CATAMARAN WINNER: Finely Tuned at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club meet in Ballina on Sunday.
CATAMARAN WINNER: Finely Tuned at the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club meet in Ballina on Sunday. Paul Wrightson

Sailors set time aside fortheir mums

SAILORS gathered for a special kind of race in the latest round of the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club at Ballina.

It had been scheduled on the Saturday to make allowance for Mother's Day on the usual Sunday race day.

Boats gathered on the beach for a staggered start according to personal handicap, before dashing up the river to marks which had been set.

The slower boats started first, the rest released in sequence as the Commodore counted out start times, until the fastest boat was released.

In theory all boats would arrive at the finish line at roughly the same time, if each boat was sailed well and without incident.

The catamaran and Trailer Sailor rounding mark was set mid river, a little before Pimlico Island.

The monohull mark was placed not quite as far up the river.

Conditions were great for such a race, with a strong yet steady south-west breeze at the start which was predicted to ease as the race played out.

This meant all the hard work was done right from the start, pushing into the breeze all the way up the river.

Just when sailors thought they might have sailed a correct angle towards a bend, the breeze would funnel through from a different direction - following the shape of the river to some degree.

After such a windy start and working through quite choppy conditions, it panned out that the wind strength was quite light further up the course in places.

However the monohull fleet had rounded their mark by this stage, whilst the others pressed on further upriver.

The wind speed increased as Aquamarine sailed by Trent and Daisy Morgan in the monohull division neared the finish line, making for some good speedy runs.

The rest of the fleet took a while to get there after being held up in the lighter air, but amazingly after such a long race the catamaran finish was very close between all boats.

The handicapper had done a great job.


Catamarans: 1 Chris Hallett/Alan Melville in Finely Tuned, 2 Drew Green in N52, and 3 Michael Cocks in A.

Trailer sailors: 1 Andrew McInnes and Todd Goldsmith in Shades of Grey.

Monohulls: 1 Trent and Daisy Morgan in Aquamarine, and 2 Graham Hodgins in Retro.