Last weekend was a great weekend for sailing when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held its annual keelboat regatta, the South Coaster. The Seawind 1000 catamaran "Shambala" (Steve Sargent) came down from Jervis Bay for the event. The fleet also included the trailerable trimaran "Hobo" (Peter Withington), the S80 "Avior" (Peter Paterson),the Farr 1020 "Moonmist" (Tony Sutton) and the Adams 10.6 sister ships "Accolade" (Lachlan Brown) and "Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop). On Saturday there was a handicap start race where the faster boats gave the slower boats a head start based on past performances. Race officer Terry Paton and his trusty crew of Andrew Bain and Roger Rowe set a course from Square Head to the Wimbie Beach mark and hence to the Toll Gates mark.
The light conditions prevailing at the start were a little unfair for the early starters who made limited progress during their head start.
"Moonmist" sailed straight past most of them to lead at the first mark. "Accolade" was close behind and gybed inside "Moonmist" . The wind then dropped entirely so the entire fleet bobbed around going nowhere for 20 minutes. "Avior" decided to head back in. When the wind came back "Accolade" covered "Moonmist" which headed right on the work from Wimbie Beach to the Toll Gates. "Wishful Thinking" decided to head left which turned out to be the way to go. She sailed into the lead and won the race when it was shortened to finish at the Toll Gates mark. The breeze was not ideal for a cruising catamaran like "Shambala" so the JBCYC crew were no doubt hoping for some more wind on Sunday.
On the Sunday the fleet sailed BBSC's Pentastar course, which visits all 5 corners of Batemans Bay. The wind came in late leading to a race postponement. It quickly built to around 12 knots at the start then 20 knots shortly afterwards, so all the boats were overpowered. The Pentastar course has a reputation for being tough on crew work and
lived up to it. "Accolade" took the early lead but "Wishful" was never far behind and came past two thirds of the way through the race. She won by 16 seconds. "Moonmist" had a day to forget when a headsail got stuck when the crew were trying to pull it down. "Shambala" never really got going and headed in early to avoid keeping the committee boat out too long.
"Wishful" won the regatta overall although the "Accolade" crew had the consolation of winning the Pentastar race on AMS. In Division 2, "Hobo" scored a convincing victory.