Perfect sailing conditions were welcomed by the FSC inshore fleet last Saturday – in contrast to the strong winds of the week before.  Twenty-six boats took to the water in the three divisions and close racing made for some excitement at the mark roundings.  A more southerly bent to the wind left most of the fleet scrambling to lay the first windward mark as skippers tacked too early there were plenty of port/starboard close quarters situations as boats short tacked to make the rounding.

Six boats raced in Division One with Eric Gath’s Stimulus Package showing their promotion from Division Two was justified with a first on both performance and IRC handicaps.  Dominic Di Latte’s Baci took second on performance handicap ahead of Rob Thomas’s fastest finisher Finistere.  On IRC Roger Passmore’s Aquila took second ahead of Peter Kennington’s The Cro Connection. Andrew Dawson’s Knot Dreaming retired (apparently after a close quarters incident with Division Two boat Nuzulu at the first mark).

The eleven strong Division Two fleet kept up their reputation for close racing with less than six minutes separating the first nine boats after the handicaps were applied.  Kim Klaka’s Panache II took first on performance handicap.  An exciting downwind duel to the line settled the minor places with Mick Gilum’s Panacea beating Peter William’s Pipedream III by four seconds on corrected time – although they were one second behind on the water!  Alan Anderson’s Zubenubi was fastest.  Ernie Delfos’s Windswept took first on IRC from John Palmer’s Nuzulu with Steve Delfos’s Mike third.

The good weather brought out nine boats to sail Division Six/JAM.  Close racing was a feature of the JAM fleet also with less than five minutes separating the top eight boats   Ian Howlett’s Amadeus took first on performance handicap from Myra Stanbury’s Sami with only five seconds separating them on the line.  Ole Otness’s The Longboat took third.  Peter Joiner’s Sir Henry Merkin was fastest.  The Longboat was first and fastest of the two IRC rated JAM boats with Margaret Hector’s Myuna second.

Pennants were presented by our Commodore Bill Burbridge, Vice Commodore Rob Thomas and Rees Howell from our sponsor One Sails.  Full results can be found on the FSC results page.  Thanks to One Sails and to our stalwart start crew.  Thanks also for the photos from Vicki Delfos (with a new camera) and Joyce Bender on the start boat – great to have pictures from another point of view (especially as I’d inadvertently left my camera at home on the day!).  Racing continues next week with Consistency Race 10.

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