It was a great day for sailing when the Batemans Bay Sailing Club held its annual Lady Skippers’ race on Saturday, February 9.
Ten boats left the marina, although the fresh northwesterly conditions and some gear failure caused three of the boats to retire before the race began.
Winds were gusting at speeds up to 25 knots, so most of the boats carried a small headsail and a reef in the mainsail.
The race was a sternchaser format, which meant the smaller boats got a head-start based on past performances.
The yachts sailed a shortened two-lap course consisting of a broad reach from the start to the Chain Bay mark, a beam reach to the Marine Park middle mark, a work to Caseys Beach, then another leg to Chain Bay and a fetch back to the finish at Caseys Beach.
‘The Shed’ and ‘Lollipop’ retired during the race to leave just five finishers.
‘North Star’, skippered by Kirsty Jamieson, was looking good most of the way around the course until Celia Davey’s ‘Avior' rushed past.
‘Valhalla’ was well powered up with the experienced Kathie Blankley steering. ‘Accolade’, skippered by Lara Phillips, and ‘Attitude’, helmed by guest skipper Alex de Caritat, did not really stand a chance as they gave up too much of a head-start to the other boats.
‘Avior’ showed some impressive speed to win from ‘North Star’ and ‘Valhalla’.
It was a return to form by Celia Davey, who has been cruising for most of the past two years, but really prefers racing.
Thanks must go to race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew of Roger Rowe and Terry Paton who also braved the conditions aboard the committee boat ‘Clarence the Clocker’.