Summer in Melbourne

Yeah right, try telling that to the 400 odd competitors at Sail Melbourne.020 The temperature when I arrived at Sandringham was 14c! Summer?

Yesterday all but the Kiteboarders were cancelled due to the adverse conditions. At this mornings de-brief even some of the more exerienced Kiters said it was at the top end of what they could sail at.

Today all sailed bar the Libertys, Skuds, 49ers and the 49er FX as again the conditions were not too good. Whilst I’m out on Alpha course I don’t get to see to much if any of the others sailing, but what we had would have been pretty much the same across all fleets. The breeze was in the 20s for the majority of the 3 races held today, one gust we saw 26knots on our JDC Eole. You know it’s windy when you see a 470 going to windward sailing up a wave and going totally airborne. One of those classic shots, that you wish you took rather than watching happen. All I could think of was the landing, but these guys are amongst the best and handled it with ease.

In the first photo it looks pretty good, but…as you can see from the second click, there’s no mark! The seas on Port Phillip Bay are all wind driven and after 48hours they were around the 2m mark. Not really the best for a small runabout carrying the marks for the day. Mind you coming back in was a good ride. 022

 

It’s been a hard few days for us on the mark boat. Monday we had a few issues with water in the fuel and alarms going off. We ended up returning to Sandringham and having the mechanic have a quick look, then heading out again. Tuesday was a hurry up and wait, nothing happenned till the PRO pulled the pin after 1500.

 

Today, it all happenned pretty quick, the start boat went out and checked the conditions and returned to the club. I literally had time to go back to the van, get changed, grab my RO gear and head out. The RO signaled a windward return, hooray, only one mark to lay and retrieve out of the mud. Denis Finn from Black Rock is our driver and did an excellent job trying to keep us dry. Mind you the fore hatch needs some Gaffa tape!

 

Tomorrow? Who knows, but knowing our luck it’ll be left over seas and no wind.

 

About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official (Yachting Australia) and is the Principal Race Officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

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