Image Ric Lamont
Success at the Marley Point overnight yacht race
This year was the 49th time this iconic race has been held. Next year is the milestone 50th. As a club Williamstown can enter 3 boats for a team trophy, be they Hartleys, Explorers, Ultimates or Gems. This year sadly Swallow was the only Williamstown Sailing Club boat and one of only two Explorers.
From WSC we also had Peter Yeates and his daughter Molly sailing in Phoenix (TS16), Joe Dorrington crewing for John Constable on Wakka6 (Hartley 18) and Ray Clinch crewing on Emily (the other Explorer 16).
The light to moderate conditions were ideal for an Explorer. Trevor always skippers this race and I crew in my boat Swallow as a thanks for his tremendous help in maintaining my boat and getting it down to the club each week.
We set off at dusk with 110 boats on the start line with only one start. We chose our course and began to self-doubt as we saw the majority of the fleet going to the north side of Lake Wellington, but then the wind died for a couple of minutes and subsequently changed direction (as predicted by the meteorologist at the briefing). In one tack we went directly to the Nicholson Straits followed by a former Williamstown boat Tarquin (Hartley 18). We promptly went aground and had to raise the centre-plate to get free.
The wind had become slight but the tide was taking us in the right direction. We put up our spinnaker which helped. When we popped out the other end of the straits the spinnaker became unmanageable as the wind was too shy, it had to be taken in. Good winds kicked in of about 10 knots allowing us to reach most of the way up Lake Victoria. When we passed Plover Point we poled out for the very last part, reaching our destination at 6.16am - still in the dark.
When we left Nicholson Straits and reached Lake Victoria, Trevor said we’re either doing really well or really badly as we couldn’t see the red and green lights of many other boats. You can get quite disorientated as to your position at night.
As you finish at Paynesville (GLYC) they supply a cooked breakfast at the club. It is there that they start to post the provisional results and as of that time we had won on class based handicap. We couldn’t believe it. Well done Trevor.