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posted Mar 27, 2013, 4:29 AM by Mark Tobin

Race 1 of the Autumn Series saw the Navy boat Friendship burst across the start line on port tack to take a flying lead over the 21 boat fleet holding off other Division 1 boats for the best part of the first beat.  Blu Timms and his crew led a merry chase across the bay to the top mark set off the southern end of Vincentia’s Collingwood Beach with Cougar, Mohawk and Manly Too in hot pursuit.  With the Div.1 boats making up nearly half the fleet with 10 boats out the competition was fierce.  It took to the last 200 metres for Cougar and Mohawk to squeeze past Friendship after themselves swapping positions several times on the work south.  At the D3 rounding mark the 3 boats rounded closely followed by Manly Too, all boats within 100 metres of each other.   Overture, with the sponsors for the series, Kevin and Jo Lord from Coastal Palms Holiday Park, Shoalhaven Heads, on board were the first Division 3 multihull to round with Motion and Rockhopper swapping the lead only for Rockhopper to round first for Division 2.  The day saw the first race for Ardea, Dennis Merediths new boat with Dennis rejoining the club after a couple of years absence and the return of Neil Kearney on Element his first outing after repairs from his jaunt on the beach in last years storm.  With the large fleet and steady 12 to 15 knot breezes there was plenty of interaction between boats on the course with plenty of yelling between boat skippers, exerting their presence and calling rights in several incidents.  Winners on the day were Tony Byrnes, Mohawk, Paul Gooey in Matana for Div.2  and Sea Change in Division 3.  With the sun shining brightly for the finish and temps in the 30’s there was plenty of swimmers hitting the water as boats returned to the moorings in Callala.  The Club had booked a band for the planned Creswell Race but with that postponed the opportunity was not lost and a BBQ on the foreshores was enjoyed before the Woollamia Whalers kicked off around 6.45pm to start the music, dancing and partying for the night.  A great time was had by all with many club members overnighting in the bay to finish off a great day.