ORCV Helly Hansen Winter Series - Race 1, well almost.....

Winter Series Fleet drifts in the fading breeze - ORCV Helly Hansen Winter Series
Matt Fahey
What are the odds, if ever you need to fire a distress flare it will be night, raining, and blowing 50+. I must have fired hundreds in practice but I find it difficult still without first reading the instructions and deciphering the different types. I would be interested as to how others find it after such a good attendance today. I calculated on the committee boat we turned about a thousand dollars into smoke.

The water police tell me they receive about a hundred calls each time we do it, which is very comforting to know that there are good citizens out there who know what a distress flare means. I thank everyone for complying with the permit requirements as it is a rare privilege granted and organising the paperwork both costly and time consuming.

All this activity was spiced with the presence of whales cruising around and especially a mother and calf. Very hard to photograph successfully, I took some but a splash of white which when magnified just pixelates is all I got.

All racing divisions started clear with Veloce (Phil Simpfendorfer) and Tilting At Windmills (Thorry Gunnersen) getting the best of it whilst one yacht was over for the cruising division but returned pronto without losing a lot. A nice 6kt breeze and flat water made for very pleasant sailing with XLR8 (Ray Shaw) moving very nicely and Rush (John Paterson) close behind . Although these two split one to the east the other to the west, they remained very close. Some excellent light weather sailing from both was to no avail as the race had to be abandoned due to lack of, and very uneven breeze rendering the contest unviable.

An interesting situation was the formation of an extremely weak local seabreeze which was trying to form and contesting the prevailing conditions. The ‘sink’ of this feature wandered up and down, back and forth, and was small enough to affect only parts of the course rather than the whole. By the time enough cloud over the land killed it, the damage was done and a fair result, if any was not possible. We shall hope for two races next fortnight to catch up.