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Odd Easterly entertains Fireballs and others in a tricky race outside the harbour.

posted 13 Mar 2018, 03:35 by Stephen Oram
When sailors arrived to rig on Sunday the wind was considerably less than the 6-12 knots promised by Windguru but by the time boats got afloat an encouraging 8 knots plus ENE had kicked in. The race committee broke with the winter long tradition of racing inside the harbour and headed out to sea to set a startline in the lee of the west pier. Sadly the wind decreased and flicked about making it difficult for the committee to settle the windward mark of the triangular course. By the time the fast PY/Fireball start was underway the fleet were faced with a slop but precious little air to get off the line. Lingering on their startline were some Lasers from the previous start who just couldn't get moving. The Fireballs, 470, Finn and K1 all managed to ghost off the line but some did better than others. Starting near the committee boat Noel Butler and guest crew got away most cleanly followed by Neil Colin/Margaret Casey, David & Michael Keegan and wallowing behind them Frank Miller/Ed Butler and Mick Creighton /Hermine O'Keeffe. The latter were particularly unfortunate to find the worst hole on the line. On the beat Butler went middle-right while Miller and Keegan went close to the port layline. It was clear to everyone that the better wind was out to sea but getting out to it was downright painful. The top reach had a good angle and a fair breeze which saw Butler lead Colin, the Keegans, Miller and Creighton. On the very broad second reach the breeze faded again and the boats took very different angles towards the leeward. Butler went sharp left to keep his boat moving, Colin went somewhat right while Miller and the Keegans soaked down in a slow straight line. This paid off for Miller who arrived at the leeward behind Butler but ahead of the rest. By this stage the breeze, if you could call it a breeze, had shifted left and getting to the weather mark seemed a straight line fetch. This left Miller looking good as Butler had gone initially right but on that fetch the breeze died away for a time leaving him going backwards in a hole with the tide pushing him away from the mark. The Committe boat now accepted the inevitable and steamed to the windward to shorten course. Butler managed to get to the right hand layline and finished quite smartly while the rest struggled on up the "beat" which at times was now a run according to spinning burgees. Colin sailed a higher angle than Miller and came very close to overtaking but Miller found a zepher and got moving again and finished some 20 seconds ahead. To both their surprise Creighton finished immediately behind having somehow snuck up from the right, with the Keegans finishing next. With PY adjustments Butler was the clear winner but on adjustment Des Fortune in his Finn and Tom Murphy in his K1 had squeezed in ahead of Miller, Colin and Keegan and Gerry Ryan with Jim McAree in their 470 had nipped in ahead of the Keegans. 


In the overall series in Fast PY Butler/Marie Barry are the unassailable leaders on 11 points with Miller/Ed Butler on 31 points, Neil Colin/Mgt Casey on 49 points and Des Fortune on 58 points. There are two more sailing Sundays with the final race taking place on the 24th
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