We set off for TS 16 Victorian State Titles at Portarlington with the weekend’s dismal forecast dulling the mood. All week long we had been told we were in for a shocker. As a result, only seven boats turn up that morning, and that number quickly shrunk to six as Joe Dorrington (“Up in Arms”) went home to battle the flu.
At Portarlington the weather was actually far kinder than anticipated, in the main part and we set off to the start in pleasant, reasonably light conditions.
With one eye on Sunday’s terrible forecast and under the guidance of our excellent race officer Roger, we voted to try and sail three races back to back on the Saturday instead of the two planned. If we could get three races done then at least we had a championship.
The six boats competing were:
- Hissing Sid (Peter Behrendt and Peter Yeates)
- Phantom (Trevor Burke and Detlef Becker)
- Seabiscuit (Brian Langworthy and crew)
- Tru- Blu (Michael Horvath and Anthony Berger)
- Whispering (Alan O’Brien and Sue Burke)
- Wild One (Peter Mullinger and David)
The three races were highly contested. Each had a different winner and all boats finished within a few minutes of each other for every race.
Whispering and Tru-Blu had an altercation at the top mark in race one, a discussion about buoy room ensued and boats slipped past. Wild One kept ahead of all. Whispering was in fourth position approaching the finish but a timely wind shift knocked the first three boats below the line. Whilst they tacked, Whispering slid through into second place and finished 12 seconds behind Wild One. Tru-Blu came in third with Hissing Sid just a forestay behind.
Race two saw some further differences of opinion out on the water and Hissing Sid appeared to have it in the bag. With just a covering tack on top of Whispering to reach the finish line, Hissing Sid blithely sailed PAST the line. Despite his crew saying to him at the time “we’d better make this a really good tack”, he thought he had another lap to go. Whispering won by 5 seconds from Wild One and Tru-Blu was third. Hissing Sid went down to fourth. His reaction when realisation hit reminded me of old times when I crewed for him, “F F F F F”, but in good humour.
In race three the wind was getting up and Mr Horvath in Tru-Blu decided to remind us what he is capable of. I think his crew’s previous remarks of him appearing “somewhat rusty” galvanised him into action. Phantom had also come into her own this race until her jib caught around the winching eye on the bow. The race officer was carefully watching the radar and saw some nasty weather rapidly approaching; he deftly shortened the course in an extremely competent manner. He was the only race boat out on the water with one crew but he managed it impressively. Tru-Blu took line honours by more than one minute from Whispering in second and Hissing Sid third.
Back on land an enjoyable evening was had with great food and company.
Sunday the weather was still blown-out and the decision was made to abandon the day’s sailing. The overall results were:
- First: Whispering
- Second: Tru-Blu
- Third: Wild One
Thanks to Bryan Langworthy for his great efforts in race organisation, Roger on the rescue boat and to Sue O’Brien supporting us in some trying conditions.