Batemans Bay Sailing Club held the annual Durras Race last Saturday. The event was held before the worst of the Currowan bushfire emergency.
However, bushfires still affected the race due to the closure of the Kings Highway preventing the Canberra-based sailors from travelling to the coast, so several boats were unable to sail.
A fleet of three yachts headed out along with race officer Dave Magill and his trusty crew of Terry Paton and Roger Rowe aboard the committee boat "Clarence the Clocker". The south-east breeze was initially gusting to 20 knots so the boats all set number 3 headsails.
"Avior" (Peter Paterson) even tucked a reef in the mainsail.
From the start the boats headed upwind to the marine park middle mark then reached off around North Head and up the coast to a laid mark off North Durras before heading back to finish off Caseys Beach.
The boats carried spinnakers from North Head all the way to the turning mark even as the breeze faded and backed progressively through to the nor'east.
On the way back a building nor'easter gave the boats a quick run back down the coast, again mostly under spinnaker.
Closure of the Kings Highway prevented the Canberra-based sailors from travelling to the coast ...
"Accolade" (Lachlan Brown) and her hard working crew got to the finish in 3 hours and 25 minutes.
"North Star" (John Drummond) and "Avior" had a close race all the way before "North Star" drew away as the breeze freshened on the run in to the finish.
"North Star" was over half an hour behind "Accolade" but that was close enough to secure the win on PHS while "Accolade" won on AMS.
Thanks must go to Batemans Bay Sailing Club's Durras agent Al Rosier who dropped the Durras mark in and, bushfires permitting, will be heading out to retrieve it.