It was a great day for sailing on Saturday when Batemans Bay Sailing Club conducted the 6th Bay Cup race of the season.
It was a handicap start which means the faster boats gave the slower boats a head start based on past performances.
A group of eight yachts headed out into the light northerly conditions. Race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew of Terry Paton and Roger Rowe aboard the committee boat “Clarence the Clocker” had a tricky task setting a course for the breeze, which was light to non-existent at first.
They set a short upwind leg from the start to a laid mark near Snapper Island. The boats completed a return leg to the marine park middle mark then one lap around a triangle to the laid mark, Chain Bay, the marine park middle mark and then to a finish line at the laid mark.
The first boats head start didn’t count for much in the drifting conditions. The last two boats to start - “Attitude” (Simon Byrne) and “Wishful Thinking” (Andrew Bain) benefited when the wind shifted to the north east, enabling them to sail straight to the first mark and overtake most of the fleet within the first 500m of the race.
“Avior” (Tony Sutton) had the early lead in what were perfect S80 conditions. Soon enough the Adams 10.6 sister ships “Attitude”, “Wishful” and “Accolade” (Lachlan Brown) came past on the return leg to the middle mark.
Nearing the middle mark the breeze suddenly went from north east to south east as a front came through, which basically meant the yachts tacked from port to starboard and kept going in the same direction.
At least there was some breeze now, with the odd 15 knot gust coming through.
“Attitude” and “Wishful” had a close contest all the way to the finish line, where “Attitude” finished 39 seconds ahead after giving “Wishful” a three-minute head start.
“Accolade” dropped back with a veritable kelp forest around the rudder which took a full leg to clear with the boat hook but still managed to finish third ahead of “Avior”.
The light conditions didn’t suit the big boats of the fleet “Xanthia” (James Gardiner) or “Valhalla” (Dion Perrins and Kathie Blanklie).
“North Star” (John Drummond) got the biggest head start but wasn’t able to make much use of it. In Division 2 “Vital Spark” (Richard and Bev Dunne) scored a convincing victory.