Last Saturday Nowra Community Sailing Club had it best conditions of the season for heat two of the Manildra Championship, heat four of the Bomaderry Bowling Club point score, and the Kel Campbell Trophy of the Day. With a nice north-easter and incoming tide we had the joys of flat water and an 8-12 knot breeze. It does not get much better than that!
The start was very tactical as sailors had to balance where the best breeze was while minimising the adverse current to the first mark. The start was won by Wayne Norris from Steve Phelps and Cameron Phelps then Michael Fairbairn, these four being close enough to have the proverbial blanket thrown over them. Slightly back was Bill Jauncey and Alan Hunter. Dave and Rod on the Manly Graduate missed the start by a few minutes with a gear problem.
During the first lap Wayne managed to stay uncomfortably close to Michael; that is uncomfortably close for Michael, not Wayne! At the end of the lap Michael had a small lead on Wayne with a gap of over a minute to the Spirals of Bill, Cameron and Steve in that order, also covered by that proverbial blanket. However as he gybed around the bottom mark (the mark most downwind,) Bill’s mainsheet traveller pulley jammed and Cameron and Steve romped ahead of him. Bill, being by far the oldest and lightest competitor, never recovered and steadily fell further behind the two flying Phelps Spirals for the rest of the race.
Michael had a much better second lap and opened his Finn’s customary lead over Wayne’s Spiral, while Cameron who was relishing the breeze began to clear out from his Dad and Bill. Alan kept his Laser in touch with the Spirals and Dave and Rod again added colour to the river with the M.G.s spinnaker. This order stayed the same for the rest of the race.
Michael crossed the finish line almost eight minutes ahead of Wayne, who in turn was over three minutes ahead of Cameron. Steve was another two minutes back and Bill another minute behind Steve. Alan and Dave and Rod came in several minutes behind Bill.
The Manildra Championship is decided on boat handicaps, not the handicaps of the skippers. This means Michael on the Finn has to give time to the Spirals, as does Alan’s Laser and the M.G. This time Michael had enough of a lead to still beat Wayne by less than a minute. Cameron had his best Championship result of the season to come third from father Steve, with Bill fifth, Alan sixth and Dave and Rod seventh.
The Bomaderry Bowling Club point score is decided by skipper’s handicaps and Cameron easily won it by almost a minute on corrected time from Wayne with Michael almost a minute behind him. Steve easily beat Bill for fourth place and Alan came sixth from Dave and Rod. This win gave Cameron a well-deserved Kel Campbell Trophy of the Day.
This Saturday we race for heat five of the Bomaderry Bowling Club point score and the Kel Campbell Trophy of the Day. Start is at 2.15pm and as usual visitors are most welcome.