Somers YC is situated in a coastal bush setting on the shores of Western Port Bay in Victoria. Ample parking & rigging areas are surrounded by Ti-tree, Banksias & Manna gums. Koalas & other wild life are often sighted at the club. The clubhouse faces south to Bass Strait & in the distance the ocean swell can be seen breaking at ‘The Nobbies’ on the tip of Phillip Island. The sailing area is protected by a massive sand bank that runs along the shipping channel on the SE side of the bay. During registration on Saturday morning Laser sailors were greeted by a pod of local dolphins not more than 10 metres from shore feeding on the incoming tide.
Somers has great catering. Over lunch old acquaintances were reestablished. Laser GM Tony ‘chucky’ McPhail was spotted on the deck chatting to 1987 World Champion Stuart Wallace. Is Stu thinking about a comeback?
The first of two races was scheduled for 2.30 pm & 78 Lasers left the beach assisted by plenty of helpers to handle the dollies. The wind was a perfect 8-10 knots 190 degrees which built to 14 knots during the second race. It soon became obvious that the unusually strong 3 metre tide running over the course would influence the racing. Which way should I go & where to start?
The boats that went hard left after the start smashed it leaving boats out on the starboard lay line doing multiple tacks to get around the weather mark. Some hit the mark & Lasers doing turns was a common sight. The tide was still running hard for the second race however at least some of the fleet had learned their lesson!
After racing the bar was in full swing with free dips & snacks for everyone to enjoy. The Saturday night dinner was a great success with a choice of 3 different Pastas followed by chock top ice creams. Somers club members were mingling with the Laser sailors & making sure everyone had a good time. The volunteering spirit is alive and well at Somers!
Day two was pretty much a rerun of day one weather wise & still a strong tide running. The fleet was noticeably more comfortable with the tide & some sailors were making good gains working the shifts up the middle of the course. Four races down & an early start tomorrow so most sailors were happy to have a quiet night & retire early.
On arrival at the club on Monday morning sailors were greeted with an 18knot, 180 degree breeze. Smiling faces on the heavier guys. The tide was low & easier to handle & the races were conducted without incident. The fleet was off the water by about 1.30 pm & greeted with hamburgers served by the Somers volunteers.
Presentation got away on time. As mark of respect to the organisation & the camaraderie at this regatta I think every sailor attended the presentation which unfortunately is not always the case. The Laser cubes & other prizes were awarded with a good spread of winners across men & women, girls & boys & the 3 Laser rigs. Victorian country clubs & interstate sailors also featured in the Laser cube winners.
Finally we should thank Andy Griffin & the other car & trailer parking marshals who did such a good job on our arrival. Chris Caldecoat from PSA who brought the dealer support van down from NSW & provided sailors with spares & advice. PRO Mark Graham & shore RO Tim Rintoul for doing a fine job of race management. A huge thanks to Rear Commodore Amanda Nutting who was everywhere organising everything and Peter Merritt from the VLA who coordinates our regattas with the host clubs.