Weekend fit for sailing
COMPETITORS who attended the Big River Sailing Club's Annual Regatta last weekend were treated to almost ideal conditions with moderate easterly winds and flat water persisting over the two days.
The event attracted a fleet of 58 boats, including a very strong representation from neighbouring clubs Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Yamba and Grafton, and others who had travelled from south-east Queensland.
The fleet was well spread over seven divisions with numbers within each division sufficient to ensure genuine competitive racing.
In the faster catamarans, Chris Homan was very competitive in his Taipan with two wins from three races but it was Grafton local Michael Cahil, who finished no worse than third in any of the races, to take first place in this division.
Fellow A Class sailor Dave Merret was third.
In recent regattas the Nacra 4.5s from Ballina have dominated the slower catamaran division and it was a similar story again with Dave Bowler and Phil Robbins finishing first and second respectively.
The trifecta was spoilt however by visitor Colin Woodbury who pushed his Nacra 14 into third.
The faster monohull division was split to accommodate the presence of eight NS14 dinghies which constituted a separate class result.
Peter V and Tina Babbage were unstoppable, winning all three races and finishing ahead of Bob Engwirder and Aaron Hancock, each of whom sailed with their sons.
Ballina sailor Mike Wiley in his Formula 15 was the best of the remaining miscellaneous faster monohulls.
Laser full-rig sailor Steve Russell won the slower monohull division, but not before dropping a race to local Big River member and OK Dinghy sailor Glenn Williams, who finished second in the division ahead of third-placed Laser stalwart George Meikle.
In the yacht divisions, Todd Goldsmith, sailing his Castle 650, was the best of the faster yachts, while Col Hinwood just managed to get the better of fellow Hartley 16 sailor Graeme Flemming in the trailables.
Zac Heuchmer from Ballina was first in the juniors finishing in front of local girl Allison Ostenfeld.