The Bay was at its brilliant best last Saturday for the start of the Sailing the Bay winter series. The fleet had a perfect 22 degrees day with a light but increasing N/E breeze that settled to a constant wind range 6-13 knots for the 7 yachts , including “Simi” which shadowed the fleet.
The course for the first race of the 8 race series started and finished at Casey’s Beach with rounding marks at Chain Bay, Whimbie Beach and Square Head.
Skippers and crew enjoyed the sailing conditions which also attracted a spectator pod of dolphins. Could it get better ?
First away in this Handicap start race was the Magnum 28 “True North” crewed by Steve, Donna and Dave. Unfortunately they started in the lightest breeze of the day which enable the the later starts in an increasing breeze to haul them in before the Whimbie Beach mark.
The leg from Chain Bay to Whimbie Beach saw the yachts hoist an array of colourful spinnakers and genakers. The ‘swoosh’ of the enormous genaker on the 45 foot “Xanthia “ was its way of laying down the gauntlet to the others in challenging for first place. “Xanthia” skippered by James Gardiner plus 4 crew took the lead from “North Star” a Northshore 310 ( with John, Steve and Sara aboard) and the positions were held to the finish.
The black spinnaker of “Ghoster” – a Farr9.2 ( crewed by Dion, Kathie and Steve) was holding on to 3rd position after overtaking “True North”” which was looking for a stronger breeze towards Toll Gates. John McCloskey’s “Eirene “ a 37 foot Hanse with new crew Phil was at the end of the fleet enjoying the race without the use of a spinnaker.
A close tussel was unfolding between a faster Adams 10.5 “Attitude” ( crewed by Patrice, Damian, John P and Simon) and “Ghoster”. Racing at close quarters over the last 2 legs of the course near the rocks of Snapper Island to Square Head where “Attidude” gave “Ghoster “a reprieve. It had to recover from going around the port mark the wrong way. However they hauled in “Ghoster “ just before the finish.
The final placings were : “1 Xanthia; 2 North Star ; 3 Attitude ; 4 Ghoster; 5 True North; 6 Eirene”.
Next race is on 19 May with 2 additional entrants – Horizon (a Cavalier 26) and Charlie Barr 3 ( a Bavaria 33). A pre-race briefing will be held at JJs – The Shack at the Batemans Bay Marina at 10am.
People who would like to crew are to attend this briefing when a position will be allocated on a boat if available.
Boat entry for a single race is available and visiting skippers and crew are most welcome .