Sunday, January 10, was the first dinghy racing day for 2021 at the Goolwa Aquatic Club. Light breezes of 10 to 12 knots swung from southerly to south easterly and south westerly during the three race session, keeping the course boat busy between races and the sailors on their toes.
The senior division included three Tasars, eight Sabres (including Craig McPhee trialling the Sabre Association's new prototype sail), Bruce Konings's Finn and four of the club's Pacer dinghies.
The quicker Tasars were fastest around the course in each of the three races; Harry Cooper and Shevaun Bruland in Two Fat Ladies won the first race by an impressive two-and-a-half minutes from second placed Ben Kelsey and Sophie Ward in Dune Buggy, with Bryan Lindsay and Peg Offler in White Sapphire third.
Something evidently clicked on Dune Buggy in race two, with a dead heat for first place with Two Fat Ladies. Race three saw Harry and Shevaun narrowly take another win, just three seconds ahead of Bruce Konings in his Finn, Ship Happens and six seconds ahead of Ben and Sophie.
In the Sabres, Craig McPhee was never really challenged, third or fourth overall over the line in each race and at least half a minute clear of the next Sabres (fat head sails) of Rob Gale and James Veale. Craig's performance saw him with a third and two first places to take first place overall on yardstick rating, narrowly ahead of John Gratton, followed then by Rob Gale, Harry and Shevaun, and Bruce Konings in fifth - a real mix of classes at the top of the leader board.
Tim Frears sailing with Layla and Duke in Pacer 2 led the Pacer fleet, taking an impressive fourth overall on yardstick as well in Race 3. A minor indiscretion by the Frears' boat in Race 2 saw Jake Steele and Jordan Lewis in Pacer 4 capitalise and slip ahead, but the Frears were clearly ahead overall.
The pairings of Anita Saunders and Summer Newman and Renae Newman and Georgie Byrnes looked to be having a ball around the course, with the young crews putting on a great display of enthusiastic hiking.
Handicap results for the senior fleet had Bruce Konings in first place with Rob Gale and Craig McPhee tied for second place. John Gratton placed fourth, with the Tasars Dune Buggy and Two Fat Ladies tied for fifth place.
Three Optis turned out for the junior fleet. With a good jump on the other two boats at the start of Race 1, Kelly Steele maintained her lead and took line honours. The second race was a much closer affair, with not much separating the three sailors for much of the race. Lucas Byrnes showed great boat speed, but took the lead to claim a win by only 20 seconds. In the third race, Kelly again took the win. Well done to Rose Ward, racing single handed in Optis for the first time. On handicap, Lucas took the day by just one point from Kelly.
A great day on the water left all sailors very much looking forward to next weekend's racing.