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Walker Rock Race Report

April 7, 2024

by Martin Herbert aboard the Kay D

A big social crowd arrived early for the skippers meeting and a lot of boats turned out for this long and tricky race. Early race banter presented many ideas of how to deal with the Trincomali portion of the race with no real clarity emerging. It would be interesting to get some post race thoughts on what actually happened.

The beat out of the harbour was made exciting by huge lifts on the Starboard tack gusts. The Kay D started at the Club side pin and immediately pinched like crazy to discourage Invictus from trying to pass to windward, and for once it worked. Invictus took our lee side and hardly noticed the wind shadow of a Flying Fifteen, charging by us. Our fearless Fleet Captain Racing soon pulled into the lead in Ogopogo, heeled well up with only April Faget on the rail. An extremely well-sailed Etchells was also well up on the Fleet, helmed by Ole Andersen with Tony Meek and our Commodore David Wood on board. Boat after boat passed the Kay D until all the big boats were by, some looking very small in the distance. The close reach into Trincomali allowed us to be nipping at the heels of the slower ones. A turn down channel brought out the spinnakers. A building breeze raised some good rollers and a path right down the middle of the channel was our choice. There were a couple of surfs that hit 8.5 knots on the GPS, followed by a few readings of 4.5 knots on the back of the passing missed wave. Good strenuous fun. A very civilized gybe about half way down to the mark was uneventful thanks to strong bungee cords holding the tiller.

As the mark neared, a very dark rain cloud and angry water appeared ahead and caused the spinnaker on Slippery When Wet to flag about in the most exciting manner. The rain squall hit me, first as hard rain and wind, suppressed but looking dangerous. I took this opportunity to douse the spinnaker and no sooner was it down than I was hit by a blast from a beam reach. With the jib still half reefed and the pole still up, the Kay D took off like a scalded cat with me hanging on over the side, spray everywhere. I got to the mark still in touch with some of the bigger boats. The leaders, well ahead, were standing upright and looking to have very little wind. There were signs that the wind would abandon us and very soon it did. The GPS went to 0 and I reefed the jib and had lunch. I was in a group with Steller J and Shingebiss waiting.

When it filled in, Steller J played the shifts and the tide well and took off. Shingebiss and Evangeline also left us in the dust and we were relegated to the tail end of the fleet with the other Flying Fifteen, Jill Oakes on Robyn Hood.

I had planned to fly the spinnaker from Scott Point to the Sisters, but some gusts had me with my hands full under just main and jib. Evangeline did fly hers and pulled farther ahead. As I approached the Sisters I saw both boats bolt upright and stopped, and I was able to bring the wind I had right up to them (one of about three gifts of good luck I had in this race) and I was able to hoist my spinnaker and nip them at the finish line. Ahead, Steller J was also in the doldrums and the huge lead she had on me was reduced to about five minutes, a scandalous bit of bad luck for them.

The leaders were all ensconced at the picnic table, boats put away, as we crossed the finish, at 3.05.35. A very enjoyable race and a very tiring one.

PHRFBC Results

PHRFBC Finish Corrected Rating for club
Rating Boat  Skipper Time Time Place Next Race points
99 OGOPOGO Faget 13:58:15 03:49:11 1 99 100
126 SLIPPERY WHEN WET Gang of 5 14:21:10 04:02:40 2 126 91
208 KAY D Herbert 15:05:35 04:14:59 3 208 82
92 SORCERY X Slakov 14:27:48 04:23:11 4 92 73
0 PTURBODACTYL Tulip 13:50:45 04:23:26 5 0 64
144 STELLER J Leitch 15:00:04 04:34:10 6 144 55
117 INVICTUS Lhotzky 14:56:04 04:41:42 7 117 45
102 EVANGELINE Sutton 15:05:58 04:58:50 8 102 36
84 SHINGEBISS Keating 15:06:49 05:08:40 9 84 27
208 ROBYN HOOD Oakes 16:15:00 05:16:58 10 208 18
126 SECOND WIND van Soeren dnf 11 126 9

Club Handicap Results

Club  Finish Corrected Rating for
Rating Boat  Skipper Time Time Place Next Race
53 OGOPOGO Faget 13:58:15 04:07:35 1 38
102 SLIPPERY WHEN WET Gang of 5 14:21:10 04:12:01 2 90
9 PTURBODACTYL Tulip 13:50:45 04:18:57 3 0
83 SORCERY X Slakov 14:27:48 04:27:07 4 77
167 KAY D Herbert 15:05:35 04:30:12 5 164
123 STELLER J Leitch 15:00:04 04:43:07 6 126
136 EVANGELINE Sutton 15:05:58 04:43:21 7 142
137 SHINGEBISS Keating 15:06:49 04:43:46 8 146
105 INVICTUS Lhotzky 14:56:04 04:47:07 9 117
250 ROBYN HOOD Oakes 16:15:00 04:59:41 10 265
196 SECOND WIND van Soeren dnf 11 196

Next up:  The Montague Harbour Race on April 21 (using club handicaps for scoring)

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