Expensive yacht race!

Expensive yacht race!

The other night the usual Wednesday night yacht racing coincided with a big SW wind. I fancied my chances of catching some good action shots, so took up a position where I had a good view, about 100m along the road from our house. Well I wasn’t disappointed. Here is one of the shots, but there was much more to come:

The wind was so strong that one of the yachts lost its mast.

Shortly after the collision

At my Rotary meeting the following night, I got the real story from a skipper who was immediately behind these two. What I thought was a simple dismasting was something very much more serious. Two boats had collided in a classic port/starboard incident. The boat on port tack had tried to bear away, but was not able to dump the main sufficiently quickly and hit the starboard boat (9113) at speed. Its bow was buried deep in 9113’s side and the impact brought down its mast. The first pic taken shortly after the collision shows the two still firmly stuck together.

Expensive collision

This second shot was taken a minute or so later when crew were trying to extract the bow, pulpit, etc from inside 9113’s hull.  Unfortunately 9113 is a 37′ boat of quite advanced construction materials and so the repair bills will likely run into $20-30k, maybe a lot more.

Fortunately no one was hurt and I would imagine it would be a very clear-cut case for the insurance companies.

The leaders raced on, oblivious. I like this shot as they ran down past the iconic lighthouse on Nelson’s Boulder Bank.

Nelson's Boulder Bank

For the photography buffs: I was using a 300mm lens with a 1.4x tele-converter, giving me more than 600mm in equivalent film terms. I had the camera on solid tripod, weighed down with a heavy bean bag.  The wind however was buffeting me so much that in the end I gave up and placed the bean bag on the (very solid) top rail of a fence and used my spread legs as a human tripod.  That worked really well.

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