Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brian Calvert Memorial Trophy Race 10th October 2009

Even those of us who did not know Brian Calvert personally find something of his spirit still lingering at the Tingira Boat Club.

Everyone tells us what a wonderful man he was and what a great friend.

Every year we take to our sail boats to race in the Brian Calvert Memorial Trophy, a race in commemoration of a wonderful man and an ex Commodore of the Club

This year our Race Coordinator was Brian Sutton in his trusty Whimaway.

Brian and Robert had the unenviable task of setting the buoy for the second mark far over towards Stradbroke in very lumpy seas and a growing swell. It looks very sunny and calm out there but believe me, it wasn't ... and it was going to get worse, much worse!!

This year we had few entries ... many Club members were away, either overseas or interstate and we just don't seem to be able to attract entries from the mainland, no matter how hard we try. Our Sailing Master Guy Hickey had contacted every Club in Moreton Bay, to no avail.
Most of us gathered at anchor off Dalpura to collect crew and to have that last minute coffee or tea before starting our engines and heading out towards the start line.

We motored/sailed Bonnington up the passage between Macleay and Garden Island with Peter Lawson and then collected Peter Deane from the mainland at Dalpura.
It seemed most people were doing the same thing and dinghies were busy going to and from the beach.

Ruth's son Vince joined us on Bonnington for his first experience of sailing and pronounced it a wonderful experience.

To our port was Cheetah, a 36' catamaran owned and skippered by Bob Sampson. He and Phil had been up since dawn trying to get a new halyard on the mainsail.

Judy always claims that this is the party boat and it certainly seemed to win on that score.

They had a large number of club members on board ready to set sail.

Colin on Tycho Brahe was assisted by Chris Wheeler as crew. He rowed over to see us for a chat before heading to the beach to pick up Chris.

I've often wondered .... does he use oars because his name is Rowe?

We spotted the tiny Anna heading past Dalpura, ably skippered by Ken Dempsey, a past winner.
Ken was having none of this woosy anchoring ... he steamed up past the start boat and had a quick practice sail before the race started.

But soon we were all dropping our moorings and hoisting our sails, making ready for the starting line.

As we sailed out from Dalpura, we had Ted Galloway on Ayesha to starboard, with one of his mates and Club member Guy Le Plastrier on board.
We all sailed around for the ten minutes or so before the race started, watching for the 5 minute red flag, the two minute second red flag and the dropping of both to signify the race start.

For the first time, our newly completed Pontoon was available as the Start Boat.

Commodore Barry Jamieson and Margaret Calvert were on board, with Robert and Judy Smith.

As we passed the start line, they raised a lusty cheer and yes, we heard the bugle blow!

Ken Dempsey showed his vast experience by stealing the start from Ted Galloway.

Tycho Brahe crossed the line third , closely followed by Bonnington skippered by Sailing Master Guy Hickey with Peter Deane, Peter Lawson and Alene Ivey as crew.
Not forgetting an enthralled Vince on board!!! I think we have a sailing convert!!

Party boat Cheetah brought up the rear.

On the first leg, the two smallest boats led by a wide margin, whilst Bonnington managed to round the first mark slightly ahead of Tycho Brahe.

On the second leg, it seemed that Cheetah was catching Tycho Brahe whilst Bonnington made for the second mark in very heavy seas. Anna and Ayesha went slightly too far north which enabled Bonnington to catch up slightly.

The second mark, an orange buoy, was almost impossible to detect. In fact, I hear that Ayesha didn't actually see it but they had rounded it. Bonnington saw the buoy as they sailed south ... they could have cut 50 metres off their route had they spotted it earlier.

Around this stage, things were getting very heavy out in the bay. On Bonnington, we could see Ayesha steaming for home and Ken's Anna following us round the mark but Tycho Brahe was still over at Peel and we could see no sign of Cheetah's sails.

We finally spotted Cheetah limping for home on engines and advised the Race Coordinator. Then Judy's voice came over the radio advising that they had rudder problems and had retired and were cutting across the course to return home.
Finally, we all sailed (or limped) over the line and another race had been won ... and lost.
Congratulations to Ted and his crew on Ayesha for taking Line Honours.
The winner of the Race on handicap will be announced at the Brian Calvert Memorial Dinner next Saturday 17th October.
I think a special mention has to be made of Ken Dempsey in Anna. Sailing single handed in heavy seas such as we experienced shows what a mighty sailor he is. And not young either .... I believe he is well into his seventies.

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