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Ladies shine in Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Christmas races

posted Dec 18, 2018, 2:53 PM by David Churchward

Ladies shine in Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Christmas races

On Saturday 15th December the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club held their special Christmas Race day. Two races were run on a short course along the north eastern end of Jervis bay. 

The first event was the Ladies Race, where the regular skippers would take a back seat as one of the female crew members takes the helm. Six yachts competed, all running in one division with handicaps levelling out the differences in yacht size and performance. 

As the race began the winds were shifting from the SE to E and building to 10 knots. The smallest yacht, Laser 3, and the largest yacht, Sojourn 3, got the best start racing to the first mark. Collett Early, helming Sojourn 3, enforced her right of way as they rounded the mark leading the field as they headed down the bay.

The race to the next mark became a battle of strategies as Sojourn 3 and Tranquillity, a catamaran helmed by Barb King, chose to run along the northern end of the bay. The rest of the fleet headed south in the hope that the more favourable wind would compensate for the additional distance and the need for an extra tack. Sojourn 3 and Tranquillity beat the rest of the fleet to that next mark.

As the wind increased to 15 knots and shifted to the NE Michelle Bills, helming Elements, passed Tranquillity, and the small Laser 3 struggled in the building wind.

In a close finish Sojourn 3 crossed the finish line first in 1 hour 11 minutes, less than 4 minutes ahead of Elements; and with less than 8 minutes separating the first five finishers. Once handicaps were applied Michelle Bills, Elements, took 1stplace with Iona Smith, Relentless, in 2ndand Colette Early, Sojourn 3, in 3rd.

Then it was the turn of the Forward Hands to take the helm for the next race. With the winds building to 20 knots from the NE a couple of the smaller yachts chose not to run leaving a smaller field of four competitors.

Sojourn 3, helmed by Steve Simpson, got a slow start and began the race in last place. But in the winds getting up to 25 knots, the large yacht hauled past the rest of the fleet and led towards the last mark. Approaching that mark Sojourn 3 had to put in an additional tack with Tranquillity, helmed by Peter Brown, seizing the opportunity to slip passed. 

Tranquillity crossed the finish line first in 1 hour 15 minutes less than 4 minutes ahead of Sojourn 3. Once handicaps were applied, however, Rhianno Smith, Relentless, took 1stplace with Peter Brown, Tranquilly, 2ndand Steve Simpson, Sojourn 3, 3rd.

The races were followed by a presentation of fine wines, from Callala Cellars, for the days winners and everyone enjoying a very festive Christmas function.