Dougli Still The Boss Sailors.
Rob and Nicole Douglass successfully defended their respective open and ladies’ division titles at the Spiral National Championships conducted by Batemans Bay Sailing Club over 8 races from January 26th to 28th. The Spiral is a 3.8m long single handed dinghy which is popular in NSW and the ACT. A very competitive fleet of 28 boats took part. Conditions ranged from the moderate breeze on Australia Day to a fresh nor’easter on Friday to a light and variable race officer’s nightmare on Saturday. Rob showed trademark consistency across the range of conditions. He is on the heavy side for a Spiral but managed to keep the boat going very well in the lighter conditions before turning up the power when the breeze came in. Tasar legend Rick Longbottom pushed him all the way, winning three races after a lukewarm showing on the first day. BBSC’s very own Matt Craig borrowed the best performed Spiral in existence, renaming “Humbug” as “Wasted and Wounded” for the regatta. He was consistently near the front of the fleet without managing a race win. Matt finished third overall and won the masters’ division. Nicole Douglass had a couple of classy race wins in the lighter conditions to finish fourth overall and well ahead of the other four women who were competing.
Batemans Bay Sailing Club members turned out in force to run the event. Terry Paton and Roger Rowe crewed with race officer Lachlan Brown and skipper Dave Magill on the committee boat “Clarence the Clocker”. James Gardiner and Andrew Bain skippered their own power boats as race management boats during the regatta. Joining them were crew members Jono Keeling, Julie Phelps, John Reed, Lyn Hardingham, Kathy Gough and Simon Dunlop. They lifted many marks and anchors, gave (and received) tows and shepherded the often tired sailors back to the beach at the end of each day’s sailing. The Spiral sailors were universally appreciative of the efforts which the BBSC volunteers put in.”