The R Word
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.
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.