Above: (Group) Series-winning crew Ben and Anna Woolnough are flanked by runner-up Rob Currall, third-placed Allan Rees, other sailors, and race management. (Photo: Tracey Anderson)
Sunday 15 April saw the last two races of the 2017-8 season of sailing off the beach at Coila Lake. While the forecast threatened strong Westerly winds, in reality we experienced gentle breezes varying from NW to SW, interspersed with periods of negligible wind. The wind shifts caused headaches for race management, and the lulls posed challenges for the sailors, who drifted uncontrollably at times.
Chili (Ben and Anna Woolnough) started the first race in an unbeatable position for the series title on Yardsticks, but Knockout (Rob Currall) was on a mission to take the Performance Handicap title, and zoomed around the course to take line honours. However, Chili was also travelling well, and she took the win on Performance Handicap by a mere 12 seconds from Knockout with Tradewind (Allan Rees and Matt Mason) third by only another 39 seconds.
In effect, that 12 seconds handed the title to Chili, because the second race was not kind to these leading contenders and became a “drop” for Knockout. The first leg saw Tradewind (with crew now Thomas Schild) find enough breeze to get her round the mark while the others bobbed without direction, except for KoolKat (Alison Philip) whose drift took her neatly into the mark. But once a steady breeze developed, the colourful trio of KoolKat, Chili and Obnoxious (Matt Mason having replaced Thomas Schild) chased each other around the course and delivered the win to KoolKat on both Yardstick and Performance Handicap.
Above: Series winner Chili (Anna and Ben Woolnough) in action
Summary results were:
Race 1 on Yardstick: (1) Chili (2) Tradewind (3) Knockout
Race 2 on Yardstick: (1) KoolKat (2) Chili (3) Tradewind
Yardstick Series: (1) Chili (2) Knockout (3) Tradewind
Race 1 on Performance Handicap: (1) Chili (2) Knockout (3) Tradewind
Race 2 on Performance Handicap: (1) KoolKat (2) Obnoxious (3) Chili
Performance Handicap Series: (1) Chili (2) Knockout (3) Tradewind
Next season will begin in late September, we look forward to welcoming old and new sailors. For more information, see website https://www.bbsc.org.au/Off-the-Beach.