It was one of those hot late summer days we get in Hobart – when the mercury pushes over 30 degrees and you can feel the desert heat on the northerly wind. All day I was anxiously watching the wind buffet the plane trees in Salamanca Place and my office window – an old French door that was propped open to relieve the heat – and watching my weather app which promised the wind would drop to a comfortable strength for the evening’s race.
And it did. By the time I’d mustered my crew, readied the boat and motored out into the river, the wind had dropped to a brisk 15 knots, and remained between 10 and 22 for the race. With Derek still overseas, the crew for this final race in the series was Tim, Nick, Paul, Michael, Andrew and Anne – who decided she would leave the work to the fellas and enjoy the beautiful evening.
We were set course T for Tango – a two lap course beginning with a triangle to mark X at mid-river, to B1 (permanent mark off Bellerive) back to the start line, and then a ‘sausage’ from the start out to X and back to the finish.
I was determined to make a better start this week, and steeled my nerves to jostle with the quicker boats around the start line. As usual, Tim played the role of tactician, and also confidence-builder, encouraging me on at every step. I offered him the helm this race, but he declined, preferring the role of encourager, delightful boy!
With the wind from the north-west the race began with a down-wind run. We crossed the line mid-fleet for a change! Then pointed our bow towards the mark and set the head-sail out on the pole. With the wind behind you sailing is quiet and the boat remains flat. You can hear the sea sizzle along the hull. The sun beat down on us, turning the river to copper. What a way to spend the evening!
Despite our better start we eventually ended up near the back of the fleet, crossing the line only 13 minutes behind the outright winner, Hot Prospect. So I added another 13th place to my belt – oh, well, I don’t really like those T-shirts they give out for first place… I’m hanging out for the prize next week for the women’s race! Oh, and Tim did take the helm to park the boat, doing a super job of reversing.