Lipton Cup – race 3 – How the Race Unfolded

pic by Trevor Wilkins

pic by Trevor Wilkins

by SAILING Gybeset’s roving on-water reporters
The reports below have been cobbled together from all the reports posted on the SAILING Gybeset and SAILING Magazine facebook pages as the race unfolded – in real time.
Follow the next race with us tomorrow – same place.

Conditions overnight in the Cape were foul to say the least. Driving rain and generally cold weather. Early morning conditions say visibility limited in False Bay although the sea was flat with winds 20-plus knots.

The course today will be the last of the compulsory courses – the windward/leeward course. If a race is completed all the compulsory courses will have been sailed and the regatta constituted as a championship.

The forecast for the day is for westerly winds of 20 knots easing throughout the day to 15 knots. There is a 78% chance of rain.

Racing is due to start at 12h00.

A sage lesson in yacht racing protests was learnt by all last evening when a protest lodged by FBYC and UCTYC against RCYC was dismissed as the protest committee could not establish that the protesting boats had informed the RCYC of their intention to protest. The lesson is simple – be clear as to whom you hail PROTEST to – so say the boat name and make absolutely certain that they are in no doubt as to your intentions.

Our roving reporters will be on the water again sending us info, so follow the race progress on the SAILING Gybeset and Sailing Magazine facebook pages.

The trackers are the best ever used in this country for round-the cans racing, so log onto the Lipton Cup website (www.liptoncup.com) and follow the link to the trackers.

At the committee boat it is blowing 20-25 knots gusting 30. There is no rain right now and the sea is very choppy. From all accounts visibility will be poor for most of the day. And it’s cold too – so it’s going to be a tough day for all on the water- competitors officials and spectators too.

The start is scheduled for 12h00 but no confirmation of that just yet – nor any evidence of a start line.

In these conditions a decision all skippers will have to make is what headsail to carry -a no.2 or no.3. Hopefully we can bring you that info closer to the start.

Keep close to the action right here as we will bring you updates and commentary throughout the race.

The start line is in place and less than 4 minutes to go. Most boats sailing with no.2 jibs. Pin end looks favoured. FBYC is looking closely at this end. The fleet is bunched around the committee boat end.

FBYC had the best start – bang on the pin.

RCYC and ZVYC in 7th & 8th.
RNYC tacked away to get clear air and going right. Rest of fleet going left. Who will be chose correctly?

ZVYC has tacked first and is being followed by the fleet although UCTYC is still going left – what will she find?
ZVYC and RCYC in a close duel with RNYC close behind.

FBYC has serious leverage out on the left although it is too soon to tell if it will pay.
The entire fleet is heading right.

PYC has just forced RNYC to tack. RCYC leading. RCYC tacks ahead of ZVYC – so close between these two who look to be on the layline for the weather mark. Wind at the weather mark stronger than at the start.

Weather mark positions.
RCYC
ZVYC
HBYC
RNYC
FBYC
PYC

RCYC had their spinnaker immediately – no wasting time here!

UCTYC touched weather mark so had to take a penalty. That won’t please them.
Hard left also did not pay for FBYC.
The youngsters on ZVYC has had a fast downwind leg and have closed on RCYC.
Leeward mark positions:
RCYC
ZVYC
RNYC
FBYC – who have had a fast leg and pulled up.
UCTYC
PYC

It’s a bit like follow my leader from the leeward mark as all the top contenders head right.
The wind is a steady 25 knots and a bank of cloud is forming over Simonsberg. Will this bring a westerly ‘flick” Wait with us and see what unfolds.

Okay – an interesting move from FBYC who have tacked away from the procession and are going left. It did not pay up the last beat – will it pay this time?
RCYC has also tacked now, so expect the fleet to follow suit in time.

FBYC coming back into the pack now. ZVYC looks to have the lead by a whisker – but will the RCYC let her go? RCYC now coming back to ZVYC and a close pass. RCYC trying to get to the right and onto the layline for the weather mark.
Interesting stuff in the closing stages of this beat.

It appears that the Bishops boat has a serious spinnaker wrap and is need of some assistance.
RCYC has again taken the lead as the leaders close the weather mark. There is literally single digit metres that separate them – so they are having a titanic duel and pulling out on the fleet.
Roundings:
RCYC
ZVYC
RNYC
UCTYC
FBYC
HBYC
PYC

The 2 leaders are having a ding-dong battle and have over a 300m lead on 3rd. FBYC looks to be very fast and is making up for a bad first leg – let’s see if she can?
News is that Bishops is under tow although her spinnaker still balloons around the forestay.
The youngsters on the ZVYC team are sailing out of their socks and doing incredibly well – and have just overtaken RCYC – although there is not much in it. These guys are a massive find for the sport – and certainly up to duelling with the best. Keep it up guys.

Leeward mark – now starting the final loop – so 3 legs to go.
ZVYC
RCYC
RNYC
FBYC – have picked up a place.
News is that DYC were knocked flat and had to have bodies on the keel to right the boat. Scary stuff out there.
The gusts are passing through and knocking boats flat. Many boats are not using spinnakers as the gusts are over 30 knots.

Correction. UCTYC was ahead of FBYC at the last mark.

There is nothing in it between ZVYC and RCYC. The ‘old boys’ on RCYC are being tested by the youngsters who are not giving them a millimetre. These 2 are now engaging in a tacking duel – with RCYC covering them ever so tightly. The ZVYC guys need nerves of steel to counter what the wiley old guys on RCYC will throw at them.
There is another duel for 2nd and 3rd as RNYC and UCTYC slug it out and PYC and FBYC in the hunt too. It’s going to be a cracking final 2 legs once they round the weather mark.

Less than 100 metres separate 4 – 7 – being UCTYC; HBYC; PYC & FBYC.
RCYC and ZVYC still at it with RCYC now having a windward advantage of about 5 boat lengths. But ZVYC has been very fast down wind – so lets see if they can close the gap once more.
RCYC had a leisurely hoist – to ensure no mess-ups.
Mark roundings:
RCYC
ZVYC
RNYC some 500 metres behind the leader.
UCTYC
FBYC

Just after the last mark rounding it looked as if the RCYC guys turned on the after-burners as they rocketed ahead and opened a 400m lead gap – that was previously measured in single digits.
Someone is going to have to do something very special to beat these guys today as this has become a one-horse race.

Leeward mark – final time. And then on to the finish.
RCYC
ZVYC
RNYC
UCTYC
FBYC
It’s on the finish now – will these positions change? Stay with us to find out!

Disaster has struck the defenders (FBYC) as their main halyard has broken – so they are limping up the final beat under headsail alone.

Finish Positions:
1 RCYC
2 ZVYC
3 RNYC
4 UCTYC – very close between 3 & 4

This makes the overall results as follows after 3 races – but PROVISIONAL
1 RCYC 4 pts
2 ZVYC 7 pts
3 RNYC 10 pts

Well done to FBYC for persevering up the final beat with just a jib after breaking their main halyard – and all they did was drop 1 place.
There are now just 2 more races left.