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Cat Classic & Race 2 Summer Series

posted Jan 27, 2011, 3:29 AM by Mark Tobin
The inaugural Cat Classic sponsored by Dolphin Watch Cruises and The Huski Bottleshop kicked off this year with 5 boats entered.  The race planned to be an annual event was run in conjunction with Race 2 of the Summer Series sponsored by Paperbark Camp.  With a light wind start the cats got away first with the other yachts and boats starting shortly after only to find themselves all stuck together as the wind dropped out.  Sassy sailed by John Lawrence pulled the pin early and went for a swim and BBQ before heading home.  The light wind specialist Tony Byrnes on Arabesque clawed his way to the front of the fleet with a bold move out into the middle of the bay only to have the wind change and drop out and have the rest of the fleet sail past him.  The fickle winds blowing from the southeast and northeast seemingly at the same time, only metres apart in places, saw amazing changes in the lead with just about every boat having a turn.  Robbo and Rhett on Couta Tah, seen fixing their motor at the wharf before the race, appeared to have the gods with them when they came from behind at one point sailing between other boats stalled without wind to take the lead, insisting the motor played no part in the move.  The wind gusting in patches all over the course brought the entire fleet together off Long Beach with nearly every boat within an area of about 500 metres.  The breeze finally strengthened from the northeast, overriding the southerly which saw a gaggle of boats hit the top mark at Long Nose Point together before a sprint across the bay.  Brian Saunders in Sea Change led the way only to be overhauled by Wahoo, Cougar and the other cats before the end of the race.  Manyana, a Seawind 1160 that had travelled from Port Hacking, was first of the cats home with Al Leach on Tranquility taking the trophy for the race.  There were prizes for all the catamarans with the Cat Classic declared a success in its first year.  Terry Ford’s Jouissance and Macca’s Sundowner took out the Div 1 & Div 2 races respectively.  A total of 20 boats raced on the day.