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19 September 2010

Sailing Zardos

I try and sail every Saturday afternoon - what does this involve?

I am a member at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, in the southern Melbourne suburbs. It is located on the coast of Port Phillip Bay, and that is also where we sail our races. I am part of a group / team of five crew who sail regularly: Alfredo, Alan, Chris and our skipper Barry are the other team members. Barry also owns Zardos, an S80 class boat. We can sail it with 3, 4 or 5 crew - 4 probably being the best configuration.

Most of our races are pursuits which involve a handicap start i.e. the fastest boats start last - these have the highest time penalty. This means that line honours typically also determine the overall placing in a race. The exception is boats which fly extras (spinaker), which are given a further time penalty, as a percentage of their overall race elapsed time - these are computed after the race, and may change the final line honour placings. Our current handicap for Saturday afternoon racing is 15 minutes - the highest that its ever been i.e. in the eyes of those that determined the handicaps, we are sailing better now than ever before. The results for the winter season are published on the RBYC web site - these include the entrants each week and their handicaps, the results of the race, and the season standings.

We are currently lying in fourth place, but only one behind the third placed boat - that will make next week's last race of the season quite exciting. There are two other S80 class boats at our club, namely San Rafael and Hot Shot - so these are the ones we like to compare ourselves against!

As I'm mostly on the boat without a camera, pictures of our sailing are in short supply, but I'll try and get a couple more to post on my flickr page.

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