deflated.
Making the most of the situation and on Captain Pete’s orders, we’ve refocused from winning to catching up with the rest of the field. I reckon we were catching up by the time we reached the second buoy. Crew was on the ready at all times. This time, under Scott”s expert instruction we put the spinnaker up before furling in the head sail, and it worked a treat. We kept forward momentum, kept those sails rightly trimmed and before we knew it, we had made up ground. Emma Ward was like a racehorse at the final turn. She sensed the open water ahead of her. She surged forward leaving the other boats in her wake, and sliced through the water with all hands feeling elated. For the rest of the race we maintained the gap on the field and crossed the finish line in first position. Well done to the crew who never gave up despite the overwhelming odds. It just goes to show that even if you have a bad start, you can make up ground by concentrating and not giving up. A great attitude to encapsulate into one’s daily life.
To view race results click on this link. https://www.dbcya.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Results-Race-5-13-Jan-2018.pdf
Race 4 : Emma Ward came second over the start line this week. Crew raced really well, conditions were quite windy so it kept us cool on a hot humid wet season day. It’s not often we see the Paspaley Boat out in the harbour. This concludes sailing for 2018. We’ll be back with race 5 in early January.
As we motored out of the lock and into Darwin Harbour for race 2, it looked as if it was going to be another stormy race and that we wouldn’t need our spinnaker. Tropical weather can be a tad unpredictable, as we keep founding out. No wind, no spinnaker, inactive crew equals race postponed.