Yesterday RANSA’s annual regatta was held on Sydney Harbour. Conditions were light. It was a spinnaker start which can, of course, be a real nightmare. It was a handicap start, i.e. each yacht starting on the fall of the minute sign for their handicap, which meant that not too many of the 86 yacht fleet were crossing the line at any one time.
The wise skippers had been out early and done timed runs to the start line, well before their allotted time and without inconveniencing the starting yachts.
Some yachts chose to carry their spinnakers across the line, others waited until the line was crossed before setting the kite.
Of these one, which shall remain nameless, took rather longer than the others to set its kite. The reason, at least 14 rubber bands were used to stop an early break out of the kite. On a day of light winds no bands could have been the call, or at very least only a few – of rotten elastic to break easily.
The yacht in the foreground is considerably shorter, not flying a spinnaker, is generations older than our subject and it is going faster!
At last! No, I’m wrong. There’s still at least one rubber band on the head of the spinnaker. The spinnaker is finally drawing but our subject is still sailing well above her proper course to the first mark. Meanwhile the classic oldster is on course and sailing well!