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Sailing Older Highlights
  • Sundowner Race # 6
  • Date Published: July 13, 2012

 Race 6 before the start
Race 6 in the Sundowner Race had a couple of background stories, not least being whether or not Picante would stay clear of the shallow bits, whether Gallivant would get through a race without breaking a sail, and whether the bucket on Aurora’s keel would start taking effect. Well, Picante failed to make the start line – nothing to do with the shallow bits – and no, Gallivant still has trouble getting through a race without a tear or two, and No, that damn bucket still isn’t working on Aurora. How is that boat going so fast?

Mystique also failed to make the start line citing something more important to do…

The entire series has been at the mercy of the wind gods who’ve seen fit to blow a stink every time we hit the start line. And yesterday was no different. All the boats paraded a variety of small headsail and reef, though Steffi, Aurora, Blue J and the Hirsch all ignored the 25 knot winds, passed on the reef and instead crammed people onto the side rails to try to keep the boats upright on the beat up to F. Aurora took off like the proverbial bat – why is that boat so fast this year? – to lee of the Hirsch who charged up the centre lane with Steffi (some way behind), and Blue J, Getweh and Gallivant all tacking across and hugging the Palisadoes coast at different times.

 Race 6 close encounters

At F, the order was the Hirsch, Blue J, Gallivant, Aurora, Getweh and Steffi with close quarter fighting developing between Gallivant

and Blue J, and Getweh and Steffi, and that’s largely how it remained with Steffi losing out as usual on the downwind sections to Getweh, and Gallivant and Blue J embraced in mortal combat for the rest of the race. You can get different versions of this particular battle from respective crews…. Meanwhile, the Hirsch powered on to be first across the line by four minutes from Gallivant, with Blue J just couple of minutes behind her (losing out on the long downwind drag to the finish line), while Aurora again used her mystifying new turn of speed – did I say how quick that boat has become? – to beat  Getweh by half a minute on corrected time. The Hirsch took third, just over half a minute behind Getweh.

With Getweh just failing to pip Aurora on corrected time, this result means Aurora maintains the overall and (now) unassailable lead in the series from Getweh. Steffi remains in third.

Start of Race 6

Jammin’ on the Q’Deck
Alas, Gordon Hall failed to turn up for the evening’s musical entertainment with his arresting comb-and-toilet-paper combo, and David Kay likewise failed to present his rousing solo rendition of Grateful Dead’s “Ship of Fools” to an expectant crowd. It would, of course, normally give me great pleasure to describe how the evening then degenerated into a melee of rampant hysteria – perhaps a startline fracas of the “Yes you did”, “No I didn’t” variety. But this was not the case last night. Instead, gentle folk spoke in quiet groups of gentle things, quietly musing over discerning strategies, sail repairs, and rig tuning. Did I mention how fast that damn Aurora is going?

However, the food again was damn good. And the sailing was excellent.