Sydney to Hobart Classic Yacht Regatta Race One

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 9 Dec 2023 07:08
Today's race was a pursuit start where each individual boat's start time is based on their handicap with the idea that all boats should be finishing around the same time. Sylph was in division three, the non-spinnaker division, and we got to start second in our division, twelve minutes after the first boat which started at 1200. Unfortunately, we blew out the genoa on the first leg and then lost some twenty minutes getting it down and replacing it with the working headsail. The forecast had been for ten knots, gusting fifteen, which was probably borderline for the light genoa, but definitely on the light side for the number two jib. However, the wind picked up a lot more than the BOM's morning forecast and there was no way that the old light-weight genoa was going to survive today's winds. On the plus side, the damage was only to some seams which should be relatively easy to repair. In fact Valenti has volunteered to take the sail home to her place tomorrow and do the repairs on her heavy sewing machine. Thank you Valenti.
Despite this rather major setback, we continued on and managed to come in sixth place out of eight starters. Clearly we would have done significantly better if we had not lost the twenty minutes changing over the headsail. Tomorrow the forecast is for southerly winds around fifteen knots. Hopefully the forecast will be reasonably accurate and we will do a bit better in our results. However, as noted yesterday, our objective in this regatta is to have fun and not do any major damage to Sylph, and thus far I think we are achieving that objective. Tonight Ada, Tim and I will be attending the Regatta dinner so this should help achieve the fun side of our mission.
All is well.