Guest Post by Anatole Masfen
After some unwarranted weather concerns during the day, Flight 5 saw the 10 boats heading out from Westhaven in 15 to 20 knot North Easter with an incoming tide.
Warwick Gair was back in charge of the racing and thanks go to Craig Greenwood who put his tender in the water at the last minute to ensure that the RO’s job was made slightly more comfortable. A perfect 0.8 mile beat was set which ensured that 3 races could be sailed and the tide relief from the left hand corner didn't come into play too much.
The night was characterised by a convincing display by Alistair Gair and his team on Valsheda (950) with 3 wins. The minor places were fought out by Feng Shui (1348) (2nd overall), Affinity (1059) (3rd overall) and Bobby's Girl (1058) (4th overall). Being the first night of the year with solid breeze, it soon became evident that some of the maintenance programmes on the boats were lacking. Breakages included broken jib tack fittings, jib halyards, travelers, mast chocks and vangs, to name a few.
A good rule of thumb for jib tacks and halyards is that you always need at least one spare and for any wire fitting with a crimp - and these should be replaced as soon as and wire strands become frayed. It is also wise to set up a safety on jib tacks, outhauls and possible vangs as soon as the breeze fills in.
With the breeze up there was less separation between the bulk of the fleet and there were a few incidents that need to be kept in check. One such incident at the top mark on race 3 saw 2 port-tackers barging round the mark in front of a starboard tacker. Apart from blatant cheating, this can be extremely dangerous. The incident which resulted in Split Decision (914) being scored DSQ for race 3 would have ended in that boat being sunk if a T-bone crash had not been avoided by sharp seamanship by guest helmsman aboard Feng Shui Scott Kennedy.
All in all a great night's racing and the crews look forward to next weeks pre-Christmas finale
Results here (series) and here (flight 5)
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.