After two weeks of abandoned racing due to the weather and a race in Portland, sailors were finally able to take to the waters of Port MacDonnell and properly start the 2023-2024 sailing season.
Four boats of varying classes braved the white caps to sail the course set by the race officer Commodore Jennifer Jones.
She and committee boat driver David Jones set an interesting course, with a loop from the start line to the first mark to the south west and back, another loop from the start directly south and a final loop to the south east before finishing in front of the club house.
It was a spread out start, with Noelex ‘Sandrine’ skippered by Chris Lynch the first boat across the start line and Mack Ferguson’s Austral20 ‘Papillion’ behind them.
New boat to the club, Sundance ‘Billy 2’ sailed by Nick Watson, did not race the first race, instead opting to sail around the course to get a handle on the new boat.
Chris Lynch and David Bryson’s hard work at the start paid off as they led the fleet the entire race and took out line honours for race one.
Dave Evans, Adrian Romescu and Damian McMahon on ‘Farr-mer’ were second across the finish line.
The wind held steady for the second race with a close start. ‘Farr-mer’ had a wonderful start as first boat across the line and Mack Ferguson, John Kain and Graham McKay on ‘Papillion’ were close behind.
The whole fleet was very close by the end of the first lap, with three boats rounding the buoy in short succession.
Despite starting the race in third position, ‘Billy 2’ showed the speed which little catamarans are capable of and pulled out well in front to take its first line honours. ‘Farr-mer’ was able to stay in front of the other two trailable boats and crossed the finish line in second position.
The wind speed dropped during the two races and due to the favourable conditions a third race was undertaken.
The third race had a close start with all boats crossing the line within seconds of each other, however ‘Farr-mer’ once again crossed the line first with ‘Papillion’ in second.
With a near capsize at the finish line, ‘Billy 2’ managed to stay upright and take out line honours in the third race as well.
‘Sandrine’ and ‘Farr-mer’ had a tussle to the finish line with ‘Sandrine’ winning out and crossing the line in second place.
A fourth race commenced straight after the third, to make up for some of the missed races in October.
It was another close start with ‘Sandrine’ this time taking out the start and ‘Farr-mer’ very close behind.
However, once racing started it was easy to see the advantage that ‘Billy 2’ had over the larger boats as it once more easily took line honours.
There will be a two day regatta at Port MacDonnell this weekend and boats of all classes encouraged to enter.
The public is more than welcome to come down and take a look on both days