The Round the Isles is the early season (June is early for the Old Guys) Opener race that explores the islands, rocks and waters of Long Harbour. It is not unusual to have to portage over some of the drier bits and maybe even do some crabbing along the way. The winner claims the Ballantyne on the Rocks Perpetual Trophy. You need to hear the story about Jim Ballantyne’s unfortunate navigation error at Dodds Narrows. Jim Ballantyne (1929-2014) was the Commodore’s father, a legend of Scott Point, and the inspiration behind this make-shift club.
Allan Strain Survives to Win the 2018 Opener
The opening event of the 2018 season sailed on Saturday, June 16, 2018. The fleet of 12 lasers and 2 big boats (actually a Lightning and a Flying 15) survived highly changeable Westerly winds, an ankle deep portage across the Fishermans Island sandbar (with a few barnacly rocks), and total calms at Surge Rock. A large number of capsizes and even one abandoned boat were testament to the challenges.
Race 1 had a SPOG first- a downwind start with no one quite sure what to do. Then the portage had sailors who had right-of-way when you are out of the boat and pulling and left a few with cut feet. Just when it seems to settle down, the upwind mark is surrounded by total calm causing a total re-start. Then the westerly gusts started rolling in playing havoc with efforts to keep mast point to the up and daggerboard pointing down.
After an exhausting hour and a bit, the RC (ably handled by PC Bradbrooke and his trusty assistant Ian Tacy) evoked the mercy rule and stopped the race after one lap.
After beer and Advil, a more reasonable course was set into the gusty conditions. While the CFL’s perfect start had a few people thinking “over early” the RC dutifully noted the SPOG rules about cheating needing to be extreme before being called.
The gusts took the their toll with Chris Sanderson and Brian Woodward orchestrating perfect side-by-side simultaneous capsizes and the looming presence of our new mark-set boat resulted in a few free character references.
With only 8 of 12 managing to finish, the rescue boat with Andrea Bayley and Ace Kavanaugh were kept busy. And the piece de resistance was the downwind photo finish with Bill Cote’s Lightning pipping Martin Herbert’s Flying 15 at the line.
Allan Strain handled the many challenges with aplomb racking two bullets and taking the Ballantyne on the Rocks Trophy. Allan Sturgess kept his nose clean for a 5 and 2 and second place. And clearly Steve Whilte has learned to gybe in heavier winds as he went error free for a 3 and 6 and ended in 3rd place. With 2 wins Bill Cote’s Revenuer adds another Lantern Trophy win to his collection.