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Large race fleet turn out for running of JBCYC Cat Classic

posted Jan 31, 2021, 5:50 PM by David Churchward

The Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club ran the Cat Classic, on Sunday 24th January. The race was round 3 of the Round the Bay Series as well as round 3 of the Mountain Ridge Wines Summer Series and round 8 of the JBCYC Club Championships.

Two yachts from the Batemans Bay sailing club, Accolade skippered Lachlan Brown and Tony Suttons Moonmist, made the trip north for the race. New JBCYC club member, Roger Uebe also entered his trimaran Free Spirit. All up a fleet of 21 yachts turned out for the race on a clear and very warm summer day with strong winds forecast.

Six catamarans in the race fleet were also competing in the annual Cat Classic. The Cat Classic is one of the years feature races where the winning catamaran gets a place on the perpetual trophy. 

The larger Division 1 yachts, including the catamarans, tackled a 17 nautical mile course racing clockwise around Jervis Bay. The smaller Division 2 yachts took on a shortened version of the course that was 15.3 nautical miles.

Division 2 started first in light 10 knot winds. The light Y-Knot, with Steve Lee at the helm beat the rest of the division to the 1st race mark, just edging out Trevor Smith in Relentless. As the winds built during the race, getting to over 20 knots, the conditions suited the larger and heavier Relentless.

Relentless crossed the finish line 1st in Division 2 in 2 hours and 40 minutes, just over 7 minutes ahead of Y-Knot. Sirocco, helmed by Pru Harper and with an all-female crew, crossed 3rd in 2 hours 57 minutes. After only three races together crew of Sirocco are shaping up as formidable competitors. 

Once handicaps were applied to the race times Denis Meredith (Wotalife) was awarded 1st Place with Trevor Smith (Relentless)2nd and Pru Harper (Sirocco) 3rd.

In Division 1 the two visiting boats from Batemans Bay took an early lead. Moonmist led the field just after the race start and was passed by Accolade. Accolade then led for the rest of the race.

Invincible, with Trevor Kanaar as skipper, got the best start of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club members, beating Paul Gooeys’ Out of the Blue and Rick Early in Sojourn 3 to the first mark. Invincible kept ahead as the yachts turned and ran south down the bay. 

When the yachts turned near HMAS Creswell and sailed into the wind, traveling north back up the bay, Out of the Blue began catching Invincible. Out of the Blue eventually passed Invincible off Plantation Point. 

Sojourn 3 then passed Invincible and began challenging Out of the Blue. Sojourn 3 got passed just off Callala Beach and the two yachts fought a tacking duel to the finish line. Towards the end of the race Out of the Blue was catching Sojourn 3 but could not catch them before the finish.

Accolade crossed the finish line 1st in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes, just under 12 minutes ahead of Moonmist. Sojourn 3 was the 1st of the JBCYC yachts in division 1 to cross the line in 2 hours 51 minutes. 

The handicaps, however, pushed the faster yachts from Batemans Bay Sailing Club down the results considerably and Mitchel Leach (Tranquillity)took 1st place. Rob Chittendon (Element)was awarded 2nd and Paul Gooey (Out of the Blue) was given 3rd.

The days feature event was the Cat Classic, with a fleet of six Seawind catamarans of various size and specification competing.

Mitchell Leach took the helm of Tranquillity, a boat campaigned in previous years by his father Alan. Alan Nebauer entered Pleiades, a Seawind 1260, the newest and largest catamaran in the race.

After a good close start Lukim Yu, skippered by Peter Dun beat the rest of the cats to the 1st mark. Tranquillity was close behind as they turned and headed south. In the run down the bay Tranquillity hoisted its’ Screecher and passed Lukim Yu off Long Beach.

Tranquillity, Lukim Yu and Sas Sea (skippered by John Lawrence) were close together as they ran past Honeymoon Bay. Pleiades had a slow start but began making its way through the field and had passed Sas Sea and Lukim Yu by the time they turned at Longnose point and headed west.

Pleaides passed Tranquillity at the southern end of the bay, near HMAS Creswell, and the two leading catamarans fought over 1st place for the rest of the race. Lukim Yu and Sas Sea continued to fight for 3rd place as those two cats raced past Callala Beach. 

Alan Nebauer (Pleaides)crossed the finish line 1st in 2 hours 51 minutes less that 2 minutes ahead of Mitchel Leach (Tranquillity) and John Lawrence (Sas Sea) was a further 1 minute 20 seconds behind in 3rd place. With no handicaps applied to the results Alan Nebauers’ name went onto the Cat Classic trophy for 2021.

Glen Pead - Media Officer