It was a great day for sailing on Saturday 5th November when Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the annual Lady Skippers’ race. This was a sternchaser start where the smaller boats got a headstart based on past performances. There was less than 5 knots of breeze at the starting line off Caseys Beach. The first boat off the start, “True North” (Debbie Cockle) had only covered a few hundred meters by the time the quickest boat in the fleet “Apostrophe” (Jackie Jansse) started 22 minutes later. “Wishful Thinking” (Julie Phelps) soon ghosted into the lead. The sea breeze arrived helping “Wishful Thinking” and “Accolade” (Lara Phillips) extend their lead on the work to Chain Bay. The next leg was a broad reach to Wimbie Beach. “Accolade” was first to set her spinnaker and powered over the top of “Wishful”. “Accolade” held onto her lead on the last reach back to Caseys Beach to win from “Wishful Thinking” and “Attitude” (Sonja Gasser).
Lara Phillips was stoked with the win but there was little time for celebrations with the Bay Cup race starting shortly afterwards. For this race race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew Jude Brown aboard “Clarence the Clocker” set an excellent line with a slight pin end bias. There was an impressive fleet of 12 BBSC yachts out on the water. The sea breeze had built to 10 to 20 knots. “Hobo” (Peter Withington) attempted an ambitious port tack start but it was “Avior” (Tony Sutton) which got away the best. The majority of the fleet went left into Chain Bay on the work to Yellow Rock. This was a poor move as the wind was much stronger out in the middle. “Apostrophe” (David McNichol) capitalised on this but was underpowered for the conditions having reefed the mainsail. Shaking the reef out took a long time which allowed “Accolade” (Lachlan Brown) into the lead. “Accolade” extended her lead on the following reaching legs, hitting speeds of up to 13 knots. She sailed conservatively for the remaining windward and return legs to get line honours from “Apostrophe” with a 5 minute margin.
On AMS “Accolade” won from “Attitude”(Simon Byrne) and “Wishful Thinking”(Andrew Bain). James Gardiner was able to get the mighty “Xanthia” moving nicely to win on PHS from “Accolade” and “Attitude”. “Hobo” won Division 2 in a welcome appearance by the popular Witho. Full results are up at www.bbsc.org.au .
The Commodore’s dinner held at On The Pier restaurant that evening was a great evening. Harry Watson Smith gave an excellent presentation full of practical information on making long distance cruising easier and safer. Thanks must go to Simon Byrne for providing the projector and screen and for setting up all the equipment even though he was unable to stay for the function.