It was one of those nights.
Wind speeds dropped to below 10 knots as 23 yachts prepared to race.
Winds swirled, were unpredictable in direction and before racing started at 6pm there were moments, with wind gust approaching 30 knots, that twilight sailors thought the evening’s racing could be cancelled.
Then wind speeds dropped to below 10 knots as 23 yachts prepared to race.
From the first start gun the wind picked up and, even if only slightly, it constantly changed direction.
Sailing was a challenge especially as the principal race officer Rick Elyward placed the third marker buoy close to the start so that yachts had to gibe and tack, often three or four times to leave that third mark to starboard and sail up river to the fourth mark rounding that to port.
In the restricted 21 division, even though he was well behind at the start, Randal Cooper, helming Nerana, soon closed the gap on Chris Reiffel’s Dolphin, closely followed by the inform Lyndon Bartlett aboard Endeavour.
Hence results of the division were: 1st Nerana – Randall Cooper, 2nd Dolphin – Chris Reiffel and 3rd Endeavour Lyndon Bartlett.
In the spinnaker division the Flying Fifteen Fflying Squad sailed by former club champion Brad Briggs raced away.
Certainly Andrew Stevens helming his Elliot 7 Envy was always in with a chance of closing the gap as was Todd Bartlett aboard Bohica and Trevor Baldock helming Destiny.
And, there was always a chance that Ben Sanders, helming his distinctly pink Soling Gidget might get a place.
However, at the end of some manoeuvring and skippers commitment to stay upright, results were: 1st Fflying Squad – Brad Briggs, 2nd Envy – Andrew Stevens, and 3rd Bohica – Todd Bartlett.
In the non spinnaker division with eight yachts, there was every expectation that this might be a night for the Blazer 23 The Shed helmed by Peter Nielson or even the Noelex 25 Wind in the Willows – the latter always enjoys strong winds.
After much competitive racing and many changes of position, with Bacchus helmed by Brendan Murray in an excellent position at the first mark changing wind direction and hefty gusts soon sorted the fleet. Final results were 1st Encore – Don Richardson, 2nd Wind in the Willows – Roger Rees and 3rd Carina – Ben Morris.