HRYC’s women skippers filled two of the top three places in race # 3 of the 2016-17 Windward – Leeward Series last saturday. Commodore Libby Braybrooks, skippering the S&S 34 Star of the Sea, finished in first place ahead of James Donnelly’s East Coast 31, Amoeba. Aroha Nui, skippered by Lee Malone, finished in third place a few seconds back despite being penalised 10 minutes for two gate infringements. Star of the Sea won the top spot on PHS despite incurring a five minute penalty at the start. Star of the Sea put in a strong all round performance also finishing third on CBH and in third on Line Honours.
The race was sailed over three laps in a 12 – 18 knot North Easter. More than one protest flag was flown and a clutch of five minute penalties were handed out by the eagle eyed race officer Ed Levy. Both Star of the Sea and All Our Girls sustained 5 minute penalties for being over the line early. All Our Girls had luffed up vigorously and forced Star of the Sea over early, only to be taken over the line by the outgoing tide herself. Crossbow was penalised for crossing the windward gate and finishing line on the downwind leg.
This race was Crossbow’s first outing for the season and everyone enjoyed seeing her gracefully adorning the river again. She was ably sailed shorthanded by the Cliff Sutton and Terry Dorrough. The two foxes who managed to keep All Our Girls at bay for much of the race, despite not flying a spinnaker. Crossbow’s cause was helped somewhat by All Our Girls sustaining damage to her genoa when a corroded tack fitting blew asunder and all hands were pressed into action getting the Girls old Number 3 up and pulling. These two boats duelled their way around the course swapping leads on a number of occasions and generally being separated by no more than a few boat lengths. In the end the margin was 38 seconds in All Our Girl’s favour. Crossbow was a clear winner on CBH, her rating having been adjusted downward due to her spinnaker-less, short-handed configuration.
The two fastest boats had trouble putting enough distance between themselves and the middle of the fleet to claim the PHS prize. Star of the Sea, Aroha Nui, Amoeba and Waterplay also fought close battles, although Waterplay dropped off the pace and could not take full advantage of her spinnaker. All four have elevated their handicaps as a result. Cecilia had an uncharacteristic day, lingering in last place in elapsed and both sets of corrected times.
Although many red flags were flown, correct protest procedures were not followed and consquently no protests were heard. Relevant race officers did not receive the necessary documentation notifying protests in the time required. The Race Officer did however dispense a number of time penalties. It will come as no surprise that the racing rules of sailing did feature prominently in animated post-race discussions at the Angler’s Rest.
A warning to skippers in the habit of not passing through the windward gate on upwind legs or crossing the gate on the downwind leg: The Sailing Instructions are being amended before the next race so that failure to sail through the gate on any windward leg will result in automatic disqualification, as will crossing over the gate on any downwind leg.
Congratulations to Libby Braybrooks and her crew for the PHS win and also to Terry Dorrough for a win on CBH.
PHS Handicap Adjustments