The Australian Sharpie is a highly competitive yet social class with a long history of attracting and developing champion sailors

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Migration to Squaddie

The Squadron Opening 15/16
The majestic sharpie fleet made its annual migration to the Perth Flying Yacht Squadron Opening yesterday. The only thing missing was David Attenborough…..
With a light westerly filling in over Melville Water, we began our sail around the corner from Mounts Bay. The Nedlands Yacht Club Hobies cut a great sight with the colourful sails filling out into river. I counted 20 boats so numbers are still strong for the cat racing.
As normal, the Squadron put on all the pomp and ceremony with a spectacular sail past. Notable was the Jane Brook spinnaker belting through the procession of power and sail. Needless to say this was the day's sponsor, so a bit of blatant self-promotion was forgiven.
Mainy was an early casualty of the strong 8 knot westerly and .000000001 meter swell heading home before the start. Apparently, the 20-minute sail around the corner had reduced the beer supplies so it was considered prudent to return home. The truth is he blew a shackle on the port shroud, so limped back to port, but not before turfing young tyro Loche Hopper overboard to join Chris and Suzie aboard Cut the Mustard, making them three-up. All that money getting the sails fixed Mainy……will have to wait til next week to see the benefit!
Young Loche then got a brief taste for the action, as the yellow boat put some more fancied competitors on notice with its speed to the top mark. Not many can claim to sail on two boats in one day!
With the wind clocking further west the SW course would be a precession, so picking the start and boat speed would be the order of the day. Origami Underwear took the start and led to the top with Wise Magic close behind. Keysie in SBD Drilling was close and Ash and the boys in Bullit were a bit off the pace.
Matt Jahn had read the course several times, however it is important to read the Sharpie course not the i14 course as they are quite different. With Matt sailing past Armstrong, Wise Magic took the lead and from that point was never headed.
There was, however, a great race between Keysie and Bullit with little more than a boat length separating them for most of the race. On the last leg Bullit slipped away opening up a 20 second gap. The real flyer was Origami Underwear sailing through the fleet at great speed to almost catch Keysie at the finish. 870, The Yellow Boat and 800 were slugging it out for the minor placings.
Thanks to The Squadron for the invitation and a well-run race. As always a few cold beers washed away the tactical errors of the day.
Craig Mann

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