The windy theme of 2018 was forecast to continue into the New Year with the first inside course handicap start for 2019.
Five boats Sussex Inlet Basin and Yacht Club (SIBYC) took to the water, two less than there should have been since Paul and Lynne on Son of Coco were about to set sail when they noticed that their outboard had been stolen overnight and the Roo Crew were on start boat duties.
While SIBYC would like to wish everybody else a happy New Year we hope the low life’s that have stolen the outboard have a miserable 2019.
Should anybody have any information regarding the theft of the 5HP Mariner long shaft outboard please contact Police assistance line on 131444 or Sussex Police Station on 02 4441 2665 or even the sailing club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, back on the water, the remaining boats were obviously keen for some serious racing after the Christmas break.
First away together at 1pm sharp were Backchat (Steve, Jan, Mark, Jackie and Jeremy) and ‘Tingaround (Andrew, John and mystery crew member), closely followed by Equinox (Kenny, Janette and Graham) at one minute past, then at five minutes past (plus a few seconds) was Sussex Inlet RSL (Silver, Macca and “The Milkman”), and then last away, chasing the pack as usual, was Southern cRoss (GA, The Dragon and guest crew member Joel) off at 13.08.
With about 10-12 knots blowing from the south-southeast and half meter chop developing, Backchat made it to the top mark first with ‘Tingaround snapping at their heel.
Then with a reef in the main and trying to close the gap was Equinox.
These three boats then begun an epic struggle for the lead for most of the rest of the race, whilst Sussex Inlet RSL and Southern cRoss worked on getting closer.
With the lead swapping a number of times around the track, ‘Tingaround and Equinox started having their own match race battle with each other, allowing Backchat to sneak away and pull out a slim lead.
Meanwhile, with the advantage of watching the developing battle from behind, Southern cRoss, sailed passed Sussex Inlet RSL and with ‘Tingaround and Equinox still engaged in their own race, managed to edge past on the final long work and into second place.
With Backchat Skipper Steve now developing a sore neck from looking over his shoulder, the order was raised to hoist the spinnaker on the second last leg, to try and stay in front of the closing Southern cRoss.
It would all come down to the last short work to the finish.
With the crew all hanging off the side of the boat, Backchat managed to just reach the finish on a single tack, with Southern cRoss less than a minute behind.
‘Tingaround had managed to get back past Equinox with some deft spinnaker work on the second to last leg, but in a thrilling finish including two short tacks to cross the line, Equinox just managed to pass on the last work for third place, again with ‘Tingaround just a few seconds behind in Fourth.
This just left the boys on Sussex Inlet RSL to cruise up to the finish in Fifth place. All in all certainly an exciting race to watch, and judging by the post-race “debrief” back at the RSL, it was and exciting and satisfying race to take part in.
Results: first Backchat, second Southern cRoss, third Equinox, fourth ‘Tingaround, and fifth Sussex Inlet RSL.
Next week’s race will be a Handicap Start Basin Chase.