So how many would turn up? – hopefully 4 boats, but maybe 6 or 8!! The crews gathered at 11:30 on Saturday, and with some gentle(?) persuasion 6 boats were mustered.
Z78 – Jim D & Mike E
Z73 – Jim P & Munch
Z71 – Peter & Zoe
Z70 – Matt S & MC
Z67 – James & Harry
Z9 – Matt D & Claire
After a quick brief on team racing and changes to the standard fleet racing rules,the boats were drawn for the scheduled 5 flights programmed then a winner takes all final flight.
To distinguish the teams high vis jackets were distributed to the helms to help with the changes of teams between flights.
The regatta team (Scam, Max, Heather and Liz) and the crews headed out of the harbour for a predicted 1300 start. There was a small delay due to the repositioning of Z75 after a ghost passage out of the harbour the previous evening (ask Ian P for more details).
Scam and Max quickly positioned the inflatable marks (borrowed from PSC – thank you), while Liz set the start line from PSC buoy. So the course was windward to the Black inflatable (starboard) – then a reach around KB (starboard) to the downwind Yellow inflatable (starboard) back to the gate,
with the finish being signified by the shorten course “S” Flag (this course was defined as Course A).
So first flight Blue (78, 73, 71) v Yellow/High Vis. (70, 67, 9). With no spinnakers being used and the course being shortened on the first lap, the
Blue team took victory (8pts) with finish order 71,78,67, 70, 73 and 9. Peter delighted on securing his first race victory!!
With the wind veering, the course was altered to a windward leeward (KB (starboard) to the downwind Yellow inflatable (starboard) back to the gate). Ready for the second flight Blue (78, 9, 67) v Yellow (71, 73, 70). The course was shortened on the first lap, the Blue team took an easy victory (9pts, remembering that in 3 boat racing a 1-2 – any is a win) with finishing order 67,78,73, 70, 71 and 9.
The course was redefined back to Course A, with the inflatable marks being moved to suit the wind direction. This time KB (starboard) - Black inflatable (starboard) - Yellow inflatable (starboard) – Gate.
Third flight Blue (78, 71, 9) v Yellow (73, 70, 67) the Yellow team took victory (9pts) with finishing order 78,70,67, 73, 71 and 9
The tide going across the course – definitely provided an interesting strategy to the teams at mark roundings. Not only did it affect the teams but also Saprisiti as it was noticed to be dragging at the start of the fourth flight. Start abandoned and after repositioning of the start line the racing was again underway.
Fourth flight Blue (78, 70, 73) v Yellow (9, 71, 67). At the start 73 was OCS, only to return to clear the infringement. With a little coaching the Yellow team seemed in control of the flight at the first mark (2,3,4). The Blues, determined not to be beaten, reversed the scoring by Z78 gaining on two of the blue team from 5th. Z70 lost, then regained 1st place on the downwind. Now in 1st, 3rd and 4th Blue would secure victory, this left Z9 to try and slow an opponent to promote their own team member. Unfortunately, the move was not executed as planned and Matt just ended up with Yellow at the tail of the fleet. The Blue team took victory (6pts) with finish order 70,78,73, 67, 9 and 71.
Fifth flight: Blue (78, 70, 67) v Yellow (9, 71, 73) the Blue team took victory (6pts) with finishing order 78,67,70, 73, 71 and a DNF for 9.
After some complicated weighting of the results the draw for the final was made: Blue (70, 67, 71) v Yellow (78, 73, 9). So, the wind had stabilised and the course stayed as Course A. The teams positioned along the start line – individual recalls for both 71 and 73. Z73 again returns to exonerate itself, but not Z71 – oh dear! Blue took control of the race with boats in 1, 3 and 4. The team finish in the same order without 71 receiving a finish signal. Consequently the finishing order 67,78,70,73, 9 with 71 OCS. However, in 3 boat team racing an OCS is 10pts – therefore giving victory to Yellow (10pts). So the winner grinners are Jim D/Mike E(Z78), Jim P/Munch (Z73) and Matt D/Claire(Z9)… with Matt and Z9 making its’ inaugural trophy win (with Dolphin’s last win being 1988)!!
The finish time was just after 16:30, 3hours of racing with 6 close races – giving crews lots of manoeuvring practice and a small insight into team racing.
With a minor debrief at the bar and refreshments – hopefully the ground work has been established for the Class to provide more discussions on basic rules and another push for team racing to be added to future programs.
Thank you ALL, both crews/helms and helpers (and PSC for the use of inflatable marks) for making such a great, enjoyable event!!!!
(Photos by Heather)