It was a great day for sailing on Saturday December 23rd when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the annual Lady Skippers’ Race. It was a sternchaser format race where the quicker boats give the slower boats a headstart based on past performances. There was an 8 to 12 knot sea breeze blowing as the limit boats “North Star” and “Lollipop” set off, followed by “Ghoster”, “Xanthia”, “Vital Spark”, “Wishful Thinking” and “Accolade”. The course was a work from Caseys Beach to Yellow Rock followed by reaching legs to the Toll Gates mark and back to Caseys Beach. The Division 2 yachts finished there while the Division 1 yachts did further windward and return leg to Yellow Rock and back to the finish at Caseys Beach.
On the first leg the leading boats followed conventional wisdom by heading left to the northern side of Batemans Bay. However, there was much more breeze in the middle of the Bay which is where “Accolade” and “Wishful Thinking” went. “Accolade” got past “Wishful” through some great steering by Imogen Brown. On the reach to the Toll Gates, “Wishful” was the only boat to set her spinnaker on the reach to the Toll Gates mark and drew level with “Accolade”. On the second work at backing shift in the breeze favoured the left side allowing “Wishful”, skippered by Julie Phelps to get through to the lead by the top mark. She held off “Accolade” down the run to win by about 20 seconds with “Xanthia” (Lyn Hardingham) in third place.
In Division 2 “Lollipop” (Belinda Collins) scored a convincing victory. “Vital Spark” had Aaron Dunne skippering who when last checked was ineligible for the lady skippers’ event but easily won the crew’s race.
Above: Imogen Brown skippering “Accolade”. Photo credit Lachlan Brown
Above: Div 2 lady's skipper's winner Lolli pop
Belinda Collins guest skipper ( centre ) Deb Keely ( right ) Genine Sutton ( left ) . Photo credit Simon Lowth