A Busy Busy Day
With the fresh breeze meandering about, racing on Bass Harbor today was a jumble of variables, adjustments and good fast sailing. The changes came as the wind clocked around to the South and freshened slightly forcing the PRO to first shift the marks around and then, invariably, to move the Start Boat itself and relocate the Start Line. Kudos to the Sea Management Team for their super job. They were constantly on the move; shifting buoys, shortening courses, lifting and laying marks and generally keeping the course manageable for the competitors.
Race One commenced on time with a bright, sunny sky and 6-8 knots of Northeasterly breeze. And, as the racers took to the course for the windward mark, 1.2 miles upwind, KATSU pipped the start line and shot down the course.
IRC was next up with CABERET 6 taking the line and PHOENIX right behind while with all the requisite scrambling they're noted for, MYA/KFC squeezed out of the Sport Boat pack and led the way to the black windward mark. MISS SAIGON scooped the multihull start and RASCAL led the Club Cruisers out as SIRIUS left the Rovers behind having won a battle with OPTOLOI at the start line. WARISAN DUYONG slept in.
It was quite a spectacular display with 40 some racing yachts all going in different directions with colorful spinnakers bouncing along and gigantic genoas trimmed in tight and skimming along the water.
Conditions were that good that JELIK romped home with a time of just 37:22. Outstanding! The PRO was prompted to add a lap to the next race for the racers if the conditions prevailed. ATM scored for the Sport Boats and MOJO secured the horn for the Multihulls.
Race Two was started as soon as possible for the Racing Class and the Sport Boats with a slight shift of the marks and KATSU leaped ahead while UTARID had to push off the stern of the Start Boat and then had to return for a restart after hitting the line to early.
The Sport Boats saw RQYS, the Australians, use a bottom of the line tactic to garner the lead and fly off to windward. Tactics are very important, especially with the PLATUs, which is ‘small fish' in the Thai language. These boats are a one-design so they are virtually identical, although each one would have its own unique quirks. The sailors and their tactics are therefore very instrumental in their success.
As these two classes finished Race Two, with JELIK and SMU taking the honors, respectively, a new race sequence was set up with a new Start Line and windward mark for Race Three for the Racing Class and Sport Boats and Race Two for the other classes. The windward mark was now 1.28 miles in a Southeasterly direction.
The racers may have been tiring a bit after such an energetic morning as UTARID and MYA/KFC grabbed clear leads, but VERTICAL TIME was too early on the line and had to tack back leaving the slot to FANTASIA for the Multihulls while IVORY STREET was late for the party.
POCO chased FORTISSIMO out onto the course for the Club Cruisers, but OVERDRIVE overdrove the start line and had to return. EVELINE was first over for the Ocean Rovers, and the fleet was off!
JELIK, "Alone again, naturally", scored finish line honors as did ATM for the Platus. WALAWALA 2 and URANUS put on quite a show at the finish line being a mere second or two apart. MOJO took the win for the Multihulls and PHOENIX for the IRC. Slackening wind forced the other classes to sail shortened courses and Race Day Four was coming to an end.
Whew! What a day! It seemed like a lot of work today, even for those watching. This was flat-out exciting and brilliant sailing that happened at just the right time. The sailors were rarin' to go after a couple of slow days and were ready to ‘pull out all the stops'. Well, they did and they did it brilliantly with exuberance and great panache. Tomorrow, the finale, looks to be much more of the same and we're all looking forward to a rompin' stompin' finish to the 11th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2013.
12 - 17 JAN 2015
First Race Countdown134 DAYS 22 HRS 46 MINS