57 boats contested the Beyond Bank Regatta which was hosted by Batemans Bay Sailing Club over the weekend. Crews came from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and everywhere in between. Saturday was not the most pleasant day with light winds in between the showers that passed over the course and a sloppy sea which made life difficult for the committee boat crew at anchor in the middle of the Bay. Sunday was worth waiting for with sunny conditions and a consistent breeze.
On the offshore course there were strong fleets in the Lightweight Sharpie, 505 and Laser classes. The other boats were grouped into divisions which raced each other on yardsticks based on the known performance of each type of boat. The Hansa class raced on the more sheltered waters between Snapper Island and Corrigans Beach.
The Lightweight Sharpies featured a close contest between “Truck” skippered by Todd Curry which won on a countback from “Smoke” (Michael Forster). There was a more clearcut victory for Daniel Keys and Daryl Roos sailing “Intergalactic” in the 505s. The Laser class was taken out by Tasar legend Rick Longbottom, who sails a Laser in his spare time. The big dinghies division was won by another former Tasar world champion in Rob Douglass who had borrowed a Flying Dutchman and linked up with James Burman for this regatta. The small dinghies division was won by Lachlan Brown sailing his Spiral Dinghy “Humbug”. In the trailerable yachts there was only one crew, BBSC’s very own Alan Rees and Dave Gibson sailing “Tradewind”, and they won convincingly.
The big cats division was taken out by the Hobie 16 “In the Moment” crewed by James Rhodes and Noah Skewes. The small cats division was actually a contest between a cat and two trimarans, with the Hobie 14 catamaran “Macboat” sailed by sailmaker Adrian Mills coming out ahead.
In the Hansa dinghies there was a popular winner in Tish Ennis who was quick to praise the sailors with disabilities who competed in this class with some of the boats being specifically modified.
The regatta was made possible by the many volunteers who put in their time and skill over the course of the weekend. These included onshore manager Robin Davey, chief number cruncher Terry Paton and crews from Yachting ACT who provided excellent rescue boats. Hamish Balfour and Mary Tulip from YMCA SC in Canberra brought their club boat down with them. BBSC power boat owners Andrew Bain, James Gardiner, Tony Bonouvrie and Simon Lowth and their crews Johno Keeling, Ross Hayward, John Reed, Lara Phillips and Julie Phelps positioned the course markers. Committee boat skipper Dave Magill and his crew Deb Keeley, Belinda Collins, Janet Hunt and Richard Dunne had perhaps the toughest job of all. The Sailability committee boat crew including Race Officer Michael Leydon, Dennis Merrick and Harry Watson Smith ran the inshore course. Principal Race Officer Phil Yeomans came down from Sydney to run the event, bringing a wealth of experience with him.