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Close competition in light winds as the JBCYC Spring Series wraps up

posted Nov 27, 2019, 1:36 AM by David Churchward

The Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club ran the final race of its Mountain Ridge Wines Spring Racing Series on Saturday 23rd of November. With a series win up for grabs in both divisions a fleet of 15 yachts headed out to race in light conditions with a forecast wind shift from S to NE during the early afternoon.

The 8 larger yachts in Division 1 tackled a lengthy 13.1 nautical mile course; stretching from Callala bay to Longnose Point, to Callala Beach, then towards Green Point and back to Callala Bay. 

The Division 1 yachts crowded the Western end of the start line in light Southerly winds of less than 7 knots. Rick Early in Sojourn 3 had to give way to other yachts, missed the start line, and then having to complete a 360 degree turn to follow the rest of the fleet though the line. Alan Leach in Tranquillity got away in the lead early, but Sojourn 3 began hauling past the other yachts and chasing him. Sojourn 3 passed Tranquillity just as they approached the 1st turning mark and headed East across the bay.

Rob Chittendon in Element chased Sojourn 3 making up some ground, flying his spinnaker, as the yachts ran from Longnose Pont towards Callala Beach. With the wind shifting to NE and gusting over 10 knots, Element got even closer as they raced back across the bay towards Green Point. Then the yachts turned towards the finish line, with the wind behind them the larger Sojourn 3 was able to pull away, crossing the line 1st in 3 hours 32 minutes. Element crossed 2nd less than 4 minutes behind Sojourn 3.

Rod Chittendon’s (Element) efforts payed off, when handicaps were applied, and he was awarded 1st place. Rick Early (Sojourn 3) came 2nd and Paul Gooey’s (Out of the Blue) consistency was rewarded with 3rd.

The 7 smaller yachts racing in Division 2 tackled a slightly shorter 11.3 nautical mile course. From the start Steve Lee in Y-Knot took advantage of his vessels light weight and superior performance in light winds and beat the rest of the division to the 1st mark. 

Peter Cowman, skippering Double Time, was close behind Y-Knot and Brian Horley’s Reflections chased the two leaders. The rest of Division 2 struggled with an easing headwind as they tried to get around the 1st mark. 

In the light winds, the heavier keel boat, Double Time was able to hold its own with the smaller trailable yachts keeping in touch with Y-Knott and staying ahead of Reflections. Pat Grogan skippering Sirocco, recovering from a poor start, was able to pass several Division 1 boats making up ground on the Division 2 leaders.

Steve Lee (Y-Knott) crossed the finish line in Division 2 1st in 2 hours 54 minutes, 28 minutes ahead of Peter Cowman (Double Time) 2nd, with Brian Horley (Reflections) 3rd a further 6 minutes behind and Pat Grogan (Sirocco) nearly 9 minutes behind Reflections in 4th. Once handicaps were applied those positions remained the same. 

Spring Series winner in Division 1 was Paul Gooey in Out of the Blue, beating Rod Chittendon in Element by 1 point. In Division 2 Peter Cowman in Double Time won the series by 4 points ahead of Pat Grogan in Sirocco who came 2nd

After the race the winners were presented with Mountain Ridge Wines and the club held its annual fundraiser for Volunteer Marine Rescue. The clubs next race is on Sunday December 8th and it is the opening round of the Summer Series.

Glen Pead (Media Officer)