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Sailing Highlights
  • Heavy winds for the last Sundowner Race # 7
  • Date Published: July 20, 2012

The Fleet after the start.
It was the last Sundowner in the series.
Race number 7, and the wind gods were spitting fire - we saw 34 knots across the bow at one point.
Five boats this time. No Aurora, no Getaway - even the Hirsch had gone missing. But Picante was back deploying a unique "keep-me-out-of-the-shallows" routine called - who knows why - Hardley Lewin. (Curious name, that – Not Quite Lewin... Almost Lewin...). Anyway, seemed to work... And Mystique was back and sailing beautifully, but also with a damaged main.

So, Blue J, Gallivant, Mystique, Picante and Steffi lined up for a ragged start with a number of us somehow escaping a recall, and all boats sporting various degrees of reduced sail. Blue J seemed to be flying a bikini headsail but kept a full main, Picante made first use ever of the reefing system - must be something to do with that Lewin chap who found lines that have never been touched before... Mystique and Steffi both went for a simple arrangement of one reef in the main and a small sail up front. Gallivant demonstrated a more creative approach with a half-furled headsail and an ambitious self-shredding main with two reefs. Not really sure what good the reefs were doing as there was little left of the sail at the end of the race.

Course: Beat up to F, downwind to B, reach across to App, beat up to D and home.  

With Mystique and Blue J staying upright, pointing high and keeping close to the Pallisados, Steffi showing a good turn of pace using the Aurora turbocharger technique in the middle lane, and Gallivant handicapped by her rapidly diminishing sail plan and furled headsail, the order round F was Blue J, Mystique, Steffi, Gallivant and Picante with Gallivant having to dive behind Steffi on starboard tack. That was nice! And that's roughly how it finished, with Gallivant taking Steffi on the downhill stretch to B and then taking Mystique after a rollicking ride down to Airport.

Blue J seemed to be flying but mislaid the D mark and seemed to end up somewhere near F. Must have been some good rum on that boat as I have it on good authority that Mark wasn’t on board as guest navigator... And Mystique took the win on corrected time beating Steffi into second place by less than half a minute.

 Stephanie J - finishing
  1. Mystique
  2. Stephanie J
  3. Blue J
  4. Gallivant
  5. Picante

Sundowner series winner: Aurora
Second place overall: Getaway
Third place: Stephanie J

Congrats Aurora, beautifully sailed! This week no-one mentioned how quickly you've been going...  But, much like last week, people gathered around in quiet groups, perhaps discussing Gallivant's innovative self-shredding main (see our Home Page Video) - a design that I don't think is going to catch on - or making plans for the next adventure, the Pigeon Island Race.

And so, all things considered a great race and a great series.
Shame about the live music. Maybe next year we won't make such a mess of it. 

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