Round Prevost Race – Race Highlights
The Round Prevost Race for 2013 was a well attended event made notable by the appearance of a new boat. Sprite, a Flying Fifteen, has joined the racing fleet, ably commanded by Greg Slakov. Greg has for many years sailed the Martin 241 Imp winning club trophies and showing the way on the race course. Crossing over to the Flying Fifteen with Greg is his long time crew Ian Cook so they are well on their way to being a formidable crew. The other crew on Imp, Craig Leitch, himself a worthy helmsman has bought Imp and was on the start line today as well. Not having lost Imp to the racing fleet is a very great relief. Welcome to fleet Sprite.
A good breeze was blowing out of the harbour so a downwind start was the order of the day. At the skippers meeting a vote had opened the choice of rounding Prevost either to Port or Starboard but the first leg was the same for everyone and the choice could be put off until the Sisters loomed alongside. Over the years Imp has developed what I call the “Imp Start”, coming in to the pin on Starboard from leeward having all the rules on your side and gybing at the gun into clear air. This has worked very well for Imp and with about a minute to go I could see Sprite setting up for the “Imp Start”. Funnily enough Imp was also setting up for it, and then there was the Kay D, Velica and Caliente. It was going to be crowded. With about 20 seconds to go Sprite and imp vied for the same water and were moving ahead with more speed than usual. The Kay D took Velica up to create turning room to leeward and took advantage of the small space opening up at the pin to gybe across Imp’s stern. She slipped just ahead of the onrushing starboard tack Caliente to steal the clean air. While all this is very exciting down the line in much less chaos Kaitoa also got away in clear air, quietly playing the Saltspring side of the harbour and biding her time.The wind started going lighter on the Sisters side of the harbour and the Kay D gybed back towards the middle. Kiatoa found the wind and was gone, Caliente and Electra came through the fleet as well. On the Sisters side Albatro, Kay D, Imp and Sprite changed places while Velica stayed close even without spinnaker. Albatro lead this pack around the Sisters, rounding close and finding a wind to take her through the lee. Sprite turned smartly and used the same puff to take the lead of the Flying Fifteens. Imp here chose to take Prevost to Port and continued running down to Point Liddel, the same choice Electra made. The rest of the fleet was close reaching with spinnakers strapped in tight heading for Scott Point. By this time Kaitoa had developed over a mile of lead and was looking very fine and unstoppable. The tactician on Kay D called for dropping the spinnaker and sailing high for some gusts that were showing in Welbury Bay. This proved to be a very useful idea and the Kay D reeling in both Sprite and Albatro and was clearly loving the building wind and the two sail close reach to Peille Point. Once round the point Kaitoa and Caliente were both in sight again but still a long way ahead. The waves had built and the two Flying Fifteens were surfing down this leg and while Albatro tried hard to be a FF it was not to be as the Kay D and Sprite scooted away.
Velica did very well on this leg as well, hugging Hawkins Island and getting some tide relief perhaps. As we gybed at Portlock Point and the view into Swansons Channel opened up we were able to see Electra and Imp locked in a great battle beating into the wind by the Red Islets. We passed them by Bright Island, the half way point indicating that the Starboard Rounding was paying, at least so far. Kaitoa was already out of sight around Liddel Point and only the tops of Caliente’s sails could be seen above the land. The gusts out of Diver and Ellen Bays had the Flying Fifteens planing and opening out a lead on the group but as the Point Liddel light was rounded and the wind came on the nose Velica steadily started to reel in the smaller boats. She passed the Kay D at Batt Rock and moved into third place of the Starboard rounding fleet and there was still no sign of the Port Rounders in Captains Passage.
Up ahead the wind was starting to slow and Kaitoa and Caliente were standing more upright as they approached the finish line. Caliente was closing the gap but ran out of race as Kaitoa took line honours. For Philippe Erdmer and his able crew of Junior Sailors it was an excellent race well sailed. Caliente also sailed a good race and had to look far astern for another sail. Velica, who had hung in for the mostly downwind beginning of the race, had her chance to shine on the beat. As third boat into the harbour she was able to lead the fleet into the waiting hole by the Second Sister. One by one the boats roared into the dead zone and parked, watching even the Port Rounders charging up on wind and coasting to a halt. Soul Thyme made a particularly dramatic entry with her momentum threatening to make her a contender. Sprite made a valiant attempt to sail around the fleet and got around everyone to leeward, then a puff from above rolled in and a wall of sails drove over her. Imp did three gybes and threaded her way through the parking lot avoiding the worst of the chopped up air, coming home third. Kay D also found some lines of wind and by gybing on the shifts crossed the line fourth just seconds ahead of Electra.
For the Flying Fifteens this was their first official race and the closeness of the battle was seen as the lead changed four times. This was exciting class racing and bodes well for a season of great races to come, especially when the other two boats that have come to Saltspring hit the water. Aboard the Kay D we welcome Sprite. You will soon see us tuning up together and enjoying some impromptu races.
Another interesting point is that our very talented pool of junior sailors are being taped to crew and proving their worth. The first and third boats home had juniors playing major roles. Well done juniors and a big thank you to Philippe and Craig for opening up places for our young sailors. I know Vincent and Gyle have also done this in the past. Lets get them sailing.
aboard the Kay D
Official Results (courtesy Philippe Erdmer – ‘Kaitoa’)
Course: Start – Round Prevost – Finish
Scoring with SISC Ratings:
|PHRF Rating||Club Rating||Rating As Sailed||Boat||Skipper||Finish Time
||Corrected (Time on time)||Place|
|152||186||186||SECOND WIND||van Soeren||14:47:47||03:54:34||10|
Scoring with PHRF ratings:
|PHRF Rating||Rating As Sailed||Boat||Skipper||Finish Time
||Corrected (Time on time)||Place|
|112||152||SECOND WIND||van Soeren||14:47:47||04:06:27||10|