Autumn 2014

Page 8

Photos: Will Sharp Words: Will Sharp and Peter Kemp

HREE. Three classes. Three fleets and three different starts. Three clubs involved in the race management. Three quarters of a year of planning. And three big days of sailing to bring it all together. Planning for the 2014 Pacer, Pacer Pursuit and 125 State Championships began at the Pacer and 125 States at Parkdale in March last year when BYC approached the respective associations and offered the Club as a potential venue for the following season’s regatta. The offer was formally accepted within weeks and from then on planning began in earnest. It’s a big task to bring together all the elements of a successful regatta, more so when there are multiple classes and several of the most important elements are being brought in from neighbouring clubs. BYC’s long-time Principal Race Officer Rod McCubbin was unavailable for the March long weekend so we had to look outside the club for a suitable qualified/experienced person for the job. After a false start and a late withdrawal, Bob Ford from Parkdale YC came on board at the eleventh hour and ran the event for us.

which is very rare on the bay, even more so in March) the race management team were faced with a choice – set the course as the wind currently was and risk a massive shift during the race, or bet on the forecast southerly shift. As is often the case, there were no right answers and the course was laid, changed, changed again, then completely moved for the second race of the session. The breeze had swung through 120 degrees in the space of two hours and caused much tearing of hair and creative swearing on the course boats. Light, shifty winds and warm to hot temperatures proved to be the norm for the remainder of the regatta, resulting in tense, tight sailing where every inch counted. Two people who revelled in the challenging conditions and certainly made the most of it were Peter and Lauren Kemp on Bebop. Fresh from their Australian Championship win at Christies

The other issue was rescue boats. We have two boats at BYC in use most weeks, and we also have access to Rod McCubbin’s personal powerboat for large events which is extremely useful. However with a fleet of 50-60 boats expected, we were somewhat short of an acceptable rescue boat to sailing boat ratio. It was decided to contact Hampton Sailing Club in the hope we could utilise their two rescue boats for the weekend. HSC assisted BYC when we last hosted the Pacer States in 2010 and once again they agreed to send both their boats and several people up for the weekend. This was a great help for the event and a great example of the smaller sailing clubs working together.

THE SAILING As usual, we faced three days of ‘regatta weather’ – weather that we would never normally see at that time of year, if at all. The first session of sailing on Saturday afternoon proved to be challenging. With a persistent easterly blowing all morning and seeming like it would continue into the afternoon (a breeze

The Race Management team faced some weather challenges over the long weekend

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