Hazy conditions prevailed in Bass Harbor this morning as the competitors readied themselves for the final day of racing. Wind conditions at the Start Boat and Windward Mark were a little shifty, but once the mark was laid it promised a good course for all classes. The Start Boat was pleased to have Dame Edna aboard to welcome the racers with her usual free style banter!
For start #1 for the Racing Class, ZUHRAH nosed across the line just ahead of the horn, taking an individual recall, but was still well positioned heading toward the Windward Mark. Likewise, the Premier Cruising Class had 2 over-anxious skippers, and RAPSCALLION and PHOENIX did a 360 to re-cross after their individual recalls with a lot of weather work ahead of them to catch up. All other classes were clean across the line.
JELIK was first to the finish taking Line Honors a little over an hour after its starting signal. Meanwhile, CHRISARGO retired with rudder problems – which proved to be a portent of things to come.
The wind conditions had shifted enough to need a different Windward Mark for the second race for Racing Class, and a bright yellow one was put into position. At the start there was some very close work between YO!2 and JELIK which may be why HI FI was first to round the yellow mark, catching the line of the buoy in passing and trailing it astern for a few hundred meters before cutting it free. The PRO jumped into a standby vessel and sped up the course to assist the Mark Boat who had rescued the buoy and would reset it.
By now the winds had piped up to 18 gusting 20 and boats in the other classes were bearing down upon the Finish Line under spinnakers. The two remaining Longtze boats took a serious broach just before one of them would have had the horn for the class at the line. Winning would go to whoever could recover first in a real battle between sails and winds and slippery boats! In the end, YELLOW DRAGON was only able to free her spinnaker when the pole bent in half, but still finished the race – just a little behind EXOCET.
Meanwhile, ZUHRAH had spinnaker problems of her own. The downhaul on the pole broke free, sending the pole up the mast and the kite way, way up in the air. By the time the crew sorted all that out and reviewed damage, it was deemed best to retire.
Then, not to be outdone, here came the Platu boats, nicely bunched for a good flying finish. SMU headed right across the line while BBC and MYA/KFC each took a bad broach right at the line. When they each got their act under control it was BBC by a whisker! Winds at that moment were 22.5 knots!
Thank goodness the only other excitement of the afternoon was MY TOY finishing with horn toots, whistle blowing, siren wailing, and Committee cheers for the last boat to finish on the last day of the Regatta.
By By: C. U. Nextyear