The biggest grudge match on Port Phillip Bay is held in early May each year. It is the keelboat event sailed over four windward/leeward races between multiple teams on IRC and AMS. The pointscore calculation is quite involved and beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. Suffice to say that to win you need 12 boats sailed very competitively and you really are racing the clock and your closest opposisition boat.
The only two clubs that can field 12 competitive boats each are Sandringham Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. SYC had some great boats with new Mumm 30’s, the new Grand Prix IRC boat Flirt which looked fantastic and the regular performers in Challenge, Young Lion etc. RYCV had Living Doll a Grand Prix 50 which always performs well, the new RP Chutzpah and a string of fast 9.5 metre boats including the Hick 31’s Toecutter, Godzilla, and Wake and the Adams 10’s Executive Decision and Top Gun and the Ross Serifa 11. It was this team selection of a range of well sailed boats that could perform well in light and medium breezes across the handicaps that proved the winning formula. I was helming the Hick 31 Godzilla and we had the legendary sailmaker and international sailor from the Doyle Fraser loft Col Anderson on board which certainly assists those trim questions you have. We had great races against the Archie 35 Absolut. It still beats me how a 35 foot boat with masthead kites rates lower than a 31 foot boat with 3/4 spinnakers. But that is the IRC and that is why I sail one design every other day. In the end RYCV retained the Association Cup (which dates back to 1906) by a fair margin. Congratulations to all the other boats in our team and thanks to the owners Andrew, Duncan, Pete and Tom for the chance to helm their awesome racer again.