Tobago Sail Week fleet chased each other, and the marks, around the course.
A day of outdoor cooking and volleyball (but unfortunately no goat racing) was the perfect antidote for the agressive sailing during yesterday’s lay day. In the ‘Galley Chefs’ competition, the start committee team walked away with first prize for their burrito recipe, while Henderson 30 Pressure took the prize for best use of Pepsi in their fish broth! Pepsi in a fish broth? While some crews slaved away in makeshift galleys, others took the opportunity to escape from the race village and headed inland to take in Tobago’s beautiful rain forests and waterfalls, or spend a few hours under the water rather than on it exploring some of the island’s many dive sites.
The fleet was keen to get back out on the water today and with yet another day of perfect conditions they were not to be disappointed. I hopped aboard Kevin Kenny’s Petersen 34 ‘Sea Wyf’ for the day, which saw strong 25 knot offshore breeze and moderate seas.
The format of today’s racing was somewhat different with all classes sailing just one race. Things were not quite so straightforward though. Within minutes of the leaders arriving at the first weather mark, ‘Tidco’, it was announced that the mark had come adrift. The committee boat was quickly dispatched to the site and boats were instructed via radio to round the boat instead. Unfortunately, several of the racing fleet had already rounded and, following a few protests, the race had to be abandoned and restarted for the racing fleet. The rest of the fleet was unaffected and all boats rounded and bore away on a fast reach to the next mark, ‘Royal Oak’. However, no sooner had the fleet arrived at ‘Royal Oak’ when the radio crackled to life again. ‘Royal Oak’ had drifted too. A second boat was sent to stand in for the mark, but with a three knot current running a flurry of predictable protests followed. The confusion didn’t prevent Guardian Star from stealing first leaving Storm to settle for second with Pressure close behind. In the cruiser-racers, Wayward’s winning ways were cut short, leaving Petite Careme and Ralph Johnson’s Beneteau 53f5 Rapajam in first and second respectively. On Sea Wyf we managed a very respectable fourth place, the boat’s best result for the week so far. Despite their bright yellow bikini combo’s, Business Machine were nowhere to be seen in today’s Cruiser results. Nirvana and Mayumi battled it out for first and second, leaving newcomer Mike Lewis’ Farr 30 Les Remous to snap up third. The charter class saw Team McFly finally find their Swan 45-style flair to take first, with Saga Boy and Annie T following in their wake.
As I write this there are still a sheaf of protest forms for the beleaguered race committee to get through, so overall standings in most classes are still provisional.
Results at the end of Day 3:
Racing: 1. Guardian Star 2. Storm 3. Pressure
Cruiser/Racer: 1. Petit Careme 2. Wayward 3. Titan M
Cruiser: 1. Mayumi 2. Nirvana 3. Business Machine
Charter: 1. Team McFly 2. Annie T 3. Saga Boy
Comfort Cruiser: 1. A la Mor 2. Tied: Scot Free & Udjat