Jessie James wins to launch new campaign
Division 1 skipper Brett Hawker finally launched his yacht for its first outing of the new season last Saturday and proved the winter lay-off had not made any difference to his sailing skills.
Although he had a sluggish start, he had Jessie James moving well as he chased the early leader, Murray Howson in Sitting Bull, which had won the start and was well ahead.
Hawker was able to avoid the sandbanks around the harbour course, whereas a few others gathered weed or were stuck in the mud.
All fleets began their harbour course racing with a deep water flying start because of the extremely low tide and the weather was balmy with a steady southerly at about 10 knots.
Murray Deere, in Wild One, struck trouble early and lost valuable time, but gave chase.
Jack Spaanderman was in command of Crunchtime and the low tide did not help him and his crew as they battled on several occasions to extricate themselves from the mud. Jessie James closed the gap to Sitting Bull, which was also having its first race, and was announced the winner on handicap in a fine effort.
Sitting Bull was second and fastest in a good show, and a disappointed Deere took third place on a frustrating day.
Division 2 had Neil Worrell sailing with a skeleton crew and opted to go with just jib and main, enabling him to get a decent handicap, which he used to his advantage to score a win over Josh Hughes in Joker and Gary Eaton in Farr Star.
Joker was the leading boat throughout and Hughes improves each weekend. He was second on handicap and also recorded fastest time in a fine display.
Eaton had Farr Star doing well on certain legs with some good spinnaker work and took third place.
The Flying Fifteens had a close and exciting race, with Simon Lucas leading, with FForever Young and Aileen Lucas in Crazy on his transom throughout.
It was neck and neck with only eight seconds separating them at the finish, Crazy winning easily on handicap and FForever Young second and fastest.
Vipers were back in action and Michael Cameron and Steven Dines were involved in a ding-dong battle in a fierce encounter.
Cameron was always the leader, with Dines shadowing him throughout, but was pipped to the post. In the mixed dinghies, there were enough boats to form three different fleets and the competitive nature as exposed.
The Lasers saw Joseph Harvey victorious with This Way Up, followed by Jack O’Farrell in The Big Rig in second place, with Luke Pascoe third in The Cracker.
The Mirror winner was William Wise sailing Twixta in a great performance.
Second was Tom O’Farrell sailing Aussie Larrikin, and third went to Henry Bellenger in Magic Happens.
Two GP 14s had a match race and the winner was Blue Boat No.4, sailed by Theresa Robinson, with Cherrie Anderson skippering White Boat No.1.
It was a great day of sailing, with 21 boats on the water and a few more expected to join them.
Jack Spaanderman in Crunchtime and Murray Deer in Wild One have a close call at the start.