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New yachts battle old campaigners in the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Spring Series Round 1

posted Sep 25, 2018, 3:10 AM by David Churchward

Sunday 23rdsaw the first race of Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Huskisson Hotel Spring Series. The fleet of six yachts saw a couple new yachts, having their first race with the club, going head to head with some of the club’s stalwarts.

Paul Gooey, who successfully campaigned ‘Matana’ in Division 2 last season, had his new yacht ‘Out of the Blue’ entered in Division 1. This was his first race in the Bavaria 39, and while his yacht would no doubt need some fine tuning, he went head to head with Alan Leach in his tried and tested catamaran ‘Tranquillity’.

In Division 2 Rod Chittenden entered his yacht ‘Elements’ in its first race with the club. Among the yachts he was up against was Steve Lee’s ‘Y-Knot’, who after taking a break last season was back campaigning in Division 2. 

The race started in choppy 10 to 12 knot SW winds that were forecast to increase and turn to the south as the day progressed. 

The Division 1 yachts raced along a 13 nautical mile course, at the eastern side of Jervis Bay, sailing South to Longnose point before turning and running North up the bay with the wind behind them. The smaller Division 2 yachts, tackled a slightly smaller 10.7 nautical mile course, turning at Honeymoon Bay.

The small ‘Y-Knot’ got the best start, leading the fleet to the first mark. As the yachts raced into the wind ‘Tranquillity’ and ‘Elements’ worked on hauling in ‘Y-knot’. ‘Elements’ passed ‘Y-knot’ as the boats were nearing Honeymoon Bay, taking the lead in Division 2, and was never headed.

In Division 1 Alan Leach helmed his catamaran, ‘Tranquilly’, to an early lead over Paul Gooey in ‘Out of the Blue’. ‘Tranquillity’ continued to stretch its lead as the race progressed and the winds picked up. Some skippers were reporting gusts of up to 18 knots at the southern end of the bay.  

The first yacht across the finish line was ‘Elements’, in Division 2, crossing in 2 hours 15 minutes; just under 5 minutes ahead of ‘Y-Knot’. ‘Elements’, however, being in its first race with the club did not have a handicap yet. Once handicaps were applied Steve Lee, ‘Y-knot’ won Division 2 with Trevor Smith, ‘Relentless’, 2nd. Clearly ‘Elements’ will be a very competitive yacht in Division 2.

In Division 1 Alan Leach, ‘Tranquillity’, finished in 2 hours 23 minutes; well ahead of Paul Gooey, ‘Out of the Blue’. ‘Out of the Blue’ can be expected to be much more competitive as the season unfolds and Paul spends more time tweaking his new yacht.