The second day of racing sees plenty of thrills and spills.
It was more perfect conditions for the second day of Angostura Tobago Sail Week. The DHL sponsored day saw clear blue skies, flat seas and a lovely offshore breeze – a notch or two stronger than yesterday. Yep, it’s tough out here in paradise! Once again the racing class had two short races while the rest of the fleet set off (from the same start line) on a longer race. The first weather mark, set close inshore, was a lively place to be as both fleets came charging in with good speed. Although no gelcoat was traded, the mark was the scene for a number of protests. Arch rival Henderson 30’s Pressure and Slippery When Wet had a bit of port-starboard argy-bargy early which later resulted in the disqualification of Slippery When Wet, although the points board diplomatically showed ‘ RET’. Legacy took a well earned first in the second race but this wasn’t enough to move into a top three spot overall.
Protests were the order of the day. While this reporter was sitting in the race office a crewmember from Pressure walked in and requested six protest forms! Minutes before, Sail Week chief judge and ex Oracle AC team rules advisor Henry Menin walked to the airport to weigh himself and a fellow judge on a calibrated scale in anticipation of a storm of weight related protests. And you thought this was just a low key Caribbean regatta? These were later withdrawn, but only after a series of protracted hearings. Marsha Farfan’s Morgan 36 Business Machine came home second, after strangers-to-the-podium Sunbeat III, Steve Kuhl’s Jeanneau 43, and slipped into first overall. Business Machine’s movements are more closely followed than most: Marsha’s girls are well known, and appreciated, for their flamboyant sailing gear. Yesterday their bikini tops were yellow, their hotpants floral orange, today the colour scheme was green and blue.
For the rest of the fleet the pot was further stirred by a dodgy mark of the course. It was first reported that the mark had dragged but soon after the real story came out: it had been mislaid by the race committee. That’s put in the wrong place, not lost! Needless to say, this caused a little annoyance among the fleet. The race was restarted at around 1 o’clock resulting in the racing fleet being firmly established on the race village lawn, rums in hand, by the time the rest of the fleet finished.
Further drama in the fresh conditions included a crewmember on Alliance being struck on the head by the boom. Fortunately a doctor was quickly put aboard and he declared the victim’s injuries non-critical. Local heroes Guardian Star suffered a broken tiller, a lost halyard and ‘a load of other problems, man’.
Annie T once more took the Charter class bullet, and maintained their overall first too. With the protest and subsequent disqualification of Saga Boy, Team McFly took second and Long Gone third.
Tomorrow the Caribbean’s friendliest regatta has a bit of rest. Judging by today’s events, it’s well overdue!
Results at the end of Day 2:
Racing: 1. Storm 2. Guardian Star 3. Brut Force
Cruiser/Racer: 1. Wayward 2. Petit Careme 3. Titan M
Cruiser: 1. Business Machine 2. Mayumi 3. Sunbeat III
Charter: 1. Annie T 2. Team McFly 3. Long Gone
Comfort Cruiser: 1. Udjat 2. A La Mer 3. Scot Free
Meanwhale… As the fleet clashed off Tobago a battle of a different kind was taking place in the waters of neighbouring Trinidad. The largest humpback whale ever to reach Trinidad shores, a 50 foot 30 tonne specimen, was stranded on Trinidad’s Almond Beach on Sunday. Rescuers resorted to two helicopters and a tug boat before finally succeeding in pulling the giant animal out to freedom in the deeper waters off La Brea yesterday evening.