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Spring Series First Race

posted Sep 29, 2011, 4:15 PM by Mark Tobin

Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club kicked off its racing season on Sunday with the first race of the Spring Series sponsored by Paperbark Camp.  After the winter layoff the anticipation built in the preceeding weeks with rumours of a bumper fleet and boats being cleaned and preened ready for the day.  That was before the forecast southerly front hit with heavy rain over Saturday night and a dawn on the bay with white caps as far as the eye could see.   The wind was the forecast 20 to 25 knots with occasional gust to 30 and the committee studied the conditions closely before making the call to race, encouraged by the easing winds shortly before the scheduled start time.  Despite the reduced numbers sufficient boats presented on the start line to fill each of the 3 Divisions for the new format for the seasons racing.  The new Division 3 separating the multi hulls from the mono’s catering for the catamarans and trimarans together for the first time.  The bumpy conditions on the bay saw the Starter opt to stay ashore for the start with a pair of buoys dropped for the start line.  A radio warning signal and count down to the start got everyone way without incident despite some close racing on the line.  Boats closing on the line on both port and starboard tack had the fleet join together for the first work to the eastern side of the bay in a brisk 20 knot breeze.  Alan Leach’s Seawind catamaran Tranquility narrowly missed being pushed over the starboard end of the start line in a show of good sportsmanship by Mark Tobin’s boat Cougar before Cougar pulled ahead in a tight upwind tussle.  The upwind turning mark for the first leg was off Honeymoon Bay by which time David & Pauline Churchwood’s boat Motion, revelling in the heavy wind, overran the smaller Rockhopper sailed by Ken Dryburgh to lead Division 2 all the way home.  Spinnakers were a rarity in the blustery conditions with Tony Byrnes and crew on Arabesque bravely flying the lone kite on the day. The rain didn’t hold off and several squally showers were reported as boats negotiated the course. With boats speeds up to 11 knots and stories of daring feats and broken equipment all boats finished the course in good time despite several down pours during the race.   A good swell running into the bay made for a fast run to the finish line off Callala Bay before the soggy sailors headed to the clubhouse for some warmth and shelter with hot sausage sandwiches greatly appreciated.  Round 2 of the Spring Series is on Sunday October 9th check club website for details:

Winners on the day:

Division 1 – Cougar (Mark Tobin)

Division 2  - Motion (David & Pauline Churchward)

Division 3 – Tranquility (Alan Leach)