The wind favours the big cats

Story by Tim Symons, Photos by John Byrne and John Russell

Despite the dark and foreboding sky the hardy sailors of Lake Jindabyne Sailing Club gathered at the lakeside to compete in heat 11 of the 2019/20 Twilight series on Wednesday February 12.

Eighteen boats competed in two divisions. John Byrne manned the start boat while Nic Kennedy and John Russell manned the rescue boat. The start was delayed while John returned to the beach to re-attach the start boat’s missing anchor.

The nine boat cat fleet started first into the 5 to 7 knot southerly breeze from the start line at the Bay mark.

The cats rounded the Quarry mark and set off on a long reach to the recently repositioned Mountain mark.

The fleet was bunched together with Michael Fearnide and  Ross Tattersall on Wild Cat rounding the mark first.

The fleet then spread out on the reach back to the Bay mark with the two man cats slipping ahead of the smaller one man cats.

The nine mono-hull fleet started next and set off on their first triangle lap around the Peninsular mark. John Baird sailed his Laser with the bigger two man boats of Terry Lee and  Lucas Blackmore-Lee and Phil Daley and  Nick Kirshner. The breeze shifted round on the course and increased in strength to about 12 knots on the main lake past Lion Island.

The cats spread out round the course with the bigger cats way in front of the others.

They completed a full five lap course with the big cats finishing just as the breeze dropped off to less than 5 knots for the remaining cats to complete their last lap at an ever decreasing speed.

Michael and  Ross held the lead for a while as they battled with Alex Machin and  Barry Dennis on the Hobie 20 and Jason Abbott and  Sam Bishop on their Capricorn F18. Michael and  Ross unluckily snagged the anchor rope on the Quarry mark while rounding it for the last time which lost them the lead and caused them to complete a 360 degree penalty turn.

John set a finish line at the Bay mark and signalled a shortened course to the monohull fleet. After a four lap course, the mono-hulls were led to the finish by John, nearly four minutes in front of Terry and Lucas.

They were followed by Phil and  Nick, Steve Osborne, Rod Baillie, Mal McLean, Kerry McGaw, Suzie Green and Ross Lawley. J

ohn took a well-earned win on handicap corrected times followed by Steve, Suzie, Kerry, Terry and  Lucas, Rod, Mal, Phil and  Nick, and Ross.

Thomas Davis sailed his dad’s Hobie 17, but discovered that he had failed to insert one of the boat’s bungs and had to retire from the race.

Thor and  Freya Slater retired after slipping way behind the fleet in the dying breeze on the last triangle lap. After a well sailed race using all of the wind shifts to advantage, Alex and  Barry led the fleet to the finish line followed by Jason and  Sam, Michael and  Ross, Adam Robinson and  Hughie, Alistair Cross and  Gavin Fuller, Tim Symons and Andrew Kennedy.

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