The view from the tower…

Saturday June 22 dawned with the forecast blue skies materialising, moderate winds, no rain and not too cold. A perfect day for manning the safety boat on Lysterfield Lake as demand for our services would be low.  Unfortunately, Andrew’s sore back put paid to that plan. Jarrod Zander quickly volunteered to fulfill Andrew’s duties on the safety boat with Lachlan, which is how I came to be doing my first ever OOD duty up in the tower. On the plus side, you get a fabulous view of our beautiful lake, on the other side of the ledger there’s little time available to enjoy it. It’s down to the OOD to log all the finish times while checking that all boats follow the designated course.

The excellent sailing conditions led to ten boats preparing to race on the shore while Glen patiently explained the many duties of the OOD to this tyro.

The start went well with Antony quickly piloting his trusty Aero into a commanding position at the front of the fleet, which he never relinquished. Simon and Rachel set off in hot pursuit in their Tasar, but Antony’s reading of Lysterfield’s quirky winds ensured his ultimate victory. Meanwhile, Luke’s catamaran had a problem (a broken tiller extension) but after a quick pit stop, he returned to the fray, making the start, then reeling in much of the fleet, and ultimately winning the Div 1 category!

Meanwhile behind Antony’s Aero there were some interesting tactical battles between Steve and Glen in their Lasers (line honours went to Glen) and Herman and Jarrod in their Impulses with Herman winning that tussle.

Honourable mentions are due to Allan in his Moth who started near the front but slipped a little as the quirky winds were a little unkind to the lightest (and most beautiful boat) on the water. It was also good to see the father and daughter team of Leslie and Bec extract every ounce of performance from a school Pacer (no easy task) to take fourth place on handicap.

And that brings me to Dalton’s Contender – the fastest boat in the fleet and a joy to watch for the first four laps as Dalton danced in and out on the trapeze. Up til this point, my tower duties had been performed flawlessly (perhaps adequately might be the more appropriate adverb) until I saw the Contender setting off on fifth lap without crossing the finish line.  Had I stuffed up and miscounted the number of laps or had Dalton confused a five for a four.  A quick conversation with the safety boat confirmed Dalton’s numeracy to be the problem and all was good in the tower once more.

If you’ve never done a tower duty, you should give it a go. Your rewards are a stunning view over our beautiful lake, some insight into our notoriously capricious winds, and the satisfaction of a job well done (hopefully).  All you need is a detailed explanation of the duties from an old hand like Glen, and no numeracy lapses from the competitors.