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Racing Begins in Earnest for Spring Series

posted Sep 30, 2019, 11:47 PM by David Churchward   [ updated Oct 2, 2019, 6:41 PM ]

Racing begins in earnest for Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Spring Series

On Sunday 29thSeptember a race fleet of 12 yachts took to the waters of Jervis Bay for Race 1 of the Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Clubs Mountain Ridge Wines Spring Series. 

The race fleet was welcomed two new yachts, Steve Simpson’s After Midnight (a Binks B30) and Chris Robinson’s Off Line (a Northshore 33). Both vessels racing in Division 1 and completing the 1stof the 3 races they need, in order to get a handicap, and score points in the race series.

The fine sunny day, with variable 10 knot winds, made for ideal sailing conditions. The Division 1 entries tackled a challenging 12.5 nautical mile course at the bays northern end. The Division 2 yachts took on a slightly shorter, 11.6 nautical mile, version of the same course. The 5 smaller Division 2 yachts started first with 7 the larger Division 1 boats starting 5 minutes behind. 

The Navy’s entry, Friendship, skippered by Brendon Blank led Division 1 from the start, being chased intently by Rod Chittendon in Elements and Trevor Kanaar in Invincible. Out of The Blue, skippered by Paul Gooey, and Tranquillity, with Alan Leach at the helm, followed closely behind Invincible. 

The yachts were close as they ran their spinnakers, crossing to the West of the bay; but as they turned back North East, heading into the wind, Friendship began to haul away. Then with the winds shifting, in the race’s final legs, Invincible was able to pull away from Out of the Blue and Tranquillity.

Friendship was the 1stDivision 1 yacht to cross the finish line in 2 hours 15 minutes with Elements just over a minute and a half behind and Invincible close behind. Once handicaps were applied, however, Trevor Kanaar (Invincible) took 1st place, Rod Chittendon (Elements) 2ndand Paul Gooey (Out of the Blue) 3rd.

With the gentle winds from ENE the Division 2 yachts got off to a close start with Summer of 69, helmed Phil Guy, leading the class to the 1stmark. Then Pat Grogan’s Sirocco passed Summer of 69 as they raced south down the bays Eastern edge. 

Division 2 then became a race between Summer of 69 and Sirocco. Summer of 69 chased Sirocco, both yachts flying their spinnakers as they ran West across the bay. Sirocco stayed just ahead as they turned North East and crossed the bay again. Summer of 69 eventually got passed as they sailed South onto a tight elliptical section of the course.  

Further back and the heavier Relentless, skippered by Trevor Smith and Denis Meredith’s Wotalife; continued their rivalry from last season vying for the advantage in handicap placings.

As the yachts approached the southern end of the course, they were hit with sudden wind shifts from NE to SE then back to NE again. Some of the skippers had to put in extra tacks as they rounded the congested southern race mark. All yachts were able to get around safely, with some very close racing and the skippers needing to think on their feet.

Summer of 69 was the 1stDivision 2 yacht to cross the finish line in 2 hours 35 minutes, just under 3 minutes ahead of ahead of Sirocco. Once handicaps were applied the positions were reversed with 1stplace went to Pat Grogan (Sirocco), 2ndto Phil Guy (Summer of 69) and 3rdplace to Denis Meredith (Wotalife).  

Following the race, the crews gathered at the clubhouse for a BBQ and presentation of Mountain Ridge wine to the winners. 
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