Last Saturday saw the second race of the Basin Chase series and the first one with a handicap start. For the first time this season we had sun, warmth and finally, and most importantly for sailing, a steady breeze. After a little indecision early in the day the wind finally settled into a 8–10 knot ENEasterly, perfect!
Sapphire (Max and Lois) was the scratch boat, starting at 1pm and with 10 minutes between them and the next starter, Serendipity (Dick & Scott), they made the most of the head start – for a long time it was looking like nobody was going to catch them. Two Up (Paul and Lynne) were off 2 minutes after Serendipity with HooRoo (Andy and Lou) another 2 minutes back. Next were Backchat (Steve, Jan and Mark), Equnox (Ken, Janette and Graham), Sussex Inlet RSL (Glen, Macca and Marco), Pass The Port (Paul and Lynne) and bringing up the rear, starting 27 minutes after Sapphire, Southern Cross (Greg and Lynne).
The wind direction meant that there were very few true works (and those that there were, were not that tactically challenging) so it favoured those who went well off the breeze. Sapphire continued on their merry way a long way out the front and for a majority of the race the battles just went on behind them. HooRoo, Two Up and Serendipity were all very close right up until the long run down to Talyan Point where HooRoo was able to fly down to the mark, overtaking both and finally pulling out a little bit of breathing space. Further back the kite run brought the remaining fleet closer together with Southern Cross, Pass The Port and Sussex Inlet RSL all making up ground on Backchat and Gone Too Farr. Unfortunately after a great start Equinox had some spinnaker issues which made it hard for them to maintain their position for the rest of the race.
The legs into Ernie’s and back out were surprisingly uneventful allowing the fleet to close up even more and HooRoo and Serendipity were finally able to overtake Sapphire. By the final downwind run to the finish line it was all very close, with the whole fleet on the last leg at the same time, which made for a great view with all the spinnakers flying in a riot of colour.
Despite a late run by Sussex Inlet RSL and Southern Cross, HooRoo was able to hold on for a 1st place, with Serendipity just keeping Gone Too Farr behind them to take 4th place. Next came Pass The Port, Two Up (who just couldn’t hold off the bigger boats), Backchat, Sapphire and Equinox. It was all very close over the line with only 14 seconds separating 2nd & 3rd places, 7 seconds between 4th & 5th and 6 minutes separating the whole fleet, not bad for a 2½-hour race!
As always a big thankyou to Phil and Duck on the committee boat, finally they also had weather more conducive to spending a day out on the Basin.
Next Saturday is a no-sail day so the next race will be an Inside Course (handicap start) and this Thursday the race will be a Handicap Series.
1st HooRoo, 2nd Sussex Inlet RSL, 3rd Southern Cross, 4th Serendipity, 5th Gone Too Farr, 6th Pass The Port, 7th Two Up, 8th Backchat, 9th Sapphire, 10th Equinox.