I do not have any photos of this race training session, because I was sitting in a boat, concentrating on winning, and getting very wet in the meantime.

Immediately after the regular sailing session, Helene put us through our race training paces. We rigged up an extra two boats, so that we could have 7 skippers and crews in the race. By the time this was completed, a strong southerly had erupted with strong gusts, and periods of relative stillness. Expecting heavy traffic in Manly Cove, we went right over to the western side of the cove, into the relative calmness of North Harbour. Ralph set up the course, a simple sausage, aided by Helen and Sue.

Beating down into the wind proved quite difficult, although Ralph had set a short course, and everyone involved got quite wet. It was the waves, as well as the wind that were difficult to manouvre, and quite a long run was necessary to the East to get around the windward buoy. Once there, the run down wind seemed like a dream, although some waves were still breaking over the back of the boats.

There was lots of jockeying and changes in position, because of the flukiness of the wind, and lots of loud laughter and cheering could be heard from skippers and crew. David was spotted having a cooling off swim in one of the changeovers, but managed to get back into his boat with Kate in time for the next race. It wasn’t really necessary to get out of the dinghy for a swim, as most of them were at least half-full of water by this time. What with the bailing necessary, and a constant fight against waves and wind, there was not much resting in the hour or so of the training session.

We managed to get in 3 races before dashing back across the Cove, and apart from the Winners and the Wooden Spooners, there was very little between the results of the other 5 boats. This was the most fun we have had on water, and I’m sure that our participants with a disability got as much fun out of it as our able bodied sailors got.

A great afternoon, Helene, and thanks so much for organising this training.  A huge thank you also to Ralph for setting the course, doing the race starts and finishes, getting out the buoys and anchors, and putting everything away. Also to Helen and Sue who had the horrible job of dropping and heaving up those heavy anchors, and keeping their eye on the race.  Those three deserve the most pay and all the prizes for today’s efforts.

Places for the session:

  1. Denis and Eli . (Woody)
  2. Barry and Ivan. (Alex)
  3. David G and Kate. (Black Swan)
  4. David W and Jonathon. (Lionheart)
  5. Peter and Ibuku. (Vin)
  6. Helen and Tony. (Dolly Wallis)
  7. Morgan and Michael. (ING)

Without photos, a word picture: Wind, waves, laughter, hard-work, fun of competition, exhaustion, enjoyment, thousands of people on the waters of Manly Cove enjoying a beautiful afternoon, observing the 16 ft skiffs championships, and joining us in the fun.