A mill pond greeted the first boats leaving their berths to start the Island Bay race on Saturday morning so the race management team postponed the first starts to wait for the southerly to build. After a few more delays and a Shalimar weather report from the harbour entrance the wise race management team set a special course to Moaning Minnie and back with a combined start at 1200hrs.
A brave few tried a port tack start on a busy start line with 27 boats in the not quite Island Bay race and 3 boats in the championship race for the Classics. The big red sled Revs seemed to make the most of a breeze line off the start, with plenty of “Starboard” calls from the rest of the fleet following behind.
By Pt Halswell the fleet had spread a little, with some boats feeding parking meters for a while and others taking the “Buffalo Girls” approach to Kau Bay to avoid the car park. As the fleet tacked their way out the harbour, there was some close racing between boats – in particular the two Ross 930s Air Ship and Testarossa, and between some of the Division 3 boats.
After a short downwind ride, the differing Kau Bay tactics influenced once again as the breeze lightened off getting round the point to cross Evans Bay and then Oriental Bay through to the finish.
Congratulations to Blurred Image in taking out the shortened Island Bay race on Club Handicap, with a stunning performance in the light breeze. Airship was second and Montego Bay 111 third. Full results for the combined and fleet race can be found here. A big thanks to the Race Management team of Jim Gordon, Teeresa Zandvliet and Matt Taylor for getting in a long harbour race and let’s hope we can actually get to Island Bay next time on 28 February!