Last Saturday was a great day for sailing, especially as Batemans Bay Sailing Club was holding the McAsh Oysters Race, which was the final keelboat race of the sailing season. A total of eight yachts headed out. There was a light sea breeze blowing which averaged around 5 knots. Race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew of Terry Paton and Roger Rowe set a pin end favoured start line. It was a handicap start race where the faster boats gave the slower boats a headstart based on past performances. The course consisted of a one tack work to the Toll Gates mark, a square run to the Wimbie Beach Mark then a fetch to a laid mark in the middle of the Bay. The Division 1 boats then did a windward and return leg to the Toll Gates and back.
“North Star” (John Drummond) in Division 1 and “Lollipop” (Deb Keeley) in Division 2 were away first and never relinquished their leads. Drummond and his crew deployed their new gennaker to perfection on the downwind legs. The all female crew on “Lollipop” deployed skill and tenacity in the tricky conditions, even as Deb took a bucket load of photos during the race.
Further back there was a race within a race as the three Adams 10.6 yachts “Accolade” (Lachlan Brown), “Attitude” (Simon Byrne) and “Wishful Thinking” (Andrew Bain) had the club championship on the line. “Accolade” and “Attitude” were able to get port tack starts ahead of “Wishful Thinking”. “Accolade” got away on the run down to Wimbie when “Attitude” and “Wishful” sailed out of breeze on either side of the course. Later “Attitude” and “Wishful” both retired as they were well behind and in danger of being unable to get back in over the bar on a falling tide. “Ghoster” (Dion Perrins) ghosted to third place on PHS in Division 1 behind “North Star” and “Accolade”. In Division 2 “Vital Spark” (Richard Dunne) was second on PHS to “Lollipop”. Div 2 yacht “Horizon” (Michelle Grybaitis) couldn’t get going in the light stuff and eventually retired as well.
Next weekend it will be all hands on deck for the Beyond Bank Regatta, the largest annual sailing regatta on the South Coast, which Batemans Bay Sailing Club has been running for over 40 years.