Cockburn Sound Regatta began the second day of competition in perfect sailing conditions. A light to moderate south westerly under a cloudless sky made sailing a joy.
Division 3 and Premier Cruising division both set out for their passage race while the remaining fleets sailed windward and return races near the club. Joining the regatta for the first time was an enthusiastic fleet of Minnows, their little blue sails adding a splash of colour to proceedings.
Division 3’s Phoenix won on handicap after trailing line honours winner Freedom, with Lady Irene and the little MB21 Analaua filling the minor places.
Rob Halvorsen’s Giddy Up is a cut above the competition in the jib and main fleet. The well-credentialled ocean racer is enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of jib and main competition and is a consistent line honours winner in the fleet. Des Riley’s Hard Evidence continues her remarkably good form on handicap, winning again ahead of Serendipity and Jane Laws’s Ambience.
Interest in the battle of the giants in the Classic fleet continues as the two main protagonists are getting down to business. Ralph Newton’s Eun-na-Mara was good enough to continue her run of line honours victories, but the gap to Gary Martin’s Acrospire is narrowing with every race. Acrospire won both races on Day 2 on handicap, but significantly, she was just 38 seconds behind her rival at the end of the second race. Significantly perhaps, the wind conditions, which maxed out the 30 knots just after 2 o’clock, indicates that these two grand dames of Western Australian sailing are much closer in heavy weather than they are in light breezes, where Eun-na-Mara’s sail area gives her a distinct advantage.
The Skate class, held to a 25 knot limit by the rules of the regatta, were forced to cancel their race on day 2 with breezes well above the limit.
The introduction of kite boards to this regatta could not have been timed better. Sailors from the newly affiliated Perth Kite Board Racing Club revelled in the fresh conditions and surprised many traditional yachties with their ability to sail hard angles to windward while still maintaining speed.
The day was not without drama however. Even the organisers found the going tough. With one rostered boat out of commission due to an engine fire and a second towed home with mechanical failure, resources were stretched to the limit.
Among the competitors, a spectacular knock down saw on yacht on its side for an awfully long time before it was eventually righted and continued to race. Walk on the Wild Side suffered damage at the gooseneck and is unlikely to take any further part in the regatta, while a crewman on one of the smaller yachts in the fleet was taken to hospital by ambulance with a suspected fracture ankle.
Softer conditions are expected for Day 3.
– Bernie Kaaks