Apollo Bay Sailing Club
26th November 2016
The Flying Fifteen Training Weekend incorporating Race 3 of the pre Christmas Series.
Thanks to our ground breaking and improvement focused commodore and his most supportive and hardworking committee, the club hosted an especially informative weekend of practical and technical tips and training for the Flying Fifteens and any other interested ‘dinghy’ sailors.
Dale Collins from the Flying Fifteen Association of Victoria, was the principal training officer for the weekend. He was supported by a long term Apollo Bay Sailing Club friend and expert, or at least very experienced, FF campaigner Les Kearney. After a few hours of boat tuning, members enjoyed a discussion lead by Dale on achieving better starts prior to a 12pm race briefing and a special 1pm practice start session. The club’s usual race was due to start at 2pm.
For Saturday the weather was from the west, bit fresh and gusty, 15 to 25 knots, slight swell and outgoing tide. Occasional light showers followed pretty mild squalls. The wind oscillated from the west to the west south west, allowing sailors great opportunities to work the wind shifts up the course.
Practice starters, Maddy and Raygun on Black Pearl, Lisa and Leo on Asiff, Bourney and Anton on Miss Molly, Tim and Chris on Affrodite and Croc and Garry on Bendigo Bank made the most of the 6 practice starts whilst the keel boats circled awaiting their chance to ‘rack up’ together!
Gusty conditions made it too uncomfortable/ uncontrollable for, Russell and Andrew on Wal, Kelly and Finlay on Ffantome, Jane and Colin on Cest ce Bon, our 7 foot super crew (Stepan and Karlyn) plus Johnathon Smith on The Trading Post and young green horn, Jamie Summers on Ice Breaker, to muck about in the breeze. Maddy and Raygun broke a very worn goose neck on Black Pearl and had to retire for the day. What a shame as their boat handling and team work was a rarely seen yet spectacular display of dinghy sailing skills in the mini keel boat that the ff design is.
The start to the main race was running to time until the race officer deemed the start line to be too short to offer the fleet a safe and fair start. The line was adjusted and the start sequence recommenced about 5 mins later.
Signal confusion/assumption saw Mick and Jesse on Quickmatch and Bill + crew on Wild Rose head off 10 mins prior to the actual start, where Matt and Bruce on Argonaut, Aj and Gary on Boheme and Ken plus 10 on 10+1 made an easy go of the recently extended start line.
The dinghy start was straight forward after all their practice. The next 15 mins on the Duty Boat was spent trying to decode what could of happened regarding Wild Rose and Quickmatch’s early start. Just as that was sorted and the Duty boat repositioned into calmer waters closer to the shore, a message was radioed in to ‘pick up 2 swimmers near to the bottom mark ~2 klms off shore! Extraordinary!! It turned out one of the 2017 rookies took a swan dive off a keel boat to avoid a swinging boom. A fellow crew member, who threw a life ring to the ‘boom dodger’, tripped and took a dip too!
Back on station at the top of the course, the duty boat was preparing the finish line for the first of the keel boats. Boheme had sailed a lovely race, crossing nearly 4 mins ahead of Argonaut and 10+1. The shenanigans of the day were set to continue as the rest of the fleet either withdrew, or had lost track of the number of laps they’d done such that of the 10 starters only 4 boats successfully recorded a result! What could possibly have prepared Dale for an experience like this?!
Sunday morning saw the continuation of the flying fifteen tuning & training weekend. 5 boats, Wal, Affro, Black Pearl, Asiff, and Ffantome participated in countless 5 min races followed by a 3 min start sequence. Conditions in the bay were ideal. South wind to 12 knots, smooth sea, slight swell and a duty boat full of joyful smiles and friendly unsolicited advice. Dale Collins provided feed back to the crews from the red inflatable. The Deppeler family rivalry was in full swing with Maddy and Lisa pulling out all their pre start tricks for each other and anyone else who tried to get ahead of them. Starting well is one thing and the improvement in the fleet was significant.
Boat speed might be the next nut to crack! Jamie Summers was most improved and Maddy n Raygun, clearly most impressive. Gary Summers was most pleased despite so much competition.
Heat 4 Waterfront Motor Inn Pre Xmas Series
Heat 4 ‘ Rex & Mandy Brown’ & ‘Café 153’ Club Championships.
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.
Life is short, come sailing with us.