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Ladies and Forward Hands take the helm in the JBCYC Christmas Race Day

posted Dec 19, 2019, 11:37 PM by David Churchward

The Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club held their special Christmas Race Day on Saturday 13th December. In a fine day, with a bit of smoke haze and variable winds forecast, 11 yachts turned up for the last races of 2019. 

The first race of the day was the clubs annual Ladies Race, where a female crew member takes the helm. The yachts raced around a short course in the north eastern end of Jervis Bay, starting in light NE winds. Michelle Bills, the winner of last year’s race, helmed Wotalife; and with that boat carrying the biggest handicap, starting 7 minutes ahead of the next vessel. 

The starting times for the fleet were staggered over 31 minutes and Michelle in Wotalife was able to maintain her lead over the rest of the fleet until the wind dropped away just off Long Beach. One by one the race fleet found themselves becalmed, bunching up at the southern end of the course, waiting for the wind to change.

When the SE winds started blowing Barb King helming Tranquillity, the winner of the 2017 Ladies Race, was able to pass the rest of the fleet. Barb then stretched her lead winning in a time of 2 hours 12 minutes, nearly 6 minutes ahead of Joan Gooey (Out of the Blue) in 2nd and Christine Cave (Friendship) a further 40 seconds back in 3rd.

The days next race was for Forward Hands, who instead of their usual role manhandling sheets and sails took to the helm of the yachts for the race. They followed the same short course as the earlier Ladies Race; however, the winds had picked up and began blowing at over 10 knots from the SE. 

The handicaps were unchanged from the previous race, and with only 8 yachts competing in the days second race Wotalife helmed by Glen Pead started 14 minutes ahead of the next boat. Wotalife’s lead was short lived as Kevin Lord in Summer of 69 was able to sail much closer to the wind and hauled past as they sailed into the brisk SE wind. Tranquillity, helmed by Peter Brown, would also pass Wotalife just off Long Beach and the race became a contest between Summer of 89 and Tranquillity.

Summer of 69 a light mono hull yacht was faster than the catamaran, Tranquillity, sailing into the wind; but with the wind behind them Tranquillity with its large sail area had the advantage. Both yachts went into the final leg running down wind with Kevin Lord in Summer of 69 just ahead. Then Peter Brown in Tranquillity passed Summer of 69 winning in a time of 2 hours and 1 minute, less than a minute and a half. Chris Jones in Out of the Blue came third.

As well as the racing there were prizes for, the best Christmas costumes by a crew member won by Bill Dicker and Roslyn Christie, and best decorated boat won by Kevin Lord’s Summer of 69.

Following the race, the skippers and crews retired to the club house for, the presentation to the winners, and the JBCYC annual Christmas party.

Glen Pead (Media Officer)