Marblehead Winter Series, Round 1
You couldn't ask for better conditions to race Marbleheads at Risdon Brook today. On arrival, a solid NNW breeze of 15 to 20 knots or there abouts, blowing down the dam, covering the dam with whitecaps and some nice troughs to surf downwind, yee har!
Seven Skippers turned up for the day and were eager to use the day as preparation for next weeks ranking event, the John Emms Memorial Trophy for Marbleheads. Andrew Wardrop broke the golden rule of "Bring ALL your rigs" and returned home to fetch his C2 rig as that was the rig of consensus, however one or two gambolled with the bigger C1 rig. Good also to see Jeff Byerley on the water continuing his World's campaign, today sailing the borrowed Dreadnought of Peter Sylvester. Stu Harris kindly volunteered his services for the day and a very big THANK YOU for that. Not all smooth sailing at first though with Ray Joyce sailing too far across the dam and loosing radio with his boat and an ensuing walk around to retrieve it as the rescue boat would not have had any headway in the conditions, and John Hall having winch troubles forcing both of them to miss the first race, John all bar one, and a broken jib head attachment for Wayne Behrens prior to Race 1 that fortunately was fixed in time for the button press. The course in these conditions was; start between 1 and 2, solid windward beat up to 5 then 6, good fast run back down to 2 into 1, back up to 5 and 6, second run right down to the bottom 0 mark and through the finish between 1 and 2, all marks to PORT.
The breeze had started to ease just that little bit over the first few races but still solid and those that weren't, changed to the C1 rig after Race 3. After four races the F3 of yours truly had 3 wins and a second on the board, from Andrew Wardrop in second on 7 points and Ray Joyce in third with 10 points, who unfortunately rounded the bottom mark to starboard in Race 3 and gave away a certain win for a third, but redeemed himself by winning Race 4. Lunch was called after Race 5 and with the wind quite eased, a change up to B Rig for the resumption of racing. After 8 races and the second drop, the F3 led the fleet with another four wins on the trot and 6 points, from second placed Jeff Byerley on 17 points and third placed Ray Joyce with 19 points , on countback from Andrew Wardrop in fourth place. The last 2 races for the day were in a light breeze and the maximum sail area of A Rig was the go, along with a shortened course to the "small box". The F3 took the gun in Races 9 and 10 while Ray Joyce took line honours for the final race of the day in the final breaths of breeze before an Autumn afternoon calm off.
Despite the final result, racing was fast and exciting and quite close as the battle for the minor spots proved all day. Final results and a resounding win for the F3 with 9 points, 16 points ahead of Ray Joyce with 2 wins and 25 points and Jeff Byerley in third place on 29 points. No doubt, I have used up all my "Ju Ju" and will be cursing the place next week.
Till then, wet sails.
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