It was a great day for sailing when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the annual race to Durras and back last Saturday. Only three yachts headed out on a day with strong winds forecast. Race officer Terry Paton and his trusty sidekick Andrew Bain set a pin end biased start line and sent the fleet on its way at 1pm.
"Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop) started very close to the line and led to the marine park middle mark. She was soon overpowered as the wind strengthened, forcing the crew to change from a #2 to a #4 headsail and take in a reef. Her sister ship "Accolade" (Lachlan
Brown) was sailing under #3 with the first reef tucked into the mainsail before the start. "Accolade" got a backing shift on the way to North Head and took the lead. "Moonmist" (Tony Sutton) hung in there surprisingly well under full main and #3 on the work up the
coast as the nor'easter built to 25 to 30 knots with steep seas.
"Accolade" led around the turning mark in Beagle Bay but was unable to bear away around Wasp Island as the boat was overpowered and kept rounding up. As the crew struggled to get a second reef in, "Moonmist" came past looking very much under control. Back inside Batemans Bay the wind dropped to 15 knots. "Moonmist" and "Wishful" set spinnakers but they soon had to come down when a 25 to 30 knot nor'wester arrived.
After a three hour race, "Moonmist" crossed the line a minute ahead of "Accolade" with "Wishful Thinking" a further three minutes back.
"Moonmist" won easily on both AMS and PHS. "Wishful" was second on PHS while "Accolade" was second on AMS. Thanks must go to Terry Paton and Andrew Bain and also to Geoff Perrum for setting the mark in Beagle Bay.
Above: Farr 1020 "Moonmist".