Almost perfect conditions prevailed for the 2019 Mike Harvey Race and associated cruise-in-company to Hillarys last Saturday. Sixteen yachts – thirteen from FSC and three from HYC raced north accompanied by numerous boats from the FSC cruising section. The race started at noon in a light east-south-easterly breeze, which died briefly while most of the fleet were rounding the deep-water channel mark, and then filled in to a pleasant fifteen knot south-south-westerly. Many of the Division One and Two competitors were able to carry spinnakers for the entire race. The new course out to the deep-water channel kept the fleet well away from the notorious Campbell mark (and the nearby restricted area).
Six boats completed the course in Division One with Graeme Martin’s Sand Crab’s Disco taking first on handicap from Paul Huhtala’s Gumboot IV with Mark Pitt’s HYC boat Mulberry taking third place. HYC’s Low Flying Duck was fastest.
Five boats raced in Division Two with Brian Cooper’s Valkyr, sailed three-up and carrying their kite for the whole race, taking first on handicap. Ernie Delfos’s Windswept, sailed with half Windswept and half Minke crew, took second. John Akers HYC boat Lamotrek took third. Windswept gained a temporary crew member during the race when a small bird of prey took refuge on their sail. Jason Poutsma’s Etchell Mahjong was fastest in the Division Two fleet.
Four boats completed the JAM course with Stephen Kerr’s Polaris (sailed two up) first on handicap ahead of Myra Stanbury’s Sami with Raff Bellofiore’s Beluga a valiant third, finishing over an hour after the fastest competitor, Ole Otness’s The Longboat.
Those participants that elected to stay overnight at Hillarys gathered in the bar for refreshments and presentations. Kaye Risley, partner of the late Mike Harvey who had sailed up on The Longboat, spoke of Mike and his love of sailing (and red wine) and of how he instigated cruising in company at Fremantle Sailing Club. Inshore Captain Brian Cooper presented the pennants and bottle of red wine to the placegetters and was in the happy situation of announcing that he and his crew on Valkyr had won the Mike Harvey Trophy for the best performed boat on the day.
Cruising section presentations followed the racing presentations and cruisers and racers adjourned for dinner overlooking the ocean sunset in the HYC upstairs restaurant.
Thanks to the HYC staff and volunteers (especially the new volunteer in the tower who was thrown in the deep end with boats from two fleets arriving in quick succession). Thanks also to the FSC Race Control Crew on Success who escorted the fleet from Fremantle as well as performing their usual start duties.
The next morning the sea breeze was in early and quickly strengthened to twenty knots so that even the earliest starters had a long but pleasant beat back to FSC where the cruiser’s gathered for a BBQ lunch.
Normal racing resumes next Saturday with Consistency Race 12.
Race report and photos by Frances Hammond