Knowing how Smacky just loves a good BFS, and knowing he isn't going to get one from TDW, a few hardy souls competed in the Festival of Sails event held in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, over this last weekend.
For most people the event starts with the Melbourne-Geelong race to the main Regatta venue. This year the short, choppy 6-9ft seas and wind gusts in excess of 30 knots wind pretty-much right on the nose made the trip rather uncomfortable.
My only involvement was crewing for some friends on their S&S30, although I missed the Melbourne-Geelong race due to prior committments at work. Here's the write-up of their experience in that race: Sail-World.com : Festival of Sails - Better late than never It took my friends nearly nine hours to make the 36nm trip. Out of 230-something starters, six were dismasted and a goodly number withdrew with damage.
About half way down, one of four(!) bilge pumps shorted out and filled the cabin with smoke. They might have had a fire on their hands if it weren't for the fact there was too much water down below for a fire to start. They were still drying the boat out when I arrived next morning for Race #2. Since the only other boat in their division withdrew from the race and decided not to race again, we won the series easily - by default.
Races like this are good news for the local riggers..