The Yachtsman 2017-2018 RPAYC Yachtsman 2016-2017 - Page 32

ONE DESIGN SERIES T he 5.5 metre fleet is growing and participated in the Mid-Winter One Design Regatta. The 5.5’s were racing in the same fleet as Etchells with 11 yachts on the start line each time in typical Sydney winter weather – plenty of sunshine and light shifty westerly winds. In fact through the weekend, the breeze ranged from 4 to 8 knots and from 230 to 320 degrees, making quite a challenge for Race Officer, Steve Merrington and his team. Courses were all windward/leeward with two laps to each race and legs of between .5 and .75 nautical miles, and using a windward clearance mark and split leeward marks. As the results show, the racing was very closely contested with results often as little as three and four seconds between boats finishing. Day one saw Barragoola (Jason Antill), Skagerak (Bob Stoddart) and Tangalooma (Pete McNamara) going at it from the first moment with everyone soon learning that where you placed the yacht on the course was as important as how fast you sailed. Shifts in the light breeze of up to 15 deg, mixed with windless ‘holes’ were a feature all day. Tangalooma managed to win Race 1 by 15 seconds from Skagerak with Baragoola just adrift by five seconds. Plan B was unable to start having been T boned by a cruising catamaran before the start and needing to replace a jib. Race 2 was Baragoola all the way, winning by more than a minute from Tangalooma, with Skagerak 3rd and Plan B having her first race in Australia in 4th. She’s a very modern 5.5 (8 years old) and features substantial chines in the hull and a carbon fibre build and rig, so is expected to be very fast once Rob Fielding and friends get things sorted. Race 3 the breeze came and went on every leg and especially on leg four decided results according to which side of the racecourse was followed – Baragoola from Tangalooma by 13 seconds with Plan B a further minute adrift and Skagerak 4th. So, the first day saw Baragoola and Tangaloooma even on points with Skagerak close behind. Sunday’s weather was almost a rerun of Saturday. In the first race of the day, Tangalooma was able to overcome a slow start and move into first place on the second beat and hold to the finish, leading Baragoola to the line by 35 seconds with Plan B now in 3rd and Skagerak 4th. Race 5 the breeze dropped out altogether at times and moved through 40 degrees as the strength fluctuated. Plan B chose the right side of the course on Leg 1 and was never headed, to win by one minute from Skagerak, then a further minute to Baragoola and Tangalooma well back. Race 6 was sailed in a slightly steadier breeze with the lead changing several times between Tangalooma, Skagerak and Baragoola with the final result a win by four seconds to Tangalooma from Skagerak then 34 seconds to Baragoola and a further 7 seconds to Plan B. All in all, a really good test of light air sailing and great fun to compete in. PETER MCNAMARA RESULTS 30 PLACE YACHT OWNER 1st Tangalooma Pete McNamara 2nd Baragoola Jason Antill 3rd Skagerak Bob Stoddart YACHTSMAN