April Fools Day was a great day for sailing when the Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the McAsh Oysters Race. Unfortunately there was no joking around for the crew of “Attitude” who discovered a crack in the rig and were unable to start the race. This left a fleet of five yachts. The race was a sternchaser format where the yachts were started at intervals according to a handicap derived from past performances, so that theoretically they would all finish together. Race Officer Dave Magill and his trusty committee boat crewmates Terry Paton and Roger Rowe set a boat end favoured start line. The course was a triangle from near Snapper Island to the top mark at Yellow Rock and the Marine Park middle mark followed by a windward and return leg to Yellow Rock and back then another triangle to the finish.
The light SE breeze forced a 30 minute delay and when the first yacht, John Drummond’s “North Star” started conditions were still building. The next yacht to start was “Xanthia”(James Gardiner) at 12 minutes, then “Wishful Thinking” (Andrew Bain) at 37 minutes, “Apostrophe” (Tim Davis) at 38 minutes and finally “Accolade” (Lachlan Brown) at 41 minutes. By midway through the race “Wishful Thinking” had sailed through to the lead with “Apostrophe” and “Accolade” both around 3 minutes behind. “Accolade” got past “Apostrophe” on the broad reach from Yellow Rock back to the leeward mark, but was still two minutes behind “Wishful” with a triangle to go. Rounding the Marine Park middle mark with one leg to go to the finish “Wishful” was still over a minute ahead, but then gybed onto starboard towards the north side of the Bay. “Accolade” sailed off on port in better breeze and was further assisted by a veering wind shift which enable her to run deeper towards the finish line. “Accolade” waited until the next wind shift then gybed back on starboard, which forced “Wishful” to pass astern when the two boats crossed paths a few minutes later. “Accolade” went on to cross the line 31 seconds ahead of “Wishful”, followed by “Apostrophe”, “Xanthia” and “North Star”.
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The next major event for BBSC is the Beyond Bank Regatta on April 22nd and 23rd. This is the biggest annual sailing regatta on the NSW South Coast. Entries are open for dinghies, off the beach multihulls and trailerable yachts. For further information and entry details see the club website www.bbsc.org.au.