Light Wind, Long Race
A crazy start and an even crazier finish saw the lightweight Red Pumps Red finish second in Manly 16ft Skiff Club’s long course pointscore race after sailing “blind” for most of last Saturday’s race.
Red Pumps Red was one of several boats which failed to reach the start line in time for the gun, forcing them to play catch-up for most of the journey and “feel” their way around the track.
Skipper Bruce Savage and new crew James Slee and Natalia Wisniewska did an excellent job under the circumstances and were in line for a remarkable victory before capsizing on the final work, allowing Imagine Signage (Nathan Wilmot) to sneak under their guard and claim a win for the second week running.
Red Pumps Red, in only its third outing together, just hung on for second from the fast-finishing Altis Consulting (Phillip Cooke) and IMEI (Hugh Stodart).
“The funny thing is we didn’t know the course. We were late for the start and didn’t get to see the course board on the back of the committee boat,” Savage explained.
“We were going around the whole course yelling out and asking everyone if anyone knew the course.
“We were actually discussing on the boat whether to let Imagine pass us because we didn’t know the course and at least we could follow them and get second rather than going to the finish line.
“If we knew that last downwind was to the finish, we would have been supremely confident.
“We would have been way more conservative on our gybing. We probably weren’t focused enough and that resulted in the swim.”
Still, second place in such a hot fleet was more than enough to put a smile on the skipper’s face.
Savage said: “It’s an old boat that we’ve revamped thanks to Greg Windust and Red Pumps and it’s just nice to know that we’ve got the speed.
“I always felt we were a bit too heavy with me and (former crew) Greg (Windust) and Jay (Harris) and I’m a bit too heavy to be a jockey.
“Back in the day I used to steer from the trapeze wire and I’m doing that again. I’m really liking the ability to see more tactically.
“It’s all sort of brand new for us and we’re stoked with that result.
“Our expectations will be higher for the rest of the season.”
Altis Consulting claimed handicap honours ahead of Employment Hero (Taylor Springett), Red Pumps Red and Bartley Construction (Dam Bromelow).
In the 13s, the Heidi Bates-skippered Harken was a clear winner from Plonk Cafe (Avril Richardson), Botany Scaffold (Sophie Hart) and Modern Concept Constructions (Ben Milham).