Saturday’s race saw the Crews’ Union take control of the Yenda Lee with Spencer McKay, Oliver Cooke and Rowan Hughes, crews all without skippers, debuting on the race course sailing 3 up. The conditions were perfect for these crews to take over the steering with a light SE/E breeze blowing. Other boats to head out were Spiegel with Tony Mandl (honorary Crews’ Union member on account of sailing one-up), Jazze with Cam and Stirling McKay and Wave Catcher with Cullen and James Hughes.
Gavin Cooke took the afternoon off to sail 16 foot skiffs and the Raftesath family sent their apologies.
The start saw Jazze taking the boat end with Wave Catcher just to leeward. Yenda Lee and Spiegel were spread out further along the line. Wave Catcher tried to squeeze out Jazze off the line but was unable to close the gap to windward with Jazze showing exceptional height up the first beat.
The Yenda Lee team, in their first Mirror race, were hanging in well and having a good tussle with Spiegel.
Jazze was first to the top mark while Wave Catcher was first to the other top mark. Wave Catcher then realised they were at the wrong top mark and arrived at the correct top mark at the same time as Yenda Lee and Spiegel. The fleet remained in close contact on the following spinnaker legs with Wave Catcher having trouble at the gybe mark when a knot formed and then pulled tight in the spinnaker pole launcher.
Up the next leg the fleet spread out a bit but Wave Catcher and Jazze circled up with Yenda Lee and Spiegel half way up the leg to keep the racing close. Wave Catcher picked a couple of windshifts near the top mark and led into the final spinnaker leg with a small gap back to Jazze, Yenda Lee and Spiegel which is how the fleet rounded the bottom mark for the last time. The beat to the finish saw Wave Catcher maintain the lead however Jazze’s skipper came under pressure from the Crews’ Union representative on board which let Yenda Lee through into second. Jazze then crossed the line followed by Spiegel.
It was an enjoyable and successful first outing for the Crews’ Union boat and we hope to have them steering again in future races.