Salt Spring Island Sailing club Bas Cobanli Race

Another fabulous Sunday in April was Salt Spring Island Sailing Club’s annual Bas Cobanli Memorial Trophy Race. At the skipper’s meeting, Roger Kibble gave us a brief account of Bas and his boat Haereticus. Roger said he was a very competitive racer who always gave his all. In his honour we raced today.
The race had to be delayed 30 minutes because of lack of wind but then it came up and we where off. Our club starter, the stalwart Jim Ballantyne, called Greg Slakov’s boat IMP (Martin 241) for being over the start line early. Roger Kibble & Peter Toby in ELECTRA (Aphrodite 101) had a great start by being at the right side of the line, and managed to make it out of the harbour on one tack.
The race was to be around Ben Mohr Rock near Galiano Island and then clockwise around Prevost island, but as the fleet was tacking through Captain’s Passage off of Nose Point, the radio crackled with news from the lead boat, JJ FLASH (J 39). It was the skipper, Stuart Farson, saying that we needed to shorten the race because of lack of wind ahead. Well, radio communication can always be funny to listen to; you seem to get a lot half sentences with strange references. Such as “We are at Ben Mohr Rock and it is very smelly …. the cormorants…..What …..Roger over and out….Change course… acknowledge all…change course back acknowledge…Where are we going?… over…” It was like the old skit “Who is on First?“

After the radio chatter calmed down the wind picked up and we where off on the original course. The questions is, did the radio waves create the wind? Actually, almost all the boats where off; for some reason the wind gods where frowning on ALACRITY (C&C 35 mark 11) and poor Bob, Patrice and Rick sat and watched the fleet sail away. My cruel skipper June wanted to go on the radio and ask Bob if he could take some pictures of the sterns (rear ends) of our nine boat fleet.
TINKER, SAORSA and ALACRITY fought it out at the back of the fleet, while ARBITRAGE (C&C 37R) and STRAWBERRY EXPRESS Kirby 30 went neck and neck on the south side of Prevost Island. Then it was a long leisurely spinnaker run home. It was another great day for a race. It was nice to see Tony Burridge and crew in TINKER come into the harbour with two headsails and mainsail flying. Despite being near the back of the fleet, they had a brilliant race, and won on corrected time. One more race note; Art Munneke was back from the Caribbean and racing on his old “party boat” FANDANGO.
By Scott Simmons

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