November 21st 2009
The weather forecast of strong winds and heavy rain deterred many boats from the cvrda event at Baltic Wharf on Saturday where dry weather with shifty winds, lighter than forecast, blowing between the buildings greeted the three local boats, a Scorpion, an Albacore and an old Solo who joined in to make up the race together with one visitor, a Merlin Rocket.
The first race, to the head of the harbour, began with the three double handed boats evenly matched, running, reaching and tacking up the harbour as the wind bounced off buildings and whistled through gaps in all directions. However, one particularly awkward gust after passing the SS Great Britain, took the Albacore for a swim, leaving the Merlin to round the top mark first, closely followed by the Scorpion, whilst the Albacore and Solo diced for third place. The final leg saw the Scorpion pull away to take first place with the Merlin second, the Albacore third and the Solo fourth on the water.
The second race was a short circular course close to the club and the Merlin managed to be unusually early at the line and had to turn away, leaving the Albacore to establish a lead over the Scorpion in the increasingly gusty winds and take line honours.
For the third race the competitors were joined by other club members in two Wanderers and an Enterprise. The Albacore retired and the Scorpion tangled with the Wanderers on the start line to give the Merlin a clear half lap lead for a while. The squally wind, now gusting from south to south westerly, revived memories of the mast breaking at the 2006 event and with the pouring rain made racing difficult, but the youngsters in the Scorpion worked hard to take the lead and draw away to win by half a lap from the Merlin and the Solo.
Thanks are especially due to the Baltic Wharf club members who organised the racing and manned the boat in the wet and windy conditions.
1st Scorpion 1991 Ben Palmer and crew
2nd Merlin Rocket 2121 Sandy Lavelle and Pat Jones
3rd Albacore 1615 Nigel Osborne and crew