Apollo Bay Sailing Club
Sat. 29th February 2020
What a great February. Did you know we only get 5 sailing days (Saturday’s) in Feb every 28 years?
But very light westerly winds greeted the sailors on Saturday. Would there be enough for a race? Eleven skippers thought so – with Rusty’s big cat Southern Cross joining a race for the first time.
So many questions for today – Would the wind hold out? How would the new cat perform? Would Russell and Peter B both successfully sail their two man boats single-handed? Would crew Anton and skipper Kelly still be on speaking terms after the race?
The course was set out to sea to maximise the breeze and the dinghies went first as sometimes in light airs the keelboats struggle to clear the line promptly.
Paul and Lisa hit the line first on Ziff closely followed by April Dancer and Euffamism while in the keelboats Boheme was starting aggressively calling up, up, up, to keep Quikmatch clear!
Mick and team on Quikmatch squeezed through for a great start shutting out Ten + One quite legally. They did apologise (with great insincerity) over a beer later!
So off they head to the top (westerly) mark near the harbour. Once round the mark the spinnakers came out on the fifteens – even Bourney on Miss Molly (don’t ask how he got three sails up and flying on his own!). Good to see the large grey kite flown by Greg, Wayne and Doug on Apollo Bay Community Bank and the massive red/yellow sail on Quickmatch. Did Ten plus One leave their kite at home we wonder?
Southern Cross, like all cats, struggled hard upwind then regaining lost ground and more on the reaches.
So the race had settled down – or had it. Up by the harbour Ziff, April Dancer and Euffamism had kite troubles as the westerly slowed. At the Cape Patton end of the course the keelboats rolled lazily in the swell while the breeze shifted from all directions at once. Then it got quite bizarre. An easterly came in from Cape Patton and the keelboats headed downwind towards – the dinghies sailing downwind in the opposite direction!
The easterly strengthened and those at the east end of the course congratulated themselves on their tactical awareness (blind luck) while those at the west muttered darkly about the unfairness of life.
At the finish Ziff took line honours while John Marriner and Bruce Thomas in Interlude held off a late challenge from Quikmatch and Southern Cross. As did the much smaller Community Bank, quite determined not to be overtaken by the big boys.
|H/C Champ||Dinghy YS||Keelboat YS|
All Ability Sailing
Anyone walking about the harbour on Saturday morning might have noticed a small blue boat sailing about and not thought too much of it. After all, its not really that unusual a sight in a harbor with a sailing club right there on the shore. But what they wouldn’t have realised is that this was no ordinary dinghy and one of the people sailing it was no ordinary sailor.
A bit over twelve months ago Scott McDonald suffered a very serious stroke. Something that changed his and wife Sheryn’s lives dramatically.
I imagine only those that have experienced something like this could know how instantly these things change your life and how utterly complete that change is.
But on Saturday morning down at the sailing club a little bit of the puzzle fell into place for Scotty and Sheryn. After a few months of planning, a bit of training by a few people at the club, the very generous loan of a Hansa 303 (all ability sailing dinghy) from the Geelong Yacht Club and some help from the Apollo Bay Harbour team in allowing/ training us to use the gantry to get Scott in the boat, something that seemed unlikely became reality. Scott was a very keen surfer so getting him back out on the water just seemed like the logical thing to do.
So, expect to see the Barwon (Hansa dinghy) gliding about the harbor every Saturday morning as Scotty masters the art of sailing. And with a fleet of very keen Opti juniors just itching for a race against the evenly matched Hansa I think Scotty had better get stuck into his practice! Interestingly the Hansa is sailed competitively in 28 countries and is an International Sailing Federation class.
The Apollo Bay Sailing Club would like to thank the members involved, Graham Ritchie and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and The Port of Apollo Bay Staff for their help in making this possible.
Life is good. Come Sailing!
To find out more see our Facebook group - Apollo Bay Sailing Club