Reverie at Lincoln Race Week

(Written by Past Commodore Alan Woodward, on the sail back from South Australia)
Congratulations to Alan Woodward and crew aboard Reverie, who sailed exceptionally well at Lincoln Race Week. It was a difficult regatta – Alan has shared Reverie’s experiences in the article below, written when Reverie was halfway across the Spencer Gulf on the way home.

RBYC keelboat racing is going very well indeed. Cyan Moon won its division in the Sydney Hobart race. Martini Racing and Reverie have won the prestigious Lou Abrahams trophy for the Geelong passage race in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Reverie went on to 2nd place IRC and ORC in the Festival of Sails regatta.

We delivered Reverie in the second week of February to the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron, where the race crew of Adrian Fitzpatrick, Steve Maude, Nicholas Middendorp, Chris Wellman, Paul Jackson, Mark Woodland, Peter Demura, Colin Anderson, Marg Neeson, Michael Woodward and Alan Woodward joined the boat. This crew achieved a third place in the Adelaide to Lincoln passage race. Australian Sailing had awarded Port Lincoln Yacht Club the venue for the 2023 Australian Keelboat Championships, and this attracted some of Australia’s top boats and sailors including five TP52’s.

Day 1 of the regatta was a 25+ knot easterly so there was a balance between racing the boat and safety. Five minutes after the start, Summer Jewell called Mayday on channel 16. Andrew McLeod had been injured and was swept overboard. Despite rescue boats close to hand and an ambulance waiting at the dock he died. Subsequent events were called off that day. We were in shock at the loss of a fellow sailor.

Andrew McLeod’s family wanted the regatta to go on, and we did the next two races with mixed feelings, again in 25 knot easterlies. After three races we held 3rd place but off to the protest room as there was a confusion on the course for the long race. We won the protest and gained redress.

The next day was 38 degrees but with less breeze. A short race was followed by a beach BBQ. However, there was another trip to the protest room, which was a table in the shade at the beach for Meggas BBQ. Luck held and we won the protest to hold third place going into the last day, with two short races in an eighteen knot easterly. This was our best day with a win and a third to come up to second in the Australian Keelboat Championships. The winners were a brilliant young crew from Tasmania in a Melges 32, a lightweight planing keelboat sailed by Andrew Smith.

So RBYC is having a good year in racing and the RBYC crew on Reverie had a great regatta with the highs and lows that come with sailing. We think of Andrew McLeod a passionate sailor whose death emphasises the fragile grip we have on our lives.

In the final results for the Lincoln Week regatta; DIV 1 was won by Secret Men’s Business with Zen second. In DIV 2 Reverie won Performance and AMS and was second in IRC and ORC.
In the Australian Keelboat Championships; In DIV 1, Secret Men’s Business won from Zen. In DIV 2 Cockwomble won from Reverie. In DIV 3, Arc de Triumphe won from Barcardi.
That’s all from Investigator Strait.