by Bob Ross
Lexus Lincoln Regatta 2011. Tactics and crew work were the winning factors in a sou’-easter shifting up to 60 degrees in direction and lulls and gusts ranging from 13-22 knots on the first day of the Lexus Lincoln Week regatta.
Fleet runs on the fresh breeze - Lexus Lincoln Week regatta
Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business 3.5, a Reichel/Pugh 51 from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, came out of the day of mixed fortunes with two seconds in the regatta’s 'grand prix' IRC division in the short-course windward-leeward races.
Her quick similar-sized rival, Scarlet Runner, Robert Date’s R/P 52 from Sandringham Yacht Club, after winning the first race with close-covering match-racing tactics over Secret Men’s almost all the way around the three-round windward-leeward course, had a disastrous race two.
After leading Secret Men’s around the first windward mark by five boat lengths, Scarlet Runner’s asymmetrical spinnaker was hoisted with the halyard plaited inside the forestay. That meant effective area was lost from the top of the sail and the shape was distorted.
Secret Men’s goes for the spinnaker top mark rounding - Lexus Lincoln Week regatta
After sailing on for a time Scarlet Runner gybed, dropped the spinnaker to the deck and re-hoisted as Secret Men’s went past.
Scarlet Runner’s day went from bad to worse when the spinnaker fell in the water while being dropped on the subsequent two runs. As a result, she finished ninth.
Geoff Boettcher said: 'We had a great battle with Scarlet Runner in the first race. He was a little bit quicker. Downhill he had legs on us; but fantastic racing, just one on one.
'We totally enjoyed it; we kept each other pretty honest.
'We made a few adjustments to our boat in the second race because we reckoned we were not quite fast enough and we think we might have their speed now.
'It would have been interesting if Scarlet Runner had not had those stuff-ups in the second race. It’s going to be a hard to boat in the series; it’s really going well.'
Scarlet Runner fully powered up, fresh breeze, flat water, Boston Bay, Port Lincoln - Lexus Lincoln Week regatta
Scarlet Runner slowed the slightly more handicap-favoured Secret Men’s sufficiently with her covering tactics to win race one by 24 seconds
Up there at the end of the day with Secret Men’s Business is Alan Woodward’s Reverie, a consistently well-sailed Beneteau First 45 from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, with a third in race one a win in race two.
Reverie, which again has Col Anderson as tactician, won the IRC division in the 2009 Lexus Lincoln Week regatta.
Next best IRC boat on the day was Calm, a Farr TP52 from Royal Brighton YC, Melbourne skippered by Jason Van Der Slot, with a fourth and a third. She was mixing it boat for boat with Secret Men’s in race two.
Winner of both races in the performance handicap division was the Port Lincoln Sydney 32 Lincoln Mentor (Simon Turvey).
For full results: click here