Saturday was a fair autumn day, but the wind didn’t play fair. This was the last day of racing for the cruisers’ Late Season and 8 boats turned up. There was a lot at stake for some, as Gannet and Invincible were sitting at the top of the league with equal points. Left like that, Invincible would have been the winner as she had beaten Gannet on the ‘most best’ rule.
Choosing a starting place and direction was tricky as what wind there was, was variable in both strength and direction. So off they went in Race 1, Gannet with the bit between her teeth getting an all-important good start ahead of the fleet, and maintaining the lead, just about at times, as Arrested came through the fleet and threatened to pass her. However Gannet managed to pull away and put some water between them once again.
The wind was light but well enough behaved for the first and second legs, but soon after Gannet, a big boat requiring lots of wind, started along the final leg, the dying wind reduced her speed from about 3 knots to less than one knot and just a couple of boat lengths from the finish line, the dreaded zero knots. Just then the race officer announced that after 60 minutes, any boats not finished would be timed out. Gannet was so close that a butterfly flying past could have puffed her across the finish line, but that was not to be – the 60 minute deadline had been reached. All boats were timed out and all other races were cancelled for the day.
However, when it came to number crunching the results, that last race turned out to be not so much a disappointment, but more a blessing in disguise for Gannet as her extra race score with better points than that of Invincible, allowed Gannet to win the series.
The end of the Late Season also marks the end of the All Seasons series, the winner of which is Invincible. There is still one more cruiser series to run during October.
Late Season (11 races) – 1st Brian McCann’s Gannet, 2nd Mick McCann’s Invincible and 3rd Don Campbell’s Thetis
All Seasons (35 races) – 1st Mick McCann’s Invincible, 2nd Michael O’Hare’s Aurora and 3rd Don Campbell’s Thetis