Back in Adelaide Racing Elliots

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sat 11 Mar 2023 22:15

Position: 34 46.48 S 138 29/41 E
Alongside RSAYS, Outer Harbor, Adelaide
Wind: calm
Sea: calm Swell: nil
Weather: mostly sunny, mild

We got back into the Squadron spot on 1830 (last Thursday), just in time for a shower before the Squadron's quarterly meeting, after which I caught up with a few of my fellow members.

On Friday morning I had a call from Navy colleague and fellow Cape Horner, Mark Sinclair, inviting me to skipper an Elliot out of the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia to compete in the Hobart Cup, named after the guided missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart, which I served on for a short stint and is now a reef in the southern waters of St Vincent Gulf. This inaugural race is a team race between Navy, Army and Air Force with two boats assigned to each team. The object of team racing, as opposed to conventional fleet racing, is not so much to win but to not lose. So, if your team mate is back in the fleet then the winning strategy is generally going to be to go back and "attack" the opposition boats, using the racing rules, particularly starboard and luffing rights, to allow your team mate to get into a better position. Of course, the other teams are going to be doing the same thing and with three teams I suspect it is likely to be utter chaos (team racing normally consists of only two teams).

I have come in late to the side, relieving an injured skipper, and have had only one training session with my crew. Nonetheless, the coach reports that we are doing well and I have to say that the training for the close racing in small fast boats was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to the main event.

Of course regular maintenance  continues as always on board Sylph whenever we are alongside. In addition to attending to a few small rust spots, I have removed the anchor windlass and am in the process of stripping it down to give it an overhaul.

Also Sylph's new 'code zero' sail has been completed. I hoisted it on Friday morning when the breeze was light. The sail looks good though I am not happy with the soft hanks; they are too heavy and cumbersome, so the sail is back at the sail loft having that little problem corrected. Hopefully we will be able to take it for a test sail sometime this week.

Oli appears to be mostly happy to be back at the Squadron. He enjoys rolling on the warm concrete of the pontoons during the day, though in the wee hours he wants to go exploring and complains about being locked below. Sorry Oli, but we all know what feline predators do to Australian wildlife.

The Hobart Cup is being raced on Saturday 18 March by which time I expect to have my maintenance chores complete and be ready to continue to Melbourne for my brother's birthday celebrations.

All is well.

Training Session video: