30th Bay to Bay – Multihull Report

30th Bay to Bay … the multihull story, by JB

The first time ever that LSWSA has had a multihull ‘team’ …JB, crew Keith, and ‘Retail Therapy’ were raring to go.  John Woods in the Corsair 24 had a few crew changes and set off with an inexperienced crew.  Cliff Heath put in a major effort to get the F82R ready for the race, and we were still rigging the beast by torchlight on Friday night.  With Ted Cole as crew, Cliff elected to sail under working rig only.

Numbers were about on par with previous years … 124 monohulls, 14 sports monohulls, 20 sports multihulls and 10 standard multihulls.

Saturday

The multi’s were due for the first start, so we all launched prior to the briefing. Here’s John & Cliff rafted up, and the Windrush nosed into the mangroves.


With 169 boats on the water, the start was complex, marred by the monohulls (who should have been out of the starting area, one was even anchored) and some bad manners on the part of one maxi multihull crew. 
‘Retail Therapy’ got away to a good start and was soon powered up under the big kite and keeping along with the Farriers.  After just scraping over a sandbank we looked back to see ‘Winged Warrior’ come to an abrupt halt and pirouette around … Cliff had ‘hit the bricks’

Unfortunately the impact bounced the mast and damaged the mast base, forcing Cliff to retire. This was a shame for his first Bay to Bay in his own boat. We had a fast run until we passed Inskip Point, after which the wind met the tide run and generated some lumpy chop.  Drenched with spray we pressed on, and beat a few of the sports multis to Garry’s.

Sunday

With a lighter wind forecast and fitful breezes early, once again we saw the bigger multis pull away, but when it freshened up and we got the kite ‘in the groove’ they were not getting away so quickly. 

Flying a hull under kite downwind is exhilarating and scary, and we had some wild rides through the morning. About lunchtime a rain band came through, and a whole bunch of boats were becalmed for what seemed to be forever, but was actually about 20 minutes. 

After that the breeze built again, and we had a good run up the eastern side of Woody Island trading places with competitors. A gybe around the last cardinal mark saw the head pull our of the kite, and we lost yet more time getting it back aboard before carrying on to the finish line under main & screacher … a disappointing day after Sturday’s good run, but better luck next year!

MORE TO COME