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Summer Series Final Race

posted Mar 13, 2011, 4:29 PM by Mark Tobin

The final of the Summer Series for Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club saw boats readying for the start with much preparation and cleaning of hulls before the starters gun went.  With light winds forecast the pressure was on the big catamarans in Division 2 with Al Leach’s Tranquility leading the point score.  Division 1 had several boats in contention with Terry Ford, in his boat Jouissance, expected to take the honours after leading for most of the season.  A long race was scheduled as part of the round the bay series incorporated into this race, with the addition of the tricky leg down into Vincentia for Division 1 boats having all skippers anxious about the renowned fluky winds.  Tony Lewis on the start boat had both Divisions away on time in the light conditions with variable winds seeing boats spread out over the bay looking for better pressure.  The tension was getting to the skippers of just about all the front runners in the series with confusion over the course and correct turning marks evident from several boats resulting in the lead changing a number of times.  As the fleet reached the western side of the course off Huskisson the Division 2 course had boats turning for Long Nose Point as the faster boats in Division 1 continued to the southern end of Collingwood Beach, off Vincentia.  The wind began to lighten at this point and the Division 1 course was shortened from its planned route to the southern end of the bay instead continuing straight across to a mark off Honeymoon Bay.  The eastbound leg saw the winds oscillating between 70 and 80 degrees making for a real test of the tacking skills of crews.  Fortunes changed in the ensuing conditions with some boats stuck in the middle of the bay without wind and others needing to sail out towards Point Perpendicular to get an angle back to the turning marks.  The testing conditions gave a good lead to the first boats to round and commence the run for the finish line with a much easier run off the breeze.  Shane Furkin’s Davidson 34, Chutzpah streaked away under spinnaker crossing the finish line more than 16 minutes ahead of Tony Byrnes Farr 1020, Arabesque with even the speedy trimaran of Dennis Godfrey relegated to crossing 3rd a couple of minutes later.  Brian Saunders in Sea Change led the Division 2 boats home as Tranquility struggled to stay in contention caught near the back of the fleet but desperate for points to finish the series off.  Robbo and Rhett took the handicap win in Division 2 in their boat Couta Tah ahead of Ken Dryburgh’s, Rock Hopper.  Rock Hopper satisfied with the result after a spectacular launch of their asymmetrical spinnaker on the last leg that at one stage looked like a giant flag was flying from the masthead, before a hasty drop had them in recovery mode.  Division 2 results had the top 3 boats only separated by 23 seconds on corrected time.  Chutzpah took the handicap win in Division 1 ahead of Arabesque and Wahoo and the result also giving them a win overall in the Summer Series.  The Series win in Division 2 went to Tranquility, scraping home on a count back from Macca’s Sundowner.