Saturday’s RPNYC Classic Championship race got away on time at 12:00 with three entrants: Lizzie, Mabel and Galatea. The course was RPNYC start and finish, with starboard roundings of Korokoro, Somes and Falcon Shoal.
Mabel got off to a great start across the line on a lifting starboard tack to lay the first mark but got into trouble when her course was spoiled by another vessel on port not giving way. She lay luffing for some time before again finding clear air, allowing Lizzie and Galatea to get well ahead. Lizzie also started on the starboard tack with Galatea at the other end of the line on port. With Mabel left luffing, Galatea and Lizzie made for Korokoro, with Galatea rounding the mark very slightly ahead of Lizzie.
Galatea remained ahead until just past the southern end of Somes, when she tacked away on port while Lizzie held the starboard tack up to Ward Island. On Mabel an alarming ingress of water when close-hauled meant the crew in rotation got a good workout with the bucket.Lizzie tacked under the northern end of Ward Island and headed towards Karaka Bay on Port tack, crossing in front of Galatea as she came back on starboard. Lizzie led Galatea through two further tacks to Falcon Shoal and rounded ahead.
On the run down from Falcon to Halswell Galatea caught Lizzie and passed her on the reach from Halswell to the finish, crossing 26 seconds ahead. A great match race! Galatea was first on line and third on handicap; Lizzie first on handicap, second on line; and Mabel third on line, second on handicap.Lizzie sailed with two crew, having been unable to tempt a third to join to look after the foredeck and carry the large headsail around the inner forestay in tacks and gybes. The resulting shortage in labour was met by an investment in labour saving technology in the form of a length of cord arranged to allow the foot of the headsail to be shortened from the cockpit during tacks and gybes.
On Mabel, post-race, it was found the culprit in her water ingress was a failed skin fitting – ironically the electric bilge pump outlet – which was siphoning water INTO the boat! She is now on the hard. The new-fangled concept of having holes in the hull, in this situation being found wanting, will be done away with.On January 17 it will all start again with the next Windward Classic. Watch this space.