Comrades to Arms A day of carnage however fantastic racing

What a difference a day makes. The race committee’s decision to utilise the lay day proved to be a good one with back to back racing today sailed in a good 15 knot Nor North Easter. A big tide made for choppy conditions and even with a minute to go there were crew members overboard as they fleet jockeyed for positions at the start line of both races making for an exhilarating first work and constantly changes in the lead.
The big news of the day was the dismasting of Manly Surf n Slide 100 meters from the finish in race four.

However in true comradeship, whilst skipper Joe Turner was in hospital with what he described to me on the phone as “a very sore arm”, the fleet pulled together and a new mast has been built overnight and today Ben Bianco has put his hand up to steer the boat. Great to see despite the intense rivalry on the water, the whole skiff community came together as one to help a fellow sailor.

Photographer: Michael Chittenden

The visiting boats have now got used to the shift patterns and almost the entire fleet in both races went straight to the left hand side of the course to make the most of the hooking breeze around the rocks. Both races produced cameo performances with She Bang sailed by Anthony King being right up there at the hectic first mark rounding with East Coast Marine and TJS in hot pursuit. In the end it was the famous 4 that prevailed with Manly Surf n Slide grabbing a win with Bryden’s 2 mins behind then TJS and East Coast closing out the top 4 in race 3.

Photographer: Michael Chittenden

Race 4 produced a bolter in Middle Harbour’s BrandCents Consultancy charging up the first work. Valiantly they hung on only to find they were OCS – game over. From there it was all TJS – they dominated the first work and led by several hundred metres – it was there race to lose; and they didn’t. That said in both races almost the entire fleet misjudged the last gybe angle to the finish. Many came in too hot and fell over agonisingly close to the finish line whist others retreated to completing the last few hundred metres in a two sail screamer.

Photographer: Michael Chittenden

Interesting the 13ths had a delayed start that meant they blended into the 16 fleet that were on their second lap. The little brothers embarrassed some their bigger siblings actually sailing both over and under them with more raw speed.

Bigfoot skippered by Hugo Taranto and Mighty-Mite helmed by Carlton Smith putting some the 16’s to shame; sadly when they turned the corner the 16’s square metre in sail area told the story.

That said it gives the youngsters the adrenalin rush they need to wont to progress to the next class.

The pictures tell the rest of the story.