IT was a beautiful sailing day on the Basin on Saturday for the last of the SIBYC outside course series of the season – a windward/leeward handicap start.
It was warm and sunny with a cheeky little eight knot north-easterly wind, which was forecast to build during the day to about 10 to 15 knots.
Cheeky Chick (Liz and Robyn) were off first with Two Up (Paul and Lynne) a couple of minutes behind and White Dove (Steve) a minute behind them.
There was then a 10 minute gap before the next group of three boats all went off at the same time, HooRoo (Andy and Lou), Fly Navy Too (Greg and crew) and Bay Blues (John and Steve).
As usual the big boats started last with Lowana (Glen, Ken and Gary) then Pass The Port (Paul, Lynne, Graham and Rhonda) and Southern Cross (Greg, Lynne and Bill) bringing up the rear.
The lead changed after the first leg with Two Up overtaking Cheeky Chick, and Bay Blues and Fly Navy Too were constantly changing places throughout the race. There was also a real battle between the three big boats, Lowana, Southern Cross and Pass The Port, with the places changing regularly throughout.
The wind clearly had not read the forecast as after two legs of the race it had almost completely died.
Luckily it did fill back in after a short time and the race was finished in a steady 10 to 12 knots of breeze.
The last leg saw a number of position changes and some extremely close racing right up to the end with only 26 seconds separating first and second and 35 seconds separating four, fifth and sixth positions.
As always a big thank you to Phil and Hoops on the committee boat.
Next weekend is a no sail weekend as it is race four of the Southern Zone series and the weekend of March 29 and 30 is the Timpenny Regatta, during which the last race of the Basin Chase series will be raced.
Results: First Bay Blues, second Fly Navy Too, third Two Up, fourth Southern Cross, fifth Lowana, sixth HooRoo, seventh Pass The Port, eighth Cheeky Chick, White Dove DNF.
Andy and Lou.