Write up by Commodore Paul Pascoe
With a strong 20+ knot westerly, the annual Cerberus race was not looking like it was going to be a lot of fun with a lumpy sea, overcast skies and a cool breeze. However, the wind moderated just enough by the scheduled start time to make it a pleasant sail, and a favourable direction meant a quick race with the only true windward work in the flat waters in the lee of Williamstown.
The event is clearly a day not just for the sailors but also a leisurely day out for the volunteers. Three of us on Harry T, anchor using number 6 as the other end of the start line, and run off a start sequence with just one fleet with the finish line set by Redeemer. After a clean start the fleet headed off towards RBYC number 1 and the crew on Harry T having finished their duties for the day, the next order of business was the popping of a champagne cork about 2 minutes after the last boat crossed the start line.
The course was a quick “just cracked off” sprint to RBYC number 1, a 180 degree tack around the mark with the appropriate amount of yelling between a few boats, and then a long reach north to R4 off Station Pier. As expected, JAMHU lead the fleet around the first mark while the big cat of Peter Strain, with a very conservative start, was last around. However the reach to R4 with a solid 18 knots was perfect for the cat and she picked up her skirts and gradually reeled in the majority of the fleet by the next mark. The short work to the finish she was passed by a couple of boats, but still managed to hold on to register a PHS win by 7 seconds from Caledonia, anther boat that rates well in reaching conditions.
While backing into a pen at Royals, JAMHU managed to find a stray line in the water and with it wrapped around the rudder, the crew then drew straws and Ed, the lucky crew member, got to strip off and swim under the boat to free the line. The two Dragons managed to find a great spot to raft up, until the big new Police boat found that it couldn’t get into it’s pen due to the Dragons. There were no parking fines issued fortunately.
The clouds eventually cleared, the sun came out, and a wonderful lunch was had by all – some BBQ’d and others took advantage of the club’s catering. One by one the boats headed back to RBYC and another successful Cerberus race was done and dusted.