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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Batemans Bay Sailing Club report March 18th

It was a great day for sailing on Saturday when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held a coastal race to Durras and back. Only three yachts went out on a lovely sunny day, but it was a quality fleet. The start was delayed for 30 minutes waiting for the sea breeze to fill in. Race office Terry Paton and his trusty offsiders Steve Masterton and Sharna Harris set a boat end favoured line.


After an even start "Accolade" (Lachlan Brown) was able to get the leebow on "Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop and John Tracey), forcing her to tack off. "Accolade" then held "Moonmist" (Tony Sutton) out to the port tack layline and led around the marine park middle mark before heading towards Durras. "Moonmist" took a rock hopping course up the coast to hang in with the other slightly larger yachts as the breeze progressively backed from E to NNE.

The breeze strengthened to 20 knots prompting "Wishful" to do a bare headed change down to a #3 headsail. After turning the rounding mark laid off South Durras and heading back around Wasp Island, "Accolade" and "Wishful" set running spinnakers for the journey home. "Accolade" hit speeds of up to 13 knots running down the coast. Meanwhile the short handed "Moonmist" ran a poled out headsail and fell well behind. Approaching North Head, the "Moonmist" crew decided to set their symmetrical spinnaker after all.

Half way across the Bay with 3 nautical miles to go, "Accolade" was a quarter of a nautical mile ahead of "Wishful" and over a nautical mile ahead of "Moonmist". However the breeze progressively faded closer to the land allowing "Wishful" to close the gap. Soon both boats would be ghosting along in very little wind with their crews hand holding the spinnaker sheets and having to sail north of the direct course to keep the sails filling.


Meanwhile, "Moonmist" was running deep with a new breeze coming from astern. Near the finish "Accolade" and "Wishful" eventually got some breeze. "Accolade" gybed onto port first, passed astern of "Wishful" as she gybed and was able to sail over the top of "Wishful" to pip her at the finish. But "Moonmist", even as their main halyard failed and the mainsail started to slide down the mast, had sailed straight past to score a remarkable come from behind win.

Full results are up on the BBSC website www.bbsc.org.au. Thanks much go to Geoff Perrem for setting and retrieving the Durras rounding mark. The next BBSC keelboat race will be a coastal race on Saturday April 1st.


Above: the race start with from L to R Moonmist, Accolade and Wishful Thinking (photo credit Sharna Harris) and of the finish with Accolade overtaking Wishful while Moonmist comes from nowhere to win the race (photo credit Fred Tromp).

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