Race Report 08/04/18

The tower people were reportedly in stitches as they watched us sail on Sunday. I’m not sure why.

The forecast was for either 10-15 knots and steady or for 15-25 knots and steady depending on who you listened to, but all were agreed that the temperature would be 30 degrees or thereabouts. A fine day with great sailing conditions or a fine sailing day with marginal conditions.

Still 11 division 1 boats fronted including new Tasar owner Danny Rayson who was eager to give it a go with fill in crew John Carabott. The Chris/Mandy Green Tasar was also there. Impulses were sailed by Leon and Terry while Lasers of varying denominations were sailed by Chris K-T, Peter Ellenby, John Walter, your Ed (forward Tasar Crew was studying) Manfred and Gerhard. Graham had the Solo Swift. Special mention goes to Gary Venn who came ready to sail but was appointed Race Officer by acclamation. (ED – Actually I thought I had seen an email which said Gary was it, but looking back I can’t find it. Gary merely stepped up to the plate and ran the race with, I now suspect, absolutely no notice. All power to him).

Actually we may have handed him a poisoned chalice.

The breeze was fickle and swinging (reminding me of a former girl friend) but Gary set a great course, short but with challenges. It was a starboard course.

Now I know we don’t do this often, but when there is a green flag on the crash boat next to the orange start line flag, this means that you leave marks to starboard. You should all know this. It is defined in the Race Signals section of the Racing Rules. Those who allegedly began as if it was a port course were alerted and saved their bacon.

The tower crew takes their position seriously and no matter how hard they are laughing will usually come up with a result. They tell me that they gave times to all and that Chris and Mandy were first over the line followed by Leon, John Walter, Manfred, Danny Rayson, Peter Ellenby, the Ed and then Terry and Chris K-T. Gerhard and Graham did not finish.

But it is all excitement when sailing and the Ed knows that as Graham went over in a huge knock. It just so happened that he was passing the Ed to windward at the time and the Ed was treated to the sight of 500 sq feet of sail cascading onto the Laser R. Fortunately as the Solo Swift came over, hydraulic forces slowed it and the Ed snuck ahead and round the bow. Most excitement.

Which brings me to finishing.

Gary had been caught unawares by his magical raising to the exulted position of Race Officer and may have better set finishing marks for all spoilt sailors. But he does not have to. The Sailing Instructions as to finishing are clear in the Club Sailing Instructions. In brief you go from the last mark and round the yellow ID mark so as to pass it between the shore and the mark while heading to the blue finishing mark which you leave to sea passing the finish line which is between the club house and the blue mark.

This is what I wrote on 28 January this year:


The course was a triangle, sausage and triangle and then to finish.


Actually this is short hand for what we usually do and possibly misleading. The Sailing Instructions (published on the Club Website) define courses for Div 1 as:

Division 1.





As far as I can work out, this means we go start (where ever) to mark 1 (windward) then to mark 2 leeward (jibe mark) then to last mark (which in the old days may have been the start mark). This is then a triangle.


You then go back to mark 1 (windward) and return to 3 (the last) as sausage. Then another triangle to 1, 2 and 3. From 3 you go to the finish.


On Sunday, mark 3 was behind the start line and mark 1 was off the public boat ramp. Therefore when finishing, the forward committee member got it wrong when she insisted that we had to round the mark off the boat ramp to port. This was wrong as we had finished the last triangle once we had gone past mark 3 (Out behind the start). After mark 3 we could go direct to finish. (We left mark 1 to port but it didn’t make much difference).


And as to finishing. The SI are relatively clear, and I think Dennis is right, but I am still arguing about crossing finish lines during the race. The SI say:



All boats must pass between the designation mark and the shoreline rounding it so as to then proceed directly to the finish line. NOTE Instruction 8.3.


(8.3 is about where the designation mark can be)


So it doesn’t matter whether it is a port or starboard course, the designation mark is passed between it and the shore, no matter where it is set.


So, since it’s there, what was course for race 2? S equaled 3 so the course was (second race) start to 1 (windward) to leeward (2) to S (or 3) One Triangle. Then windward (to 1) and return to S (3). Then you did another triangle, from S (3) to 1 (Windward) to leeward (2) and the final leg to S (3). This was triangle, windward return and triangle. Having got to S(3), sailing instructions take over and you go to ID Mark (see above). In effect, when you get to start mark for third time, head to finish. (This is the Ed’s opinion only)


So we have sort of thought about race two, but let us go further.


For race two Gary had reconfigured the race by dropping the green flag and setting a red one. He also moved the start line out to what had been mark 3 (see above).


The tide was moving and Gary was aware. The tide was pushing all boats over the line (save for Chris, your Ed and Gerhard) and immediately after the start Gary pushed the horn three times and raised a little triangular pennant of blue with a yellow inset as many had been on the wrong side of the starting line (but not Chris, your Ed and Gerhard). The little triangular pennant of blue with a yellow inset means general recall.


The horn may need fixing, but its strangulated cry was heard by your Ed who checked his flag list and stopped. Nobody else did. Gary and the Ed looked at each other and considered what to do. Obviously nobody had started right and the Ed saw little use in starting again by himself, so we decided that all others were disqualified, the Ed would protest and seek redress to the sailing committee, and no doubt be rewarded with the race as he was the sailing committee. (dreams are made of this)


We abandoned the whole race.


Actually the Ed had a fine time. He pottered about and then rejoined the race as others began the windward/return. He started just behind Leon and ahead of John W and Manfred. On the beat the Ed on the Laser R got to the next mark before all of them. Perhaps relaxing and not “racing” is the go. Since no one had officially started, your Ed headed to shore after the beat. Thanks to those who pointed out that he was going the wrong way (I knew something you didn’t)


Incredible thanks to Gary who came to sail and just took over as Race Officer.


Thanks to the laughing lot in the tower, Frank, Anne, Alex and Elizabeth who know better than the rest of us and especially to Ned and family (who didn’t laugh) but only because they were down in the morning getting things done.