Glenn Richard skipper of Ostara writes, ‘The forecast was mainly sunny with 15 knots from the West, so it promised to be just about the best Winter race this season. However, COVID restrictions meant crews south of the Bridge could not participate and RANSA, the scheduled race committee, had to declare the race abandoned.
Fortunately, the Squadron stepped in and generously provided the race committee and start boat Mischief, to put on a race for those who were able to sail that day. Of course, the event was deemed non-pointscore in fairness to boats not able to take part.
The breeze picked up as we headed to the start, west of Shark Island, so we ducked into the lee of the Island to put in a reef, taking a conservative approach with only two aboard – my boat partner Peter Kennedy and myself. Other regular crew could not sail due to the restrictions.
Returning to the race area, the reduced size of the usual Winter Saturday fleet of almost 50 boats became clear. There were only15 starters across 5 divisions and just 4 boats in our Non-Spinnaker Division 2.
The decision to reef was supported by the sight of several other boats reefed. The one un-reefed boat retired early. The good breeze and so few boats on the Harbour made the sailing straightforward, but we did miss the usual tactics and tussles with our competitors that are so much part of the enjoyment.
The brisk conditions favoured our heavy little 31ft Hanse and we managed to come first on handicap, just a minute ahead of Much Ado (RSYS), a Dubois 34, followed by Coco (RSYS), a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i Performance.
There were mixed feelings as we sipped our socially distanced beer back on the terrace, appreciating our luck to participate in such a great day on the water while sparing a thought for the folk who couldn’t.
Looking forward to sailing with the full fleet, hopefully in a couple of weeks.’
Photo by Matthew Melhuish