Above: “Accolade” afterguard on the way from Batemans Bay to Durras (photo credit Ash Connell).
It was a great day for sailing when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the annual Durras Race last Saturday. Numbers were down a bit with 5 yachts starting after a fleet of 8 the week before. After a delay waiting for sufficient tide to get out of the Clyde River entrance, the fleet got away into a 10 to 15 knot south easter.
“Xanthia” and “Accolade” at the race start. Photo by Terry Paton Race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew of Terry Paton and Roger Rowe set a true work up to the Marine Park middle mark. From there it was a reach to Wasp Island then a run to a mark laid off North Durras. “Attitude” (Simon Byrne) grabbed the boat end start and showed good speed and height to round the middle mark ahead of “Accolade” (Lachlan Brown) and “Xanthia” (James Gardiner). The “Attitude” crew then fluffed the spinnaker hoist to allow “Accolade” through.
Into Beagle Bay “Attitude” was able to run deeper than “Accolade” which had a reaching kite up. “Attitude” led by a minute around the turning mark. On the work back out Byrne headed too far out to sea, throwing his lead away. “Accolade” tacked onto port off Wasp Island and got a friendly backing shift to lay North Head in one tack. On the last leg from North Head to the finish off Casey’s Beach, the reaching kite on “Accolade” worked well and she pulled away to a 90 second line honours win over “Attitude”. “Xanthia”, sailing short-handed, did well to come in 20 minutes later which was close enough for a narrow PHS victory from “North Star” (John Drummond). “Valhalla” (Dion Perrins) scored DNF. Thanks must go to Al Rosier for dropping in the North Durras rounding mark and then heading out on Sunday to retrieve it.
The next BBSC keelboat race will be a handicap start race on December 1st. This is always a popular format since the boats all finish close together, which in turn facilitates the post-race BBQ.