Below, Martin Tang, skipper of the Alberg 30 ‘Okesa’ keeps pace with the pack. The next Rhumb Line Fun Sail is scheduled for Jan. 12, weather permitting

LMS fun race participants spirited despite low winds

By Gerry Beltgens

Proving once again that you don’t need to be sensible or a millionaire to be a sailor, the Ladysmith fleet enjoyed another relaxed sail around the freighters in Oyster Bay.

The Rhumb Line Fun Sail series for friendly competition sailed out of the Ladysmith Maritime Society Docks on Saturday November 20.

The wind immediately died once the boats crossed the start line and only “Paradigm” (John Rothwell, C&C 29) and “Stormin” (25’ built and sailed by Norm Castler) were able to negotiate the light breezes to make up a commanding lead.

It took nearly 2 hours for the rest of the fleet to negotiate the finicky 0 to 4 knot zephyrs to make the turn around the first freighter in the bay.

Non sailors may find it difficult to appreciate the excitement of coaxing a 10th of a knot (about 0.2 of a kilometre per hour) to reach 0.6 knots of boat speed and not be passed by the multitude of jellyfish.

Once around the end of the freighter the wind eddied in all directions before freshening for the leg home. The leg back took closer to 15 minutes as the wind filled in to about 12 knots from the southeast.

Paradigm and Stormin battled all the way back to the finish line with “Paradigm” crossing 4 seconds ahead of “Stormin” followed several minutes later by “Blue Moon” (Gerry Beltgens, C&C 29) then “Ka-Ching” (David Marr, Viking 28, designed by C&C) and further back “Sole Tender” (Todd Herbert, Newport 28, designed by C&C) and “Okesa” (Martin Tang, Alberg 30).

The Ladysmith fleet has become very active since Marc Pettigrew of LMS and Gerard Nachtegaele from LYC organised the First Rhumb Line race in the spring.

Sailing is fun and affordable at this level and the skippers are often looking for people who would like to learn to sail and crew.

Next race is January 12th weather permitting. Pre event meeting is 9:30 at the Welcome Centre at the LMS Marina. Contact Marc Pettigrew for more information.

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Left, C&C 29 ‘Blue Moon’ skippered by Gerry Beltgens tries to not get passed by jellyfish while sailing out towards a freighter that was the turnaround point.

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