As the race neared its end, I moved from the jetty to the finish line.
I looked along the riverbank and spotted someone enjoying a different version of the river life. One which predates the arrival of sail on the Swan.
Looking down, I was struck by the water’s edge which changed with every small wave break.
Looking up I was able to capture the moment of victory. Just before I jumped out of my skin as the finish horn “BLAAAPPPED” behind me.
As the fleet passed through the finish line, they prepared to leave the water and wash down their boats, prior to the post-race boastings.
They will be back again next week, weather permitting, and they will do it all again.
For teh spectator, there are long gaps in watching a sailboat race.
Although, with a camera in hand there is never a moment wasted.
There are always challenges and unusual angles to find as well as surroundings to frame.
I happened to glance down at the jetty I was standing on and was struck by the different surfaces on which I was standing. Thirty, fifty maybe even eighty years worth of old and new wooden planks. With the river glinting between. I was also struck by the different screws and bolts used as fasteners.
The water was always changing and I am fascinated by the shape of the waves left in the wake of the larger power boats. These had passed me and were heading for shore.
Then I wondered about what was underneath the jetty, so I walked back to the shore and looked. The reeds made a great reflection in this sheltered little space.
All the while, I was keeping an eye on the racing and they were getting closer to the finish with their second-last turn, back into the now very strong sea gale. This was the middle of the fleet and some were having difficulties.
As I mentioned in the previous post on this subject, the sea breeze was beginning to blow.
It became stronger; the more the afternoon wore on, the harder the breeze blew until it was close to 20-25 knots.
For some of the competitors it became a real challenge!
Lasers seem to be fairly easy to right after a slight miscalculation.
For others, in the mirror-class fleet, the downwind legs were sheer fun. Tiny spinnakers proudly set and skimming across the waves on their return from Windan Bridge.
Standing at the end of a jetty waiting for other people to start doing things, like racing yachts, can be a little boring. But only if you don’t look around.
I spotted this juvenile Crested Tern sitting on one of the posts. A Crested Tern because of its yellow beak and a juvenile because of its mottled colouration. The young of all gulls have mottled plumage.
Anyway, enough of this education thing. My friend was obviously a little tired as I was allowed within about a metre. The tern seemed quite comfortable as I sidled closer and closer and even when I bobbed down to get this shot, it was quite unconcerned. A little later another juvenile flew over and they had a short conversation in passing.
Eventually my friend had to leave and flew off looking for an afternoon snack.
All the while, the sea breeze was strengthening and the yachts were working their way into the wind.
I spent yesterday afternoon wandering around the Mayland’s Yacht Club. Watching a race and getting sunburnt.
Naturally I had my trusty Pentax with me and I was able to take a few shots of, not only the boats, but also a number of other sights which caught my eye.
So this week I will be posting images from two sources. Sculpture by the Sea you have already been introduced to and now the first from my Maylands visit.
I found a “Mirror” class yacht just going with the breeze. The crew just lazing, playing with the water.
After an hour of preparation on shore, the rest of the fleet was ready to hit the water for the start of the race.
About half a dozen “Mirrors” and a whole lot more single-manned “Laser” yachts were entering the river. Just as a light sea breeze was beginning to blow.
Watching a yacht race can be like watching grass grow for the spectators so not all of the images in this series will be of people mucking around in boats.
Tomorrow I will be showing off an unexpected friend.