Last Sunday saw tactical, light wind racing for the 100-strong Winter Series Race 5 fleet. Starting in the morning at just 3-5 knots from the south-west, the wind quickly dropped by 1300hrs before filling in again at 6-8 knots from the east-north-east.
Making the most of the light conditions and shifting breeze was Matt Farr’s Hanse 385 Lorelei, who claimed first place in Division F.
“After closely watching the forecast movements of the East Coast Low during the week we had resigned to the fact it would not come soon enough to bring wind on race day,” said Matt. “In saying that, we were very lucky to start first in our division today and took advantage of the light south-westerly in the morning to race to the top mark and back before the wind died.
“After the glass-out, we did well to avoid the parking lot and although our competition got within 100m at the second mark we found ourselves on the right side of the racecourse when the easterly filled in. It was enough to propel us further in front to be first to hoist, for the spinnaker run home from Lady Bay, securing us the race win. Ordinarily in these light conditions we struggle to keep Lorelei moving, but the level of focus from the boys sharpened up when we realised we were in the running for a race win.
“Sailing on Sydney Harbour for the CYCA Winter Series is one of the most privileged things to be part of in this city. The lockdown certainly created pent-up demand for the sport with every race so far an absolute sell-out! Seeing such a strong fleet during each race has kept us motivated to keep improving. We have 16 yachts in our division this year and they have all showed up for every race so far. This has to be the best Winter Series yet!”
Also racing in Division F, and taking home a series-best performance so far, was Charles Parry-Okeden’s Beneteau First 40 Crystal Cutter III.
“After an OK start, we quickly tacked on to port and headed to the right side of the course where we felt there was more wind pressure”, said Charles. “This decision paid off well and we made up a number of places in our division, rounding our first mark to starboard just off Garden Island in a good position. With the wind still very light, fading and swinging from the north-west to the south-west, we somehow inched our way under spinnaker in two knots of breeze, down to Shark Island to find ourselves fourth around the mark in our division.
“As luck would have it the wind filled in from the east-north-east at 4 to 5 knots and gradually built up to a maximum gust of 10 knots. We picked the shifts as best as we could as we beat our way up to Lady Bay, rounding in third place and then set our masthead kite as we headed back down the Harbour to LM4 where we gybed and had a nice run across the line for our best result in the series so far, a third.
This week’s divisional winners are:
|A1||Quest||Bob Steel & Craig Neil|
|D||Foreign Affair||Matt Wilkinson|
|J2||Baltic Lady||Neil Burling|
|Sydney 38 (PHS)|
|Advanced Philosophy||Peter Sorensen|