After six years of demanding winds and rough seas, it was a welcome change for some of the skippers to find a gentle northwest breeze of 4 to 6 knots.
This year the Garden Bay Sailing Club celebrated their 30th Malaspina Regatta, and it had been hoped that it would be well attended. But that was not to be, due to a number of skippers being away on sick leave or holiday or at work. We did have 22 boats registered for the race, and a longer course of 17 nautical miles had been set, compared to the 10 used for the last number of years.
The first leg was a tight reach out to Hospital Reef, and it was soon clear that those who had had a good start were comfortably ahead of the majority of the fleet. Flattery (Dal Brynelsen) was the first to round the mark, four minutes ahead of Raven Lunatic (Brad Lowell). The last boat rounded the mark half an hour later.
The second leg took the fleet to just NW of Akland Rock off Nelson Island. It was at this point that the Race Committee decided to shorten the course as it was unlikely that a number of the boats would finish in the five-hour time limit. This leg provided some challenges as it was not possible to make the mark on a single tack, requiring skippers to decide at what point in the leg it was optimal to tack out. Due to the current, a number of boats lost places as they went too far, allowing those who held their courses longer to overtake or gain on their leads.
The final leg had ideal conditions for flying spinnakers, or gennakers, and for a change most took advantage of it. A number of boats began close duels; the most exciting was between Peregrine (David Twentyman) and About Time (Munson McKinney) who tried hard to stop the other passing. Eventually Peregrine decided to break away and get clear air and proceeded to forge ahead to catch Frendy (Charlie Park) with whom they traded places all the way to the finish line. The final outcome of this duel was Frendy crossed the line only 23 seconds ahead of Peregrine. Conditions were so good that for once spinnakers were flown all the way around Pearson and through the mouth of the harbour to the finish. This made for a spectacular sight for those with views of the harbour.
A barbecue was held at the Legion in Madeira Park in the evening where club prizes and many door prizes were handed out. The winner of the Legion Cup, for 1st Across the Line, went to Brad Lowell in Raven Lunatic. The Power Squadron Trophy for First Overall (on corrected times) was given to Peregrine skippered by David Twentyman.
The Divisional winners were: Div. 1 Elua Makani (Sean McAllister), Div. 2 Moonspinner (Glen Broadfoot), Div. 3 Peregrine (David Twentyman) and Div. 4 to Wild Side (Lorraine Wareham and Wayne Stremel).