The R Word
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.
First race of the 2018/19 Dinah Beach wet season racing. Crew all shirted up and ready to roll.
The conditions for the first race look good. A chance of rain, but the weather forecast will always say that for the wet season. We were practicing getting our timing right for the start of the race when boom, the heavens opened. Winds dramatically increased so we reefed both main and head sail.
Thanks to Captain Pete who remained cool, calm and extremely collected we managed to start the race, albeit late but we crossed that start line.
Once the rain eased off we had a great sail day . Her kite spectacular. The saying of the day,
‘you can never have too much purple”.
Did I mention we got second place!
Click on the link to see the results of race 1
Our headsail had been damaged during Tropical Cyclone Marcus.
As a result, we decided to use our storm jib as we were determined to finish the wet season race series. It’s always heart warming to know that when in need, those around you will step up and lend a helping hand. So it was with fellow sailors. I received a call on Friday afternoon to say that a spare head sail was available for us to use on Sunday’s race. Beauty!!
Down we trot to the marina on Saturday to fit the sail and get race ready. We were very grateful and excited to have the loan headsail. Well, overjoyed actually.
The winds were 15 plus knots, waves about 1 metre. The start out from the Sailing Club in Fannie Bay was rather hectic. There would have been at least 30 boats, so it was very chaotic indeed.
The weather was perfect. A great day to be out on the water. We raced well as a team and most importantly, had fun.
We knew the day before that Emma Ward was having a little engine issue – well quite a biggie really- she wouldn’t start. The Captain went through some routine checks and came to the conclusion that it was the starter motor. So the mechanic was all booked to come at 9:30am race day morning.
Yep, all rusted out. Mechanic saves the day, contact with the supply proved fruitful and he was able to collect one for us. Out he trots to collect it. I consider myself a bit of an opportunist (well, when it suits me to be so) and I did purchase a Dyson not so long ago. I thought it quite normal and considered the ‘done thing’ to Dyson out the engine bay whilst there was a most opportune moment.
I am also keen to get my a hands dirty and learn as much as I can about the engine so that we can be self sufficient when sailing is our full time occupation. So there I am, squished into a little hatch box, learning about starter motors and trying to see how it all fits together. I actually had that space bookmarked for clothing storage. Hmmm . Will need to rethink that one.
A new starter motor fitted, a few less dollars in the back pocket and we are away. half an hour late but away!!
Crew was low yet spirits are always high. There’s no time to practice today, we are straight into it. I thought we were going to make it first over the start line, but Scallwag had the better angle and beat us by a whisker.
Here’s a few snapshots of our race day. There’s not many today – all four hands on deck were very busy with those running sheets.
Stormy weather ahead
After two missed races due to Darwin wet season stormy weather, we were ready to get back into the race groove. The weather held off nicely until midway through,and then it poured! it was nice to cool off – at first. Note to self, I must purchase some wet weather sailing clothes.
Speaking of which, we wore our new Emma Ward shirts. I think they look fabulous. a huge thank you to my colleague and friend for taking the time in her extremely busy schedule to embroider them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
We managed first over the start line to win a six pack for our efforts.
Race results for race 4.
Kathy and Tanya preparing the main sail for the first race of the year. After shaking off the Christmas cobwebs with a few practice runs on the sails, we were ready to go. Emma Ward was third over the start line, a slow start but she sailed consistently and considering we have no spinnaker as yet, we held our ground throughout the race.
Captain Pete’s new tilt -o-meter gadget was very useful in determining the lean on Emma. The seas were calm, about 10 knots and the north westerly winds kept us cool all afternoon. Storm clouds were looming in the background, a great sight to see them developing in the distance on our way back to the lock.
We learnt how to sail on a 27ft Mottle called Kotuku. She was a fabulous little yacht. Just the perfect size, so easy to reach the halyard and raise the sails as a beginner sailor. (I’m only 157cm tall). We became members of the Dinah Beach Yacht Club to participate in the wet season racing series, cruising division. Kotuku sailed beautifully. She won the Stern Chaser event on Australia Day 2016 and was most improved for the race series