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Snowy Mountains Regatta success

Hayden Virtue sailing his International Canoe. Photo by John Byrne.Twelve mono-hulls and nine catamarans rigged up to compete in heat 14 of Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club’s Twilight series on the evening of March 2.
Nanjing Night Net

Some used the event as practice for the upcoming Snowy Mountains Regatta. John Byrne and Terry Lee manned the start and rescue boats as they sent the large fleets off on a Starboard rounding course into a light to medium strength south westerly breeze.

Alex and Aiden Machin led the cats around the four lap course on their Hobie 20. The breeze dropped towards the end of the race, slowing the following cats and giving Alex and Aiden their first handicap win of the season.

They were followed by Tim Symons and Barry Dennis. John Baird led the mono-hull fleet around the course and to the finish. Jason Abbott took the handicap win from John and Ross Tattersall,

The annual Snowy Mountains Regatta started with the Invitation race on the evening of Friday, March 4.

Several sailors turned up from Canberra and further afield to join the local sailors in the races on Lake Jindabyne.

Martin Van Weel led the race team as the Primary Regatta Officer and set a course using the club’s usual marks.

He sent the cats off on a three lap course which included three long windward works to the far off Mountain mark.

The medium to strong breeze had all the sailors zooming around the course until the end of the race when the dying breeze caused some sailors to struggle to reach the finish and some to not finish at all.

In the catamaran race Martin Horder and Bella Forcet from Wallerawang Sailing Club took the yardstick win on their Nacra 5.8, with Barney and Thomas Davis in their Hobie 16 in second place and Paul Connor and his Taipan 5.7 in third.

Ian Brokenshire won the trailable yacht division race from Ian Hawke and Rod Charles.

Hayden Virtue sailed his International Canoe to first place in the mono-hull division race followed by local laser sailors Kerry McGaw and Steve Osborne.

The sailors and their families enjoyed a great dinner at the clubhouse on Friday evening after the race.

After waiting for the breeze to arrive on Saturday morning, Martin VW and his team set a triangle course on the main lake and sent the three divisions off one after the other.

Unfortunately the wind faded and forced the race to be abandoned after more than an hour and a half of drifting on the lake.

Many of the sailors required a tow to get back to the beach and clubhouse for lunch.

After lunch another race was set in a light shifting breeze.

Many of the boats traded places as the breeze moved in direction all over the course. All divisions finished this slow race and the sailors stayed on the lake for the third race.

A single triangle lap was set and the divisions started in reverse order. Suddenly the wind kicked in and the sailors found themselves zooming around the course in 20 to 25 knots.

The cats only took around 10 minutes to complete a lap off the course which took around an hour earlier in the day. Several sailors took unexpected swims and had to recover from sudden capsizes in the strong breeze.

The sailors re-gathered on Sunday, March 6 to complete the 4 race regatta.

Unfortunately the wind didn’t turn up and racing was abandoned so that the travelling sailors could return home.

The prizes were presented in the clubhouse to the winners and place getters along with a pile of ‘lucky door prizes’ from many local businesses which sponsored the regatta.

After collating the results from the two very different races completed on Saturday, Martin Horder won the cat division from local Barney Davis and Steve Ramsden on his F14 Alpha Omega cat.

Ian Hawke took out the trailable yacht division from Rod Charles and Ian Brokenshire. Leo O’Keefe sailed his Impulse to first place in the mono-hull division from local sailors Nick Kennedy on his Finn and Jason Abbott on his Laser.

Everyone enjoyed the weekend’s events despite the fickle wind and all planned to return next year to race on Lake Jindabyne.

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