1971 Race 1

Opening Race a Fast One! Sunday 5th September dawned dull and south-westerly with a forecast of more. Speedsters, Warlock (Geoff Cruse) and Ruhamah (Dick Stapleton) were on the slip, and only six yachts turned up for a most enjoyable race.

To Peter Fraser, our Commodore, fell the honour of starting the race and he laid the line for what should have been a windward start. The great speeds involved make this type of start better for multihulls. Leigh Wynne in his new tri Wahine a Nicol Wanderer Mk. 2 took the lead towards the first mark; the Entrance Beacons.

He was followed by Ngalawa (Paul Herzig) and when the latter appeared to be gaining slightly, Leigh hoisted his three hundred and something square foot genoa. The wind at this stage was nudging 20 knots and back at the start Odin (Ross Cook) had crossed and was gaining rapidly, while Tane Tu (Kev Wotton) and Tricia (Wally Southall) appeared to be experiencing some difficulty crossing the line.

Since everyone did the same thing and no-one gained an advantage we could possibly say that the entrance beacon manoeuvre was a complete success with the same placings as before. (The sailing instructions have now been revised)

On the next leg Wahine, Odin and Ngalawa cleared out with Odin having rather the best of it since he caught the others and rounded Otter Rock ahead. The going was glorious multihull weather 20 to 30 knot reaching winds and all three boats planning just as they were designed to do. For the recordWahine was carrying 550 sq. ft. Ngalawa 500 sq. ft. and Odin 360 sq. ft.

On Wahine Leigh and his crew were really thrashing along and out near Otter Rock the halyard winch took leave of the mast with a loud ‘thwannnngggg’ and it was all hands to chase it on the cambered deck before it committed suicide. With little delay the genoa was exchanged for the 200 sq. ft. working jib and rounded the beacon not far behind Odin which had started to emulate a submarine since a Moreton Bay chop doth not the hull length of a Clipper fit. Tricia and Tane Tu were following more sedately and Turrama had by now started and was following fast.

The punch to Sandgate Jetty was a matter of local knowledge. Wahine took the best course close to the Sandgate Shore while Odin went too far out into rougher water. Ngalawa took the middle course and probably persevered with the outgoing tide from Cabbage Tree Ck. for too long.

Considering the length of the course and the size of the yachts, (35’, 30’, 25') the finish was close. It was big boat weather and Leigh finished first to take corrected time and a well-deserved ‘Sandgate Citizens Trophy’. First race for Wahine. First win for Wahine. What better omens?

If Leigh, as is his want, ever tells you he is just a simple cruising man at heart, watch him race. He is a TIGER.

Odin crossed the line about five minutes later with Ngalawa, two minutes away. Close, exhilarating racing. Afterwards, the tri’s rafted together (with sundry bumpings in the heavy conditions) and the usual post mortem was held. It was unanimously held that the first race of the season was a beauty......

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