Apollo Bay Sailing Club
11th February 2017
It was the first 'Dinghy Day' since the Sailing club was lucky enough to be graced by the first keel boat sailors with their 'quaffing champagne and caviar by the bucket' ways.
The wind had picked up to a brisk 20+ knots testing the limits of these gentle folk. Worse, it was coming in gusts and unexpectedly, veering left and right. It was a day of mayhem really. So there were lots of capsizes and swimming, lot's of shouting and bumping and many cuts and bruises, I imagine. Sheesh... dinghy sailing!
Following a request, lots of starting and tight race strategy practice was in the offing. Nine short races were held instead of the usual one. Very short legs with barely the time to raise the spinnaker, though spinnakers were out aplenty! Regardless of one's prejudice, you couldn't but admire the courage of the fleet generally.
The day for me was best represented in one special moment. A start line, not set square to the wind by a single simpleton (the apologetic author), led to the fleet jammed down one end of the line. Heavy congestion in a strong erratic breeze is probably not ideal (I reflected as I watched this tight group battle the strongest gust of the day).
They say perspective is important, I found mine more entertaining, as I watched 10 dinghy's in all manner of distress.
Some were motionless as if stunned; some were laid flat overpowered by a cleated sail; some had tacked involuntarily, adding to the stress of all nearby; one had capsized, others were coping, just, making some progress and then there were the few excelling and off to a brilliant start. No wonder they had asked for more practice!
There's no doubt the day was challenging for all involved. Even those that did well struggled frequently. And, after two solid hours of this carnage, for the fleet to return full of smiles says much of the characters involved. And - you can't beat a bloody good breeze.
Thanks to Dave and Pip for helping out on the duty boat and to Pip as well for the great photos on the club’s facebook page.
Heat 14 - Café 153 Club Championships.
Handicap (Dinghy Regatta)
2nd Miss Molly
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