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WMRMYC Inc Summer Scratch Series RD 4, Carbrook - 2nd February 2014

A typical ‘Carbrook’ day ensured some very challenging racing in breeze that varied from zero knots in the starting area to a very sailable 8 to 10 knots at the bottom mark.

Due to work commitments and a lack of brownie pointsI have been finding it hard to get to Carbrook for the scratch racing and it was encouraging to find 15 other starters ready to enjoy the day.  Of significant note was that amongst the 16 boats there was barely two of the same design.

With limited course options available in an easterly breeze a decision was easily made. It did however result in light and confused wind on the start line and the top marks as the wind tried to find its way over the hill and around the club house.  After a small refinement this course prevailed throughout the 10 races.
With a downhill start, boats rounded a bottom mark to port, reaching to a further bottom mark, tacking up to a windward mark with a suitable positioned clearing mark, square downhill to a gate and back to the finish.
The use of the clearing marks and gates are proving invaluable in reducing contact between boats and adding a tactical decision which often resulted in some place changing.

Throughout the day the breeze oscillated enough between and during the race that no side of the course was particularly favoured.  After the start line lottery there was a lot of overtaking opportunities throughout the fleet and I am sure all skippers went home happy.

Congratulations should go to all competitors as the testing conditions and heat generally encourage frustration amongst our otherwise friendly members. In contrast there was some entertaining banter as well as some wise words from the PRO encouraging discussion between the skippers in the approaches to the marks.

Despite this there was some inevitable contact between marks or other boats mainly as a result of misjudgement at a distance and generally totally unintentional. In the interest of good racing, contact at the bottom mark was allowed which I felt to everyone’s credit was not abused and any boat contact was resolved with discussion or absolved by circles. 

A very noble Peter Kampe was victim of a minor incident potentially robbing him of a deserved win. The error in judgement was possibly the result of waning concentration as the day was drawing to a conclusion.
The final results reflected the testing conditions with wins going to five different skippers and podium places to 8 of the 16 starters.  Notable performances came from John Gower in a borrowed boat (watch out when his new Byerley boat arrives), as well as Ian Ashe with his very well presented Rage.  Allan Bryant and Andrea also narrowly missed race podiums after some great starts.

I was excited to have some great results in the first part of the day so much that after the break I was on a downhill slide before recovering slightly towards the end. Matt Chew with his very quick Pikanto was quite the opposite coming home strong with some good wins and a couple of healthy discards to finish only two points behind in second.  The race 4 result, if reversed, which only had a bow bumper in it, may have resulted in a different story.

Tony, Bradley and Peter battled it out for the final podium place with the speed of Tony’s new boat helping him claim the place after an up and down day. Bradley, who has a history of boat issues affecting his race days, had an early scare with a receiver issue which he managed to rectify prior to Race 1 after a quick rescue with the club boat. Brad had a generally consistent day to finish 4th followed by Peter who is still coming to terms with his new boat with almost every place from 1st to 10th in the ten races.

It was a day where you really felt you had not secured a result until you had actually crossed the finish line.
A special thanks to Scott Wharton for taking on the PRO duties for the day and to John for the arduous task of inputting the results.

Good luck to all club members taking on the Brisbane Challenge.

Mike Freebairn




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