A light and patchy breeze led to a slow afternoon of sailing for the Batemans Bay Sailing Club keelboat fleet last Saturday. Only 5 boats started after "Xanthia" (James Gardiner) was a late scratching when crew members were stuck in Sydney due to the COVID outbreak. Race officer Terry Paton and his trusty crew of Andrew Bain and Roger Rowe ventured forth in the newly remotored committee boat "Clarence the Clocker". It was a handicap start race with the faster boats giving the slower boats a headstart based on past performances.
"Rainbow Runner" (Geoff Scott) got the biggest headstart but needed more breeze to get going. Conditions were more favourable for the S80 "Avior" which soon got into the lead. Because her skipper Peter Paterson was sailing single handed there was no excess crew weight aboard. Next off was the Farr 1020 "Moonmist" (Robin Davey) then the Adams 10.6 sister ships "Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop) and "Accolade" (Lachlan Brown).
"Wishful" got past "Moonmist" on the first work to the Marine Park middle mark. There followed a broad reach to Caseys Beach and a tighter reach back to a laid mark off Square Head. By the bottom mark "Wishful" had reeled in "Rainbow Runner" and was catching up to
"Avior". Meanwhile "Accolade" had got through the lee of "Moonmist" under spinnaker and had made up time on "Wishful". The breeze really dropped out on the last work to the finish. It was a challenge to make any headway at all. "Wishful" was first into new breeze on the right hand side of the course and got away again, just pipping "Avior" at the finish, with "Accolade" coming in third several minutes later.
Above: Adams 10.6 "Wishful Thinking" (Simon Dunlop).