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Yacht racing returns to Jervis Bay

posted Aug 29, 2020, 6:00 PM by David Churchward

Yacht racing returns to Jervis Bay  

After an unavoidable break, the boats of Jervis Bay Cruising Yacht Club returned to the waters racing on Sunday 16th August. Even though we are well into winter the club still has several races from the Autumn Series to complete. They ran the 5th and deciding round of the clubs Tahmoor Rural Round the Bay Series which was also round 3 of the Autumn Series.

A Covid safe plan has been put in place, that makes significant changes to pre-race and post-race procedures. Although the effect of this plan on the racing was minimal.

Following an online race briefing a flotilla of 8 yachts gathered. Five larger Division 1 yachts tackled a 17 nautical mile course, circumnavigating the bay clockwise. The 3 smaller Division 2 yachts raced along a slightly shorter 15.3 nautical mile circuit.

The yacht clubs recently elected Captain, Mel Bradford-Bell, called the race start at 11am, with a brisk Westerly wind gusting just below 10 knots and some welcome winter sunshine. 

In Division 1 Rod Chittendon skippering Element got the best start, beating the other yachts to the 1st mark as they turned and headed South down the bay. With the wind blowing across their beams the catamaran Tranquillity, helmed by Peter Brown, soon raced past to lead the division. 

In the long reach down the bay the wind picked up, gusting well over 15 knots and the seas increased to 1 meter. Paul Gooey’s yacht Out of the Blue revelled in the conditions, moving into 2nd place, and chasing Tranquillity as they headed for Longnose Point. After they crossed to the western side of the Bay and approached Vincentia, the wind dropped noticeably giving the other yachts an opportunity to close in on Tranquillity.

Peter Brown was able to keep Tranquillity in the lead until the finish, crossing the line in 2 hours and 40 minutes, 6 minutes ahead of Out of the Blue. Trevor Kanaar in Invincible crossed 3rd, less than a minute behind Out of the Blue.

Once handicaps were applied to Division 1 the results changed significantly. Trevor Kanaar (Invincible) took 1st place with Steve Sargent (Shamballa) 2nd and Rod Chittendon (Element)3rd

In Division 2 Pat Grogan skippering Sirocco beat the rest of the yachts to the 1stmark. Behind him Steve Lee in Y-Knot and Brian Horley, helming Reflections, duelled for 2nd place. Reflections passed Sirocco, moving into the lead, as the passed Honeymoon Bay. 

The 3 yachts in the division were all close as they approached the races Southern mark, near Longnose point. After turning Reflections and Y-Knot took a conventional approach, heading North with the wind across their beam until they could make a single tack to cross the bay to the mark near Callala Beach. Pat Grogan in Sirocco chose to zigzag across the bay, making multiple tacks. When Sirocco got to the next mark, the yacht was approximately 1 nautical mile ahead of the other two boats.

Y-Knott and Reflections were able to peg back some of Siroccos lead as they raced to the finish line, but Sirocco crossed 1st in 2 hours 57 minutes. Y=Knot crossed 2nd just over 6 minutes behind and Reflections was a further 10 minutes back.

Once the handicaps were applied to Division 2 Brian Horley (Reflections) took 1stwith Pat Grogan (Sirocco)2nd and Steve Lee (Y-Knot) 3rd.

Following the race the regular post-race social function was dispensed with, as part of the clubs Covid Safe plan, and the declaring of results was moved online.

With the Tahmoor Rural Round the Bay Series completed, in Division 1 Paul Gooey in Out of the Blue, and Alan Leach and Peter Brown in Tranquillity, were both on equal points. The series winner was decided by a countback of placings with Paul Gooey narrowly taking the series win. In Division 2 Pat Grogan in Sirocco won the series, with Denis Meredith in Wotalife 2nd.