Blustery conditions did not deter twenty-three boats from taking to the water for race five of the FSC Inshore Winter Series last Saturday.  Sailors were keen to get sailing again after poor conditions had forced the cancellation of races three and four.  Sunshine alternated with rain squalls with one particularly strong cell creating challenging conditions for those beneath it.  Garden Island and Fish Rocks wind gages recorded peak gusts of 25 knots and 32 knots respectively but consensus after the race was that it was briefly over 40 knots on the water.  Breaking waves on Success Bank were avoided.  Several boats reported minor damage and two crew were reported to have taken unscheduled swims and five boats failed to complete the race.  Spinnakers gave wild rides to those who used them with one red spinnakered boat seen trying to put its mast in the water.  Many boats reefed.

Nine boats headed out to the start in Division One – Charles Masson’s Trinity withdrew before the start and Mick Gillum’s Panacea retired during the race leaving seven finishers. Roger Passmore’s Aquila took first and fastest in performance handicap from Ryan Binedell’s Low Flying Duck with Laurie Flynne’s Dynamic third.  On IRC the top three were the same in a different order with Low Flying Duck first from Dynamic and Aquila (leading Laurie to say the only thing they broke during the race was Roger’s heart…).

Twelve boats started in Division Two with Pelagia, Wild Card and Eufarria retiring.  Mark Lovelady’s Craigie took first on Performance Handicap from David Atkinson’s Igawa and Ernie Delfos’s Windswept.  Igawa finished with their mast held up by every halyard they could use after they lost the pin attaching their forestay to the boat.  Igawa was first on IRC handicap ahead of Windswept and Trevor Taylor’s No Etiquette.

Only two boats sailed in JAM Division and both finished – Ole Otness’s The Longboat took first and fastest on performance handicap despite finishing with a torn mainsail, ahead of Ian Joel’s Sidewalk Café – who completed the course with a full main, two on board and no damage.  The Longboat was the sole IRC competitor in JAM.

Thanks to our stalwart start boat crew on Success – who endured the lumpy conditions as they dragged further down the line over the afternoon.  Thanks also to our sponsor David Atkinson of Jane Brook wines.

Full results can be found on the FSC Inshore results web page.  Racing returns on 12 August.

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