Looking forward to conducting my first ever role as a Race Director this weekend it is like crossing the line from the footballer to the umpire it feels a little bit weird but also quite exciting to be getting involved from the other side of the fence.
My first race is a great one to get involved in as it is the ideal race to end the winter series and to remind us of what is to come after the short spring break and we lead into summer.
There are a number of challengers that are unique in the Geelong Passage Race that add to all the different situations that can occur throughout a day on the water. The conditions will vary across the day ending perhaps with the bullets of breeze that can happen in Corio Bay but it prepares us for what to expect when we get to Geelong in January for the Festival of Sails.
The sailing down the passage into inner harbour has to be experienced to be appreciated and in the ideal conditions makes for a magnificent sight.
The hospitality in Geelong is fantastic and it is a great venue for the presentation of the winter series trophies and to have reminisced about the season that was and the season to come. It is really the first occasion of the whole series that we are able to all come together as a group of keen competitors and catch-up at the end of a hard fought season.
It is the final race of the winter series for the keel boats in all classes and the first race of a three race series for the multihulls. It also gets all of the boats down to Geelong to have a race back to Melbourne for the Women Skippers and Navigator’s Race.
The conditions for Saturday are looking like an absolute perfect spring day with the temperature in the early to mid-twenties with a light to moderate North westerly turning easterly in the afternoon.
I have always liked this race from a competitor point of view it has a variety of challenges if you get on the wrong side of the course especially in the outer harbour when the change comes through you could be looking at a fantastic race so far, turning a bit sour or then again if you are lucky enough as we were in 2011 you come screaming home. We took out line honours on Alibi and all three handicaps that year and we made sure we suffered the next day for all that victory.
If you haven’t already entered I encourage you to make the effort and get to Geelong it is well worth it and a great opportunity to have a pleasant day on the water followed by a great social gathering with friends.
See you on the course Peter Watt