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Race fleet take on strong winds and choppy seas in Autumn Series Race 2

posted Apr 5, 2019, 3:40 AM by David Churchward

A drop of temperatures and a warning of strong winds didn’t discourage the race fleet of 13 yachts that took to the waters of Jervis Bay. They raced in the second round the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club’s Callala Cellars Autumn series on Sunday March 31st.

The race began in gusty 10 to 15 knot NW winds with small but consistently choppy seas. The 6 larger yachts in Division 1 raced along a 13.6 nautical mile course at the northern end of the bay. The 7 smaller yachts in Division 2 tackled a slightly shorter, 11.6 nautical mile, course. 

As the fleet started the race into the wind Tranquillity, skippered by Alan Leach, led the Division 1 yachts to the first mark. The Navy entry Franklin, with Brendon Blank at the helm was close behind and passed Tranquillity as they ran downwind towards Long Beach. 

As the yachts turned into the westerly wind and headed across the bay, Franklin stretched its lead and Rick Early’s Sojourn 3 hauled past Tranquillity.

While Franklin streaked away from the field, Sojourn 3 couldn’t shake Tranquillity as they raced back up the bay and headed to Long Beachfor a second time. Then as the yachts turned and sailed into the strengthening westerly wind Tranquillity slipped past.

With the winds were turning to the NW as they headed along the final leg to the finish line, Sojourn 3 was able to sail closer to the wind thanthe catamaran Tranquillity. Sojourn 3 got passed when Tranquillity was forced into an additional tack in order to make the finish line.

Franklin crossedthe line first in Division 1 in 2 hours and 7 minutes. Sojourn 3 followed just over 16 minutes behind and less than a minute ahead of Tranquillity. Once handicaps were applied Trevor Kanaar, Invincible came 1stwith Brenden Blank, Franklin 2ndand Alan Leach, Tranquillity, 3rd.

In Division 2 Steve Lee in Y-Knot beat the other yachts to the first mark. Fromthen on it was a tussle between Y-Knot and Summer of 69, helmed by Kevin Lord. Both yachts repeatedly swapping the lead, with Pat Grogan skippering Sirocco in third place unable to catch them despite flying his spinnaker in the downwind legs of the race.

Kevin Lord in Summer of 69 was able to pull away from the other yachts in Division 2 during the last few legs of the race and beat them to the finish line in a time of 2 hours 18 minutes. Steve Lee in Y-Knott was just under 5 minutes behind in second with Pat Grogan, Sirocco, another 10 minutes back in 3rd. Those positions remained the same after handicaps were applied.

The race was followed by a pleasant BBQ back at the clubhouse where the winners were presented with Crooked River Wines, donated by the Annual Club Championship sponsors.