The fleet was of a good size, for winter. 9 sports boats made the start line for Race One and 10 for Race Two.
Six Viper 640's made up the bulk of the fleet. With two new owners to the class in the last month we should see seven Vipers on the line for Race Three.
Out of the first two containers of Vipers to land in Australia, there is only one brand new boat left. (trying to keep it in WA) Container three next.
Add a T750, T7, a Shaw 650 and a R8 and it's a pretty good turnout for winter sailing.
Winter sailing in WA is not really too harsh. Temperature is about 20 °c, (68°F) It's been sunny, but unfortunately, not windy.
For some reason, obscure to all of us, the races are being handicapped under the yacht club's performance handicap system. It shares the spoils around the fleet so it's not really a problem. A simple computer calculation gives us what the Australian Sportsboat Measuring System (SMS) results would've been too.
The first heat finished with the Vipers finishing 1,2,3,4,6th on SMS. Ducks Nuts, theT750, slipped into 5th.
Heat two looked like it might have been 10 to 15 knots at the start ... but it wasn't. It dropped, and the majority of the race was sailed in 3 to 8 knots.
T 750, DucksNuts, got off to a good start and led the T7, The Fifth Seven, followed by Rod Beurteaux in Viper 640, Don't Forget Alice, and the Shaw 650, Octopussy.
The Duck'sNuts developed a couple of minute lead. The next three boats had a good tussle for the next hour before the T7 dropped back. The Viper was pacing its bigger rivals upwind and sailing deeper, better lanes downwind to offset the other boat's larger sail areas. It was only seconds separating Octopussy and Alice for the remainder of the race.
In the end, over the line, the T750 finished about 3minutes ahead of the Shaw 650,which was about twenty seconds ahead of Beuarteaux's Viper.
On a calculation on what the results would have been under SMS, Dont Forget Alice finished 4 and 1/2 minutes ahead of Octopussy and then Viper, Viper,Viper, R8, T750, Viper, T7
Race Three is on the 17th June with a 7 – 8 knot breeze expected.
Just heard the news the Vipers now have an East coast rep. Great news for sportsboat racing in Australia.