Well not much to write home about with this race! Yet another DNF (Did Not Finish) with the Admiral on board 😦
It was just the Admiral and I aboard again. We changed our usual travel arrangements and decided that as it was just the two of us we would not take out accomodation at Captains Cove but rather stay on the boat. We launched at Paynesville on the Friday and spent that night at Loch Sport for the traditional Canberra YC gathering at the Loch Sport Hotel. On Saturday we headed up to Marlay. We had a good start in blustery conditions, with the wind the nose, and a bit of rain – so we put one reef in and then headed off!
We quickly shook the reef out and made it to the straits in great time however during one of the tacks up the straits we hit a log or submerged tree root, that was very close to the river bank. The swing keel came up with a crash and then swung down with just as much force, however everything seemed fine (we weren’t sinking!) so we kept sailing on.
Coming out of Hollands Landing we soon realised that when the keel had risen up, the keel wire that controls it, had snapped as the keel fell back down. The end result was that the keel had swung forward of the vertical and was now hanging forward at about 50 degrees – not conducive to good sailing and it also increased out draught. When we went aground later we couldn’t get the keep up or sail the boat forward or back, “over” the keel. After trying to kedge the boat off the shallows out of Hollands Landing, me hanging off the boom, or in the water trying to push the boat off, we eventually started the engine and even then it took a very long time to get clear under full power. The increased draught of the boat with the keel hanging forward was a real issue.
Once we were off, I had another cold midnight swim, where I was finally able to get a line under the hull, and with both of us walking it back on both sides we were able to get the keel up. Having used the motor were were no longer eligible to race, so it was time to retire!
The Admiral retired for a well earned rest inside the cabin while I motored back to Paynesville arriving in the fog before dawn to retrieve the boat and get in onto the trailer (with difficulty). We then headed home.