Winter series 2015, Race 10

Winter Series Open Race 10, 13th September, 2015 – Season finale

By Tom Wheeler

 

The final race of the winter series produced a good turnout of yachts and some of the season’s best racing in fine weather and pleasantly warm sailing conditions. The 20-25 knot southwesterly wind prevailing as the boats crossed the start line opposite the Pilot Bay wharf had the skippers thinking hard as to the appropriate amount of sail to carry. However, by the time the contestants closed in on the first of the turning marks in the western arm of the harbour, the wind had eased substantially, necessitating some crews re-thinking their choice of sails. It was a busy day for foredeck crew as spinnakers were hauled up and set several times, with the kites getting an airing during two downwind runs in the western arm as well as the final leg, returning down the main channel from the Bridge marina. The fleet was visited by a pod of dolphins near Panepane point, a rare occurrence within the harbour. The A division early leader, Persuader, looked good at the head of the fleet, until gear failure necessitated her withdrawal. The faster, later-starting boats, Not Negotiable, Rocky, and Wizzard gradually hauled in another of the pacemakers, Jetstream, to take the first three places. In B division, Candidus was dominant, leading from start to finish. However, late in the race they were threatened by a fast-charging Ghia who closed in on them in the last 200 meters, followed by Force 10, who took out third place. Overall, the winter series featured some close and exciting racing in a wide range of conditions. The series makes for an excellent entry into keelboat racing – The Mark Foy starts minimise the stress of pre-start manoeuvring, and the competitive spirit is also tempered with courtesy. The focus now switches to the upcoming Legends Regatta, featuring a unique mix of racing, cruising and socialising on and around Great Mercury Island. The winter series was supported by the following sponsors; Mount Liquor Mart, Mills Reef winery, Burnsco Marine, and Bakeshack.

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