Apollo Bay Sailing Club
12th November 2016
After a long winter of no sailing, ABSC members were keen to get back into the wind and waves and begin their sailing season.
Saturday morning’s sloppy easterly sea and drizzly rain did not dampen their enthusiasm; nor the strong wind warning forecast for late in the afternoon. Leo and I (Black Pearl) were the Duty Boat Officers, and on a day like that you’re dammed if you do and damned if you don’t. So with the conditions and forecast in mind we set a short race, close to the harbour entrance. Our plan, to get out and back before the proposed windy event arrived. Six yachts sailed out to the start line, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the wind shifted to a light NW breeze. Lovely!
At the start line Bill (Wild Rose) got the jump on Ken (Ten Plus One) and did not give Ken a look in after that. Obviously Bill’s sailing time up north during the winter has paid dividends. Pete and Anton (Miss Molly) had a slight lead on Tim and Chris (Affrodite) but as the conditions became erratic they lost their momentum giving Tim and Chris the chance to take the lead. Young Jamie displayed great tenacity on Ice Breaker. The conditions were very unpleasant for a little 4.7 Laser. After tipping about 20 times, Jamie wisely decided to leave the race and head back in. Geeks and Ella in the Fire Ball (Champagne Jam) were handling the trying conditions, displaying some great potential.
A large and foreboding cloud moved in over the hills and the wind begun to freshen a little from the west. We on the duty boat, promptly shortened the course and set up the finish line at the mark near the harbour entrance. Just as we began to congratulate ourselves for our cleverness a 30 to 40 knot squall came in from the west, turning the water white and laying the fleet over. Wild Rose was just seconds from the finish line when the race was abandoned. Sorry Bill!
When a race is abandoned in circumstances like this the keel boats drop their sails and assist with making sure the smaller yachts in the fleet make it back to the harbour safely. While the Duty Boat helped young Jamie get back inside the harbour, Wild Rose had taken Affrodite under tow. Affrodite was awash, with Commodore Tim and first time crew member Chris Adams sitting in a bath tub as they were unceremoniously (or ceremoniously, perhaps?) towed into the harbour. Miss M had a few minor breakages but limped/ sailed back under her own steam, as did Geeks and Ella on the Fireball.
Back at the club there was plenty of excitement and lively discussion. Happy faces with colour in their cheeks and salt in their hair. The successful completion of a race is not a prerequisite to a fun day at ABSC, just getting out on the water generally does the job. Thank goodness winter is over, I missed you guys.
Life is short, come sailing with us.
Thanks to our sponsors: Apollo Bay & District Community Bank, Great Ocean Road Trading Post, Waterfront Motor Inn, Café 153, The Fishing Co op, Surf-n-Fish, J&C Marriner Earthworks
Come Sailing. Why wouldn’t you?