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Light Southerlies and blue skies make for great racing in JBCYC Autumn Series Race 3

posted Apr 16, 2019, 6:57 PM by David Churchward

A fleet of 15 yachts competed in the third round of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club’s Callala Cellars Autumn series on Sunday April 14th. 

The yachts raced around the North of Jervis Bay, with the 7 larger Division 1 boats tackling a 15 nautical mile course and the 8 smaller Division 2 entries tackling a slightly smaller 13.2 nautical mile circuit.

With Southerly winds blowing at around 10 knots, blue skies, and a small but consistent swell coming through the heads from the south; the fleet got off to a furious start as they raced into the wind. The Navy entry, Franklin, skippered by Wayne Pryor led to the first mark. Sojourn 3, with Rick Early at the helm, and Rod Chitenden’s yacht Element, chased Franklin all race but were never able to mount a serious challenge. 

The closest race in Division 1 was between the two Seawind Catamarans. Tranquillity helmed by Alan Leach and John Lawrence’s Sas Sea, tussled with Tranquilly leading at the start. Sas Sea overtook Tranquillity as they raced East across the bay from Huskisson. Tranquillity trailed Sas Sea as they turned North heading up the bay, and when they turned South into the wind Tranquillity was able to get back in front. In the penultimate leg, with the wind behind them Tranquillity flew its spinnaker, crossing the line just over a minute ahead of Sas Sea.

Franklin was the first yacht to cross the finish line taking line honours in Division 1 in 2 hours 21 minutes, Sojourn 3 followed les than 8 minutes behind with Element another 15 minutes further back. 

Once Handicaps were applied Rod Chitenden, Element, took 1stplace. This was Rods first win in Division 1 after moving up from Division 2 at the start of the Autumn Series. Rick Early, Sojourn 3 retained his second place, but John Lawrence, Sas Sea, moved ahead of Franklin and Tranquillity to take 3rd.

In Division 2 the small Y-knot, skippered by Steve Lee, got a great start and beat the other yachts in the division to the 1stmark followed by Kevin Lord’s Summer of 69. The other yachts in the division were crowded as they approached the first mark, with some having to put in an additional tack to make it round.

Sirocco, with Pat Grogan at the helm, chasing the bulk of the field with its spinnaker up passed Peter Cowman’s Double time as they headed to the second mark. It then chased down Trevor Smith’s Relentless, passing it on a reach as they raced East across the bay. The small Laser 3, with John Anderson at the helm, then picked off Relentless in the race’s final legs.

Steve Lee, Y-knott, was the 1stin Division 2 to finish in 2 hours 35 minutes, followed by Summer of 69 just over 12 minutes later. Brian Horley’s Reflections was 4 minutes further back and less than a minute ahead of Laser 3.

While the conditions favoured the lighter yachts in Division 2, Denis Meredith skippering the 5-ton Wotalife put in a masterful performance. At times handing over the helm while he went forward to trim sails, and hoisting the yachts spinnaker single handed. Although Wotalife was the last yacht in the division to cross the line once handicaps were applied it was awarded 1stplace.

The 2ndplace in Division 2 went to John Anderson, Laser 3; with Brian Horley, Reflections 3rd.

The race was followed by a BBQ with the winners presented with bottles of Crooked River Wines from the sponsors of the JBCYC Club Championship.