A strong Fremantle Doctor and a special course created challenging conditions and plenty of drama for the FSC inshore fleet’s Consistency Race 3 last Saturday. The sea breeze gusted from 20 to 26 knots and the course had been set to take the fleets down into Owen Anchorage and away from the Sail Fremantle Dinghy regatta. Most boats put in one, or even two reefs, and only a few brave souls ventured spinnakers. The barging buoy broke away from Success before the start and was spotted heading for Cottesloe. Subsequently several boats sailed very close to Success for their starts and during pre-start manoeuvring – Zubenubi is reported to have made contact prior to their start.
Eight boats raced in Division One with with most of the fleet battling it out in an exciting close start, although a few more prudent souls opted to hang back to keep clear. Roger Passmore’s Aquila was first and fastest on Performance Handicap despite some spinnaker issues (and no, Connor was not on the foredeck). Eric Gath’s Stimulus Package was second ahead of Graham Martin’s Sand Crab’s Disco. Bob Von Felten’s Ristretto was unlucky to finish fourth only two seconds behind Sand Crab, despite some interesting spinnaker work that saw Ristretto’s kite streaming from their masthead near M Mark. Mick Gillum’s Panacea was a mere three seconds back for fifth place. Jaye Martin and John Palmer’s Witchy Woman had some technical setbacks that kept them out of the places. The same boats took the pennants on IRC but in a different order with Stimulus Package ahead of Sand Crab’s Disco and Aquila.
Eight boats also raced in Division Two and there was equally close racing. Ernie Delfos’s Windswept – with a couple of his brother Steve’s Minke crew on board – took first place on Performance Handicap despite some interesting broaches. There was a tight duel for second place with Brian Cooper’s Valkyr just pipping Peter Williams’ Pipedream III by five seconds after the handicaps were applied. The Pipedream crew were wishing the course was a fraction longer as they just failed to catch Valkyr who crossed the line fifteen seconds ahead after an exciting duel to the line. George Carter’s Eufarria was the unluckiest boat of the day – having first to return to pick up Keith who took an unscheduled swim during the first downwind to M mark, and then having a minor collision with a Div 1 boat that led them to retire. Windswept and Michael Thorpe’s Soon were the only IRC boats to complete the Div 2 course with Windswept first and fastest ahead of Soon.
Five boats raced in JAM with Peter Cochrane’s Raya revelling in the conditions to take first and fastest ahead of Myra Stanbury’s Sami in second and Colin Arcus’s Big A, sailing with a double reefed main, in third place.
It was good to see Steve Kerr’s Polaris (JAM) and Jason Poutsma’s Etchell Mahjong both out racing for the first time this season.
Presentations were made by Inshore Captain Brian Cooper after the race in the sailor’s bar. Thanks to the Race Control Crew on Success who would’ve had a bouncy day of it! Full results can be found on the FSC Inshore Racing Results Page and on www.sportspage.com.au. Additional photos by Chris Bender are available on OneDrive.
Racing continues next Saturday with a non-consistency race – giving the Freo boats the opportunity to race in the Rockwater Coventry Reef Offshore event.