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A shout out for good wind that lasts the whole race. Eight lucky boats got to have a great sail today.

The Ben Mohr race is a simple blast out to the mark and home with the challenges coming from the usual tactical battle out of the harbour and finding the fine line of how to transit the lee of Prevost Island, both ways. Usually a reaching course the main challenge is to make the right decision on when or if to fly the spinnaker. And of course that other thing, the start.

Three boats aced the start with Imp on mid line with speed, Kaitoa in clean air and Kay D at the weather end. One set of sails obscured the pin at about three seconds to go and the lee end seemed mighty crowded. Imp and Kaitoa powered up wind getting lifting blasts and looked to be moving well. Kaitoa was reefed down and looked good and was starting to gain on Imp. Kay D tacked over on a shift and then came back on another using this gain to stay close to the faster boats. Velica, who suffered a bad start, liked the wind and started to power through the fleet. When she passed the Kay D she looked very well set up with the mainsail looking the best I have seen it. Post race questioning confirmed that Vincent has done another round of mast tuning with obvious good results. Kaitoa moved into the lead but was then enticed by a lull to shake out her reef. The next time our paths crossed she was struggling with massive weather helm in the returning blasts and Imp got by her. Velica also challenged. On the close reach to Nose Point the Kay D jumped up on a two sail plane and closed with the leaders, getting a good view of Kaitoa, like a wild horse, blasting they rounding up as the crew worked very hard to control the beast. The Kay D was the only boat to hoist spinnaker on this leg and they used the extra speed to close with the leaders. Eldon and Philippe held onto that bucking bronc that was Kaitoa and squeaked by Imp on the approach to the mark and rounded first. Half way across Trincomali the Kay D had to drop the chute and close reach up to the mark. Meanwhile Soul Thyme found the reach much to her liking and was marching along in a very majestic manor. Imp and Velica rounded Ben Mohr next, followed by the Kay D and the steadily gaining Soul Thyme. Once pointed in the homeward direction we were able to see that the rest of the fleet were in less wind as they struggled out of Captain Passage, while looking up Trincomali we could see solid white caps, tantalizing but not getting closer. Going back into the lee of Prevost we aboard the Kay D were being chased by a roaring Soul Thyme, and I mean roaring. They charged through our lee with the crew waving while basking in the heat of her afterburners. Keith, were you cooking the excellent beef that we ate after the race as you passed us? Or was the heat to leeward some new way to increase the flow of wind over your sails. In a desperate attempt to stay close to Soul Thyme the Kay D re-hoisted for a very exciting reach to the sisters where the mainsail became a flapping trim tab in the puffs but Keith was not to be caught. Kaitoa sailed the reach high and as they drew abreast of the Sisters broke out the spinnaker as well, soon followed by Imp. Velica who had done so well now had to wing the jib and try to hang in as she does not have a spinnaker.As the fleet marched home from the Sisters they all came onto the same leg so close was the racing. Albatro with her distinctive broad headboard rounded ahead of Wildfire but would it be far enough as the tall red spinnaker bloomed and filled behind her, and then came Deryn Mor, with Kevin Vine , single handed setting and flying her big blue sail.

Kaitoa took line honours with Imp and Velica close behind. Fourth over was Soul Thyme, 33 seconds ahead of Kay D then Wildfire, Albatro and Deryn Mor. The wind still up the Kay D could not resist and sheeted in for one more spinnaker reach across the harbour before heading back to her berth. A great days sailing and then a recap and tall stories on Soul Thyme, aided by some wonderful treats from Patrice, Keith and Greg, who shared his rum prize from the race on Tuesday.

from the deck of the Kay D
Martin Herbert

Official Results (courtesy Philippe Erdmer – ‘Kaitoa’)

Course: Club start – Ben Mohr Rock (P)

PHRF Rating Club Rating As Sailed Boat Skipper Finish Time Corrected Time (ToT) Place
213 213 213 KAY D Herbert 12:07:00 01:26:01 1
147 156 156 VELICA Argiro 12:05:53 01:32:12 2
162 137 137 IMP Slakov 12:04:16 01:33:16 3
234 243 243 DERYN MOR Vine 12:20:50 01:34:25 4
112 143 143 SOUL THYME Simpson 12:06:27 01:34:34 5
102 108 108 KAITOA Erdmer 12:02:45 01:36:00 6
144 159 159 WILDFIRE Keating 12:14:35 01:40:07 7
102 106 136 ALBATRO Pothier 12:56:57 02:25:36 8

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