The wind forecast for Race 5 of the Batemans Bay Sailing Club – Winter Series was depressing to keen yachties – only one or two knots at best. This forecast reduced the number of starters to five.
Over the past month race day has either been next to no wind or a gale force. However, by the start of this race a light wind of about 7 knots arrived from the North West then shifted to the East for the remainder of the race enabling the fleet to sail the course within the time limit. This was totally different to the previous race when there was no wind at the start resulting in a “did not finish” for all eight yachts. The vagaries of sailing conditions !
The Course sailed started at Caseys Beach then north to Chain Bay, south to Wimbie Beach , north west to Square Head then finishing at Caseys Beach. The average time taken for this course was about three hours ( where else would you want to be ?). The Bay was now enticing with smooth waters, sunshine and the usual marine life – seals and dolphins. But this race was different – a whale joined the fleet off Chain Bay where on the beach about a hundred spectators gathered. The sailing gods were with us …another magic day on the Bay.
The horn blast at 1pm saw “Eirene “ the 37 ft Hanse design cross the line with Herman Karsten at the wheel . Herman and wife Antoinette are new but keen crew who keep skipper John McCloskey on course ( not under usual cruise mode).These races have different starting times for the individual yachts based on handicap determinations. Next to start was Mel and Col Stone’s “Charlie Barr 111” followed by “Ghoster” a Farr 9.2 with Dion Perrins at the helm and ably crewed by Kathie Blandley.
Rounding the first mark in Chain Bay there was a new leader with “Ghoster” overtaking the Bavaria 33 “Charlie Barr 111 “ and then “Eirene”. Gaining on the last two boats were the back markers “North Star” and “Xanthia”.
The spinnaker/gennaker flown leg to Wimbie Beach saw “Ghoster” maintain her lead with “North Star” settling into second place and “Xanthia” with her new carbon sails glistening in the sun and spreading a dark shadow over the yachts passed, taking third position. These positions were held to the finishing line at Caseys Beach .
The sailing conditions turned out far better than first forecasted and all crew gathered afterwards at JJs at the Marina – sponsor of each of the races. “Ghoster” received the winner’s gift voucher, a deserved winner .
Next race is on 7 July with a pre-race briefing at the Batemans Bay Marina at 10am. The following races are on 21 July and 4 August.
If you would like to crew please attend the briefing when a position will be allocated on a boat if available. Visiting skippers are most welcome to join the race.
For further details regarding the Club please go to www.bbsc.org.au . Winter Series “ Sailing the Bay” information is also on the Notice Board at the Marina.