This year, Perth Radio Sailing Club relocated the annual Bink Frayne Memorial A Class regatta to Austin Lakes in South Yunderup. Unfortunately, we could not be reasonably confident that our home lake at Jackadder would be covered in weed. This was the fourth running of the event following Bink’s passing.
Saturday March 9 was the date, and the forecast was for grey skies, drizzle and light winds. For once, the Bureau got it right, and we drove south into light rain. The wind just refused to blow the clouds away. That is how the whole of the rest of the day unfolded.
Rob Mews kindly agreed to do the Race Officer’s job, and his challenge early on was to see if he could work out which direction the wind was blowing – well it wasn’t. Roger kindly trailed the Mullet and equipment down to Austin Lakes and we thank him for doing that. Also making the trip to assist Rob, was old mate Rodney Moss. Rod is such a great clubman, and is always willing to go out of his way to help. Thanks to you too Rod for giving up your time to assist.
Just before the scheduled start time, a zephyr appeared out of the north – almost the opposite direction to the forecast. Roger set a course with 6 marks in a line towards the north and 5 at the bottom of the course. Surely, we would be able to get a course out of that!
Fortunately, the light breeze was just enough to enable boats to be manoeuvred, so the racing got underway. 6 A Class boats on a glassy lake looks really pretty, especially as they were all travelling about the same speed. Racing was close in the first couple of races.
The Venom’s of John Goor and Roger Paul were loving the light conditions, whilst the Swords were not in their favoured wind range. John must have thought this A Class gig was pretty easy, as in his first event, he notched up a second and first in his first two races.
Ian Sherriff got his Privateer going well in the early stages, making full use of it’s lighter displacement to rack up a heat win. Although the wind was light, it was quite consistent right across the course. It was only blowing at two to three knots, but at least there were no huge patches, holes or major shifts.
There were occasions when a boat might get a puff, and take off. Jeff Green got a beauty in one race. He had made a mistake at the bottom of the run, and rounded an incorrect mark, and by the time he corrected his course, was well behind. He managed to find a “super-highway” all the way to the top mark, rounding in second place as the remainder of the fleet could only sit and marvel at Jeff’s boat motoring along.
Glenn got one heat win, but was constantly finishing in the top two or three. After 5 races, the breeze decided to pack up shop and disappear so at the conclusion of 5 races, when we stopped for lunch, the scores at the top of the fleet showed John and Glenn equal on points.
It took the best part of an hour and a half for a fleeting southerly to re-appear, so the course was re-arranged and some racing was attempted. Unfortunately for Rob, no sooner had he set a course which looked pretty good, and started the tape, the wind would make up its own mind about which was it would shift.
There were a few fairly one-sided courses, which meant that getting off the start line was all important. Glenn managed that the best and led the next three races right up to the last mark. However, in two of those races, Denton found some excellent boat speed and positioned his boat a little better, getting the inside running for the last mark. He made a better rounding to take two heat wins. It was pleasing for Denton, who freely admits that light wind sailing isn’t his favourite pastime.
Unfortunately for John, he missed a couple of the starts, finding himself a little behind the line and in a difficult position. His light wind boat speed kept him in touch with the leaders, making some fast finishes.
After the lunch break, we only managed 3 races before Rob called it quits for the afternoon. The wind fell away to nothing and that was all she wrote. Glenn’s consistency held John at bay, to record the win for the day. Denton rounded out the podium, just ahead of Jeff Green, Ian Sherriff and Roger Paul.
Despite the weather, the drizzle and the light winds, all the skippers agreed that it was a good day. The racing was conducted in a particularly gentlemanly manner. Everyone helped one another with great sportsmanship and the whole event was befitting of Bink, the gentleman who lends his name to the regatta.
|1||DAWSON, Glenn||AUS 76||16.0||10.0|
|2||GOOR, John||AUS 50||25.0||14.0|
|3||ROBERTS, Denton||AUS 65||27.0||16.0|
|4||GREEN, Jeff||AUS 95||27.0||18.0|
|5||SHERRIFF, Ian||AUS 40||35.0||24.0|
|6||PAUL, Roger||AUS 86||39.0||26.0|