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June 10, 2009 Wednesday Night RTB begins with a bang!

posted Jun 13, 2009, 9:37 AM by Vidas Stukas
The Thunderbird juggernaut created quite the impact on Wednesday night sailing, with the 'Birds starting with the Martins, Moore's, etc.  First off, a Martin narrowly escaped being crushed between Leprechaun and Hocus in the prestart manoeuvres.  However, neither 'Bird really saw each other, and Hocus took the brunt of the broadside.  As a testament to the indestructible Booth Bird, the damage - which sounded horrendously loud from our perspective some hundred feet away - amounted to relatively minor gelcoat damage on both and a bent jib track&winch island on Hocus.  Considering the force behind boats moving in a 12 knot Westerly, this has to be a sound testimonial.  I've seen other classes come out with major holes under similar circumstances.
The juggernaut continued in a different fashion throughout the race.  Owl and Scooter got off to good starts, with Owl playing shifts in the centre and right of the course in the dying flood, while Scooter opted for the flood tide relief strategy by going in to Cattle Point.  Owl rounded the weather mark a boatlength behind the lead Pocket Rocket and ahead of the Moores and Martins.  "Curse those 'Birds" was a likely thought.  Owl maintained that position, but watched to their dismay as Scooter had gybed early to take advantage of a puff rolling down the middle.  The Moores, Martins and J-24s had run off to the right with Owl protecting the inside position at the leeward mark.  The third place Moore then found out just how difficult it was to try to pass a 'Bird in full flight going up the beat.  Oxygen masks would have helped. On the last run, they ran off again hard to the right on the run looking for favourable flood, only to find that Owl had run deep and hard, pipping them at the leeward mark.  To top it off, Scooter came in to join the fray with the J-24s at the leeward mark congestion.  Owl finished second boat home behind the Pocket Rocket and ahead of the Moore, Martins and J-24s.  "Curse those 'Birds!!  What is their rating?!"
Unbiassed report by Vidas, Owl 642.