A Gentle Day in the Sunshine
Saturday, September 30, 2017 1:48 PM
With only 5-7 knots of wind for most of the afternoon, Paul Jackson, race officer, had a big challenge on his hands to try to set a decent course for racing. Again off in to the East of Palma Bay, the first yachts got away at 1345 starting, as always in smaller groups. In Class 1 the competitive spirit had developed and newcomers Bacchus engaged with Maegan in a tight match racing style boat to boat start – a great spectacle for others to watch whilst waiting to start!
Ostra in Class 3 similarly showed her competitive spirit and clearly she really wanted to win the Pantaenius sponsored starting prizes – she hit the line bang on the starting gun – one second earlier and she would have been OCS!
The 3-mile beat across the bay was very shifty with the wind moving 30-40 degrees at times. This sorted out the fleet and by the top mark, the leaders for each Class were becoming clear.
Long gentle spinnaker runs back to the Eastern side of the bay followed and although it was tough racing in the very light winds, the sun was shining, the blue sky clear and everyone was enjoying the luxury of their Oyster yachts.
Shortening courses around 1630 as the breeze started to drop away further, the race officer breathed a sigh of relief that we'd managed to get a race completed.
Engines on and speedily back to the dock, all the competitors rushed back for the Vondeling sponsored dock-party. Anthony and Sophie Ward, owners of both the Oyster 675 Babiana and the Vondeling vineyard in South Africa – were given a great cheer of thanks by the fleet for their generous hospitality as the Batu Cada local drumming band 'brought the Mallorcan village culture to the dock' and raised the tempo.
Adding to the colourful occasion, the RCNP had set up a prize for the 'best dressed crew' on the day and with universal approval over the choice of the winners, Oyster 575 Briviba's crew stepped up to receive their award in the Penguin suits which they'd worn all day in the hot sunshine.
Raymarine kindly provided the prizes for race day 3 with Bacchus taking Class 1, WikiWiki again showing her strength in the 575s and Class 2 and Pied Piper securing Class 3.
Points are incredibly close now as we head in to the last day. With one discard allowed and best three out of four races to count, four yachts in Class 1 start the last day separated by just 0.25 of a point. With other close results in Class 2 & 3, there is everything to play for on the last day.