Brown the lone survivor in gusty conditions

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Mary Maitland with a skeleton crew and skeleton sails wins easily in the final race of 2019.
Camera IconMary Maitland with a skeleton crew and skeleton sails wins easily in the final race of 2019. Credit: Des Beeck

Veteran Princess Royal Sailing Club division 2 skipper Stephen Brown displayed his mastery of the strong gusty conditions to end up the lone survivor of last Saturday’s windy affair, when five other boats failed to complete their course.

The howling easterly was at its worst with a steady 32 knots and gusts up to 34.

Two division 1 yachts were tardy starters with Murray Deere, in Wild One, beginning several minutes ahead of Murray Howson, in Sitting Bull, in their King George Sound race.

Deere, who was still leading coming back into the harbour, could not contact Howson by radio, suggesting a shortened course, so retired from the race not knowing that Howson so far behind had the same idea.

Division 2 opted to sail a harbour course rather than a King George Sound race.

Geoff Oliver began well with Excitabull but sailed an incorrect course. Josh Hughes, in Joker, and Brown, in Mary Maitland, were evenly matched and slugging it out.

Karen Timmins, in Grey Moose, had problems with reefing the main sail and missed the start and then found the going too tough as she and her crew had not experienced such winds and retired.

Joker and Mary Maitland were still locked together until Hughes hoisted a spinnaker and it looked all over for Brown as he was sailing jib and main (JAM).

However, Joker had a nasty stuff-up with her sails and lost so much time to Brown that it was another retirement.

Brown was now the only skipper left on the water and the start box crew invoked the mercy clause and shortened the course.

This is the second occasion this season that Brown has been the sole survivor in a race.

PRSC racing is on a break, resuming on January 11.

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