Big River Sailing Club member Jeff Smith on his Hobie 16 8 Items of Less in Saturday?s Bridge to Bridge.
Big River Sailing Club member Jeff Smith on his Hobie 16 8 Items of Less in Saturday?s Bridge to Bridge.

Close call for race record

By PHIL CAVANAGH

The Clarence River Sailing Club staged its annual Bridge to Bridge Sailing Classic last weekend sponsored by Mulga Bills Hobies.

Thirty boats, ranging from Lasers to ocean racing yachts lined up in five divisions, upstream of the Harwood bridge, in near ideal conditions for the trip to Grafton.

With this year's event scheduled for an afternoon, rather than a mid-morning start, it was hoped that a new race record could be set, especially with a number of high performance Formula 18 catamarans competing.

Despite the excellent conditions the eventual line honours winners, Michael Cahill and Phil Cavanagh sailing their Formula 18, One Design, finished 14 minutes outside the record, in a time of two hours and thirteen minutes.

Second and third home were another two Formula 18s, Dave Elliott and son Henry and Aaron Hancock and Shane Henwood.

In the catamaran division, Cahill and Cavanagh took out the corrected time, with the Elliotts, second and third place going to Big River Sailing Club member Jeff Smith and his crew on a Hobie 16.

In the monohull division, T Leitch, in an Elliott 5.9, crossed the line first but the corrected time victory went to local sailor Mark O'Donohue, on his Laser, with another local, Alex Dewar, also sailing a Laser, finishing in second place with Leitch pushed back to third.

The popular trailer sailor division was divided up into two fleets with Paul Dougherty's local crew taking the honours from O Gardner, with Brian Maddock, sailing Impulse home in third place.

In the remaining trailer sailor division it was a win to visitor, A Ferguson, on Mullet Gut, with second and third going to local competitors Don McLeod in, White Heather and Doug Jenkins in, Sandy Bottom.

In the yacht division it was a win to Port of Yamba Yacht Club member, A Soesan and his crew on, Audacious, with T Crozier sailing, Bloodhound second and W McGowen home third.

Normal club racing will return this weekend with a number of competitors heading to Harwood for their annual Laser regatta.



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