It was a great day for sailing when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the final keelboat race of the summer season on April 15th. A good fleet of 7 boats went out on what was a pleasant day with a moderate nor'easter.
The BBSC committee boat "Dave Magill" remained out of action so race officer Terry Paton positioned himself adjacent the club's fixed start/finish line off Caseys Beach and did the start sequence by radio calls.
Club championship rival yachts "Accolade" (Lachlan Brown) and "Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop and John Tracey) were so closely positioned after the 12 races held over the season that whichever boat won the last race would win the series. "Wishful" got away to a good start at the favoured pin end of the start line, while "Accolade" made a port tack start passing just astern of "Wishful". "Wishful" tacked too soon allowing "Accolade" to get into a favourable leebow position and take an early lead on the work up to Chain Bay.
Further back there were two single handed yachts. The Farr 1020 "Moonmist" kept Tony Sutton busy after his regular crew all took an early mark before the end of the season. Peter Paterson usually sails his S80 "Avior" single handed because that's just the way he rolls. The Canberra based crew on "Attitude" (Simon Byrne) made a welcome visit for this race. Meanwhile the racey cruisers on "Sail La Vie" (John Drummond) were well matched by the cruisey racers aboard "Cool Change" (Richard Dunne).
"Accolade" covered "Wishful" most of the way up the work, breaking off near the top mark to get onto the port layline. She kept a narrow lead mainly because she took three less tacks than "Wishful". "Accolade" kept a loose cover on "Wishful" up the next work then set off on the running leg back to Caseys on starboard gybe while "Wishful" headed off in search of more wind on port gybe. This move didn't work out for "Wishful" even as race officer Terry Paton was making a radio call to finish the race at the next mark due to the fading breeze. The "Wishful" crew sportingly agreed to this even though it meant they had little chance of overhauling "Accolade" which went on to win the race and therefore the Club Championship. "Wishful" did win the Bay Cup and Coastal Cup series on AMS. "Sail La Vie" finished the race to win the Bay Cup series on PHS. The shortened course came too late for "Cool Change" and "Avior" which both retired. Full results are up on the BBSC website www.bbsc.org.au
This weekend BBSC will be hosting its major event of the year, the Batemans Bay Marina Regatta. Dinghies, catamarans, trailerable yachts and sports yachts from Sydney, Canberra and all over south east NSW are going to converge on Batemans Bay for the biggest annual sailing event on the South Coast. Light winds are forecast, but just like any weekend it will be a great weekend for sailing.
Above: 2022/23 BBSC Club Champion keelboat "Accolade"