Cats engage in close tussle
THE day was off to a slow start last Saturday at the Big River Sailing Club, with no noticeable wind in the morning and the forecast predicting only light breeze for the afternoon.
It was a chance, however, for the juniors to kayak, swim and otherwise enjoy themselves in a river that is slowly returning to normal following the recent floods.
The patience of a sizable fleet was finally rewarded when a gentle sea breeze arrived just after lunch, enough to allow the completion of two short races.
It doesn’t take a lot of wind to drive an A Class catamaran, as demonstrated by Bob Eggins and Roger Shead, who went head to head again as the two entrants in that division. The pair enjoyed some close racing, with only five seconds the combined margin between them over the two races.
The senior monohulls were well represented by Lasers and Laser Radials, but it was Paul Hargan in his Sabre that upstaged the other classes by scoring a second and a first. Andy Stephens continues to close the gap between him and the lead boats and Laser newcomers Phil Weine and James Brown also did well to complete both races in respectable time.
In the trailer-sailers, Col Hinwood made a return in his modified Hartley and ended up sailing against his former boat, Minke, now owned and sailed by Col Redding, who teamed this week with his nephew Brad.
In the juniors, lightweight Laser sailors Alison Ostenfeld and Cedar and Sunny McLennan welcomed the light breeze and Alison went on to record wins in both races.
Sunny was only 18 seconds behind Alison in the first race, while Cedar gets the prize for being the most cheerful third place-getter on the water.
Whatever she lacks in size is more than made up for in heart and her determination will drive her towards the front of the fleet in time.
The club is hosting its annual regatta over the weekend of March 12 and 13. Organisers are hoping to draw a mixed fleet of upwards of 50 boats. More information on that event is at www.bigriver.yachting.org