Apollo Bay Sailing Club
4th February 2017
The Apollo Bay club is lucky in that it has a very nice fleet of keel boats out on the water every week, and to make it even more interesting they are all a little different.
From the elegantly traditional style of the little 29ft Duncanson (Interlude) with its tiller steering and gentlemanly seated positioned helm, to the quite new and very exciting 38 ft Beneteau Oceanis (Wild Rose) with its twin wheels and rudders, electric winches, bow thrusters and assorted electronic gadgetry (think modern hull design and on edge sailing capability of Sydney to Hobart winner Perpetual Loyal). So you can imagine how fascinating that makes the duels and match-ups out on the water each week. And that does not even account for the deviance and general “rat cunning” of the lawless individuals that take to the sea in such craft!
This week’s race was one for the big boats only. The idea was to let the keelies stretch their legs a bit without those annoying (mosquito-esque) dinghies buzzing about. Unfortunately the wind did not quite play its part but that aside it was a great day out and they all sailed for keeps in the 5 to 9 knt ESE breeze.
With Kelly and Anton in control (no, seriously!) the brief was to start just out of the harbour on a reach and head towards The Henty; that big rock shelf just under the water some 3 nautical miles to the south east. Then around it at a safe distance and back again. Simple really!
But nothing in sailing is ever that simple, as sailors well know. Like Interlude turning up a little early for the start only to stall and the 32 ft Phantom (Quickmatch ) trying to sneak past, only to find itself stuck in the same foul and fetid air. Or watching the beautifully old fashioned J Class styled lines of the Cal 40 ft (Argonaut ) slice through the start line up high only to have the super slick Cavalier 37, It's Magic (same type that Kay Cottee sailed around the globe), slide on by about five minutes later, just metres to her leeward side with hardly a ruffle in her sails.
Heading south and once clear of the Bunbury reef the boats had a cleaner 8 or so knts and with a very shy reach indeed Wild Rose threw up the big blue spinnaker and threw down the challenge.
While this was going on, the boat with arguably the most classic and classy lines in the fleet, the 40ft Catalina Boheme, was lurking just behind the leaders with the crew working her hard to make up the ground. And that is how it stayed until about 50 minutes later when It's Magic made the turn back to the harbor. Argonaut, (a boat that turns it on in bigger winds) was having trouble with their plotter and took slightly longer turn, then suffered as the SE wind came and went a few times. Wild Rose with the big blue sail still out on show just gybed her at the Henty and shy reached back again, sailing higher than anyone else, possibly adding a bit of distance to their race but setting up a nicer sail down to the harbour finish mark once they turned west. Boheme tried everything (except putting up the big sail) and managed to work into second behind Magic and just in front of Rose. Nice little tussle all day between the cunning trio on Interlude and the hard working Quickmatch, with the three wise foxes just pipping Q Match at the post.
Comment of the day was shouted from “someone” on It's Magic to the Duty Boat as they sailed over the line; “what’s that blue flag?” And the answer shouted back from Kelly? “; that’s the finish flag Susie!
With the sun still shining warmly, it was back to the club for a warm and friendly debrief where stories were traded and tactics discussed as each sailor tried to glean some sardine of information to give them an advantage in that most interesting of chess games being played out, off the coast of Apollo Bay each Saturday.
Heat 14 - Café 153 Club Championship
Handicap (keel boat challenge)
1st It's Magic
3rd Wild Rose
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